|Date of game: 9/21/2013
Recap: Fla Atlantic vs. Middle Tennessee
Boca Raton, FL (Sports Network) - In a contest that consisted of five ties and six lead changes, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders managed to outlast the Florida Atlantic Owls in a Conference USA overtime thriller, 42-35, at FAU Stadium.
Reggie Whatley rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries for Middle Tennessee (3-1, 1-0 C-USA), while Jordan Parker (28 carries, 115 yards, TD) also crossed the century mark rushing. Logan Kilgore completed 13- of-23 passes for 150 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Tavarres Jefferson was Kilgore's top target with five receptions for 66 yards.
For FAU (1-3, 0-2), Jaquez Johnson accounted for a career-high five total touchdowns (three passing, two rushing). He completed 31-of-50 passes for 321 yards but also threw a pair of interceptions. Johnson found eight different receivers on the afternoon, with Daniel McKinney (82 yards, TD) and William Dukes (73 yards, TD) the primary beneficiaries.
Middle Tennessee notched the only score of the first quarter, as Parker capped off a 10-play, 72-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown rush.
FAU tied the game up early in the second quarter on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Dukes, but the Blue Raiders took a 14-7 lead heading into halftime following a 15-yard touchdown run by Whatley.
Johnson added another score for the Owls early in the third quarter, this time with his legs, finding the end zone from seven yards out to knot it up at 14-14.
Middle Tennessee pulled ahead a few minutes later when Kilgore hooked up with Corey Carmichael for a two-yard scoring strike, but FAU continued to show resiliency, tying the game for the third time with 1:38 in the third quarter on a three-yard touchdown run by Johnson.
The Blue Raiders regained the advantage early in the fourth quarter, surging ahead 28-21 on a 19-yard touchdown run by Whatley.
Facing a 4th-and-goal with under four minutes remaining, FAU tied the game up once again when Johnson completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to McKinney.
Middle Tennessee wasted no time getting back on top. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Whatley took a handoff 64 yards for a score.
The quick strike allowed FAU plenty of time to retaliate, however, and it started the drive with great field position following a 46-yard kickoff return by Cre'von LeBlanc. The Owls were down to their final play, 4th-and-10 on Middle Tennessee's 21-yard line with nine seconds left, and Johnson delivered yet again, hooking up with Lucky Whitehead for a touchdown. Following the made PAT, the game headed to overtime.
Kilgore got the extra session started with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Griswould to put Middle Tennessee up seven. FAU faced another fourth down in its overtime possession, but Johnson couldn't muster up another great play, as he ended the game with an interception.
The Middle Tennessee defense recorded four sacks of Johnson, three of those coming from Dearco Nolan. FAU failed to register a sack.
This marks the first year in C-USA for both squads after playing each other as Sun Belt Conference rivals since 2004.Game Notes