Game Recap: football |
2-3 , 0-1
2-3 , 1-0
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Middle Tennessee put up a strong effort but in the end injuries and turnovers continued to plaque the Blue Raiders in a 38-20 setback at FAU in the C-USA opener for both teams here Saturday.
The Blue Raiders (2-3, 0-1) went into the game without the services of two key offensive starters as quarterback Brent Stockstill and receiver Richie James did not dress. Compounding matters, linebacker Walter Brady and defensive back Mike Minter Jr., also were unable to play due to injuries.
Those injuries, combined with three Middle Tennessee turnovers, proved detrimental in the setback as the Owls ended a nine-game losing streak to the Blue Raiders.
Florida Atlantic struck early, jumping out to a 14-6 lead after the first quarter and parlaying it into a 24-6 halftime advantage. The Blue Raiders would challenge with drives deep into Florida Atlantic territory throughout, but quarterback John Urzua was guilty of three interceptions to stall those possessions.
Urzua had a career game for Middle Tennessee, otherwise, completing 31-of-51 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns. Ty Lee led a trio of active receivers, grabbing eight catches for 136 yards and a touchdown. CJ Windham had 74 yards on five catches and Patrick Smith turned four receptions into 76 yards.
Brad Anderson led the ground attack with 44 yards on 13 carries.
Jovante Moffatt continued his outstanding work with a career-high 15 tackles, six solo. DJ Sanders (15) and Reed Blankenship (13) also had career highs for tackles.
Canon Rooker connected on his first two field goal tries of 46-, and 35-yards in the first quarter to push his streak of consecutive makes to eight before misfiring in the second quarter. The Blue Raiders also received a 26-yard scoring pass from Urzua to Lee in the third quarter. Jocquez Bruce hauled in a 4-yard pass for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Middle Tennessee will look to get back on track when it plays host to FIU for Homecoming next Saturday.
CAPTAINS: Today’s game captains were LB DJ Sanders, DE Tyshun Render, and CB Darryl Randolph.
ROOKER MATCHES LONG: Kicker Canon Rooker matched his career-high with a 46-yarder on Middle Tennessee’s opening possession. Rooker only has five attempts on the season and he has been successful on four of the five with three being 41 yards or longer.
ROOKER MR. CONSISTENCY: With two field goals in the first quarter at FAU, Canon Rooker ran his streak of makes to eight straight overall and four straight this season. At that point, Rooker had made 15 of his last 16 field goal tries dating back to 2016. His streak would end at eight after misfiring on his first attempt of the second quarter. Rooker was 2-for-3 on field goal tries for the game.
CAREER NIGHT FOR SMITH: Receiver Patrick Smith set two career highs in the first half against FAU. Smith had 76 yards in the first half, besting his previous high of 62 against Louisiana Tech (2016). Smith also had a 51-yard reception in the first half, eclipsing his previous high of 42 yards against Alabama A&M (2016). Smith finished the game with four receptions for 76 yards.
RANDOLPH BLOCK: Junior Darryl Randolph recorded the first blocked kick of his career when he rejected an FAU field goal attempt at the end of the first half. It went down as the first blocked kick of the season for MT and the 38th all-time under Rick Stockstill (20 FGs, 14 punts, 4 PATs).
LEE OVER 100: Sophomore Ty Lee reached the 100-yard receiving mark for the third time in his career when he hauled in eight passes for a career-high 136 yards against FAU. Lee had 100 yards even against FIU and Hawaii last year.
URZUA JOINS 300 CLUB: Sophomore QB John Urzua, who is coming off a career-high 290-yard passing game against BGSU, set his personal-best for the second week in a row. Urzua threw for 359 yards to top the 300-mark for the first time and become just the 15th QB to reach 300 yards in MT history.
QUICK HITTERS: CJ Windham set career highs in receptions (5) and receiving yards (74) … Jovante Moffatt (15), DJ Sanders (15) and Reed Blankenship (13) all set career highs in tackles … The dynamic offensive duo of QB Brent Stockstill and WR Richie James did not dress tonight against FAU. Stockstill missed his 3rd straight game and James did not play for a second straight outing … DB Mike Minter saw his team-high streak of 29 straight starts come to an end after suffering an injury during Friday’s practice … PK Canon Rooker played in his team-high 44th game tonight … WR Patrick Smith hauled in a career long 51-yard pass in the first quarter … LB Tavares Thomas had his first career rush when he ran the ball for a first down on a fake punt … The 12-play drive to start the third quarter was the most plays in a scoring drive this season … MT lost its C-USA opener for the first time and saw its 9-game winning streak over FAU come to an end … MT has lost the turnover battle in all five games this season.