Jacksonville Sports Day

FAU Owls Set Shula Bowl Scoring Record with 58-21 Win over FIU

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Florida Atlantic University football scored the most points ever by either team in the annual rivalry game against FIU, topping the Panthers, 58-21, in Shula Bowl XX on Saturday evening at FAU Stadium.

The game, which also served as the Conference USA opener for both teams, saw the Owls outgain their border rivals, 704-388, the second-highest yardage total in FAU history.

The Owls (3-2, 1-0 C-USA) opened up the playbook on the very first snap, with a successful 45-yard fleaflicker from N’Kosi Perry to Brandon Robinson. Three plays later, Perry called his own number, taking it in from eight yards out for the opening salvo.

The teams traded scores – the Owls’ tally coming on a 32-yard James Charles run – and because of a failed two-point conversion, FIU (1-4, 0-1 C-USA) actually led 14-13 early in the second.

From then on in the first half, three of the final four TD’s were FAU’s, and they were all 20+-yard chunk plays: Perry to Zaire Mitchell-Paden for 22 yards; Perry to Johnny Ford, an 89-yard catch-and-run; and Perry finding Je’Quan Burton wide open for 42 yards in the end zone.

The Owls’ halftime advantage was 34-21.

As far as scoring, the third quarter had only seen an Aaron Shahriari 20-yard field goal midway through, before the second play of the ensuing FIU drive.

On a deep ball, Zyon Gilbert outleapt the Panther receiver for a tremendous interception, and Nick Tronti then led the Owls on a scoring drive, with his arm (an 11-yard completion) and rushes of 16 and a five-yard keeper.

Two more Owl series became fourth quarter scores, with TD runs by Ford and Kelvin Dean, Jr. The final extra point – Morgan Suarez’s first of his career – set the Shula Bowl Record, one point more than 57 points scored by FAU in 2008. From FIU’s second score until the horn, the Owls held a 45-7 advantage.

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