Florida Atlantic University football earned its first victory of the young 2014 season with a 50-21 win over Tulsa, Saturday night. The night was fill with celebrations from beginning to end. Prior to the game the FAU Stadium field was named in honor of Owls first Coach Howard Schnellenberger and by game's end Charlie Partridge earned his first victory as FAU's head coach.
"I'm proud the team was able to bounce back after two tough losses and stay the course," Partridge said following the game. "This first win means a lot and that we could do this on a night when Howard (Schnellenberger) was honored."
From the opening kick, FAU took control of the game. Behind the arm of quarterback Jaquez Johnson, the Owls racked up 518 yards of offense in one of the highest-scoring games in school history. Johnson was flawless, throwing 15-of-20 for 318 yards and three touchdowns and setting a new school record for most yards per attempt at 15.9.
Wide receiver Jensen Stoshak had a breakout game, catching four of those passes for a career-high 155 yards and a score. Lucky Whitehead stunned the Golden Hurricane with a 47-yard run en route to his 125 all-purpose yards.
The defense was equally impressive, forcing four turnovers, including an interception that D'Joun Smith ran back 23 yards for a touchdown. The linemen earned four sacks, including a 19-yard sack for a safety recorded by Robinson Eugene. The Owls held Tulsa to just 4.5 yards per play, compared to FAU's 7.9.
FAU scored the first 17 points of the game to jump out to an early lead. After a Greg Joseph 21-yard field goal, Johnson dealt a career-long 74-yard touchdown pass to William Dukes for a one-play, 12-second drive.
Following Smith's pick-six, Tulsa got on the board with a nine-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter.
A 32-yard punt return by Henry Bussey set the Owls up with short yardage, leading to a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alex Deleon to give FAU a 24-7 advantage.
After the safety, the Owls took to the air again with Johnson finding Stoshak for a 59-yard touchdown pass, putting FAU up 33-7 at the break.
Just three minutes after Tulsa scored in the third, Johnson led the Owls on a nine-play, 76-yard drive that culminated in a five-yard touchdown run by the quarterback. Joseph would drill a 41-yard field goal to end the third with the Owls on top 43-14.
The two teams swapped scoring drives in the fourth as backup quarterback Greg Hankerson marched the Owls down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Derek Moise from nine yards out. On the ensuing drive, Tulsa ate 5:05 off the clock before scoring on a short rush to end the scoring with 6:52 to play.
FAU returns to the road to take on Wyoming on Saturday, Sept. 21 with a 4 p.m. EST kickoff in Laramie.