A pair of defensive touchdowns lifted the Florida Atlantic University football team to its first victory of the year as the Owls topped the USF Bulls 28-10 on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
FAU defensive back D'Joun Smith had a stellar performance, collecting a 75-yard interception return for a score, a fumble forced, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup. The junior is tops in the country in pass breakups with six on the year.
After the two teams swapped punts on their first possessions, USF quarterback Bobby Eveld fumbled at his own 10-yard line after being hit by his teammate. FAU's Cory Henry recovered the ball and returned it to the end zone to put the Owls on top 7-0 10:29 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bulls scored on back-to-back possessions, taking advantage of a Jaquez Johnson interception, to take a 10-7 lead into the second quarter. From there, FAU rattled off 21 unanswered points to take the road win.
FAU got the ball at its own 20-yard line with little more than three minutes to play in the first half when Johnson and Jonathon Wallace put on a rushing display. Wallace broke off longest run of the season, a 28-yard carry to move the Owls into USF territory. A roughing penalty on the next play moved FAU into the red zone. Johnson carried the ball three-straight times before breaking into the end zone to put the Owls up 14-10 with only 35 seconds remaining in the half.
The Owls tacked on another touchdown in the third as Wallace carried it in to cap off a 39-yard drive setup by a USF fumble, forced by Smith.
Smith made a statement in the fourth, picking off USF quarterback Steven Bench and returning it 75 yards to end the scoring at 28-10.
Wallace ended the night with 65 yards on 13 carries and a score. Johnson threw 10-of-17 for 98 yards and rushed for an additional 55.
Adarius Glanton led the Owls with 10 tackles, including 1.5 for loss and half of a sack. Brandin Bryant, Trevon Coley and Martin Wright also collected sacks against USF.
FAU holds its home opener Saturday as it hosts Middle Tennessee State at FAU Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.