Miami Sports Day

SHULA BOWL: FAU Edged Out, 33-31, by FIU

Photo by Jim Rassol / Sun Sentinel

In a game that saw the momentum change several times, the Florida Atlantic University football team came up just short, losing to rival FIU 33-31 in the Shula Bowl on Saturday night.

After a field goal put the Panthers ahead 33-31 with 12:14 left in the game, FIU forced back-to-back three and outs for the Owls’ offense and used a 12-play drive to eat up the final 6:02 of the game.

The Panthers rushed for 270 yards against the Owls led by Alex Gardner’s 119 yards and Anthony Jones who had 90 yards. QB Alex McGough rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns.

McGough finished 15 of 30 for 199 yards passing with a touchdown pass and two interceptions. Owens had four catches for 61 yards to lead FIU. Jonnu Smith had four grabs for 59 yards.

Gardner was named the Shula Bowl MVP for FIU. It was the second consecutive Shula Bowl MVP honor for Gardner, who received the distinction last year in Boca Raton. Greg Howell, who rushed for 101 yards, was named the Shula Bowl MVP for FAU.

The 270 rushing yards for FIU were the fifth most in the program’s 14-plus year history and it was the most FIU had rushed for since 2010. Against Troy in 2010, the Panthers ran for a program-record 448 yards. Three Panthers: Darriet Perry, T.Y. Hilton and Darian Mallary each rushed for more than 100 yards against Troy.

“(Our) guys played well at times, but not well enough to finish the game, so we have to get back to work on some things that didn’t work for us tonight,” said FAU head coach Charlie Partridge.

The Owls’ Gregory Howell Jr. ran for 101 yards, including a career long 68-yard carry and a touchdown. Freshman Devin Singletary had career highs in carries (17) and yards (86) and scored his first career touchdown.

FAU’s Marcus Clark had his first career receiving touchdown. Teammate Azeez Al-Shaair recorded his first career interception and his first career touchdown. Al-Shaair also had 12 tackles on the night.

GAME NOTES: The Owls ran for a season high 236 yards as a team in the game….· Tyler Cameron led the Owls in receptions (three) and receiving yards (31)…Jalen Young led the Owls with 14 tackles in the game and added an interception, FAU’s Greg Joseph hit a career long 50-yard field goal…the Owls return to Boca Raton to host Charlotte on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m….FIU hits the road next Saturday to El Paso, Texas. The Panthers take on the UTEP Miners in an 8 p.m. kickoff from the Sun Bowl.

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