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(Friday, November 16)
Final Score: FIU 34, Florida Atlantic 24
Boca Raton, FL (Sports Network) - Jake Medlock paced FIU by completing 17-of-28 attempts for 264 yards and two touchdowns to push the Panthers to a 34-24 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls in a Sun Belt Conference battle at FAU Stadium.
Wayne Times reeled in a team-high five receptions for 53 yards and a score for FIU (3-8, 2-5 Sun Belt), which has now won two in a row after losing seven consecutive games. Jacob Younger finished with a team-best 94 yards on four receptions while Kedrick Rhodes rushed 18 times for 99 yards and a touchdown. John Cyprien anchored the Panthers' defensive unit with eight tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception.
Graham Wilbert went 28-of-51 for a career-best 403 yards and two touchdowns under center for FAU (3-8, 2-5), but he also threw an interception deep in FIU's territory in the fourth quarter. A pair of Owls had 100-yard receiving performances as William Dukes made six catches for 116 yards and Jenson Stoshak reeled in five passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Junior wideout Daniel McKinney managed to set a new-career high with seven receptions which he turned into 90 yards. Although the Owls had a spectacular passing performance, they finished the game with minus-12 rushing yards.
The game was stopped in the third quarter for approximately 30 minutes due to a lightning delay.
The only points of the opening period came at the 8:43 mark when Medlock completed a 38-yard touchdown strike to Willis Wright to give FIU a 7-0 lead.
The Owls evened up the score with just under 10 minutes left before halftime as Wilbert completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Nexon Dorvilus.
Rupert Bryan Jr. put the Panthers back on top with a five-yard touchdown run, but Mitch Anderson made a 37-yard field goal with 48 seconds left in the second quarter to send FAU into the intermission trailing, 14-10.
The Owls took control for the first time in the contest and earned a 17-14 lead in the third quarter when Wallace plunged one yard into the end zone.
FAU's lead was short-lived as its special teams unit was unable to stop the Panthers' kick returner Richard Leonard from returning the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for six points. Later in the third quarter, FIU produced an 11-play, 73- yard drive which was punctuated by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Medlock to Wayne Times.
Wilbert answered by completing a 60-yard touchdown pass to Jenson Stoshak to reduce FAU's deficit to 27-24 in the opening stages of the final frame. FIU kept the pressure on by finishing off a nine-play, 71-yard drive with a one- yard touchdown run by Rhodes. Neither side managed to score over the remaining 10:45, which gave the Panthers their first sequence of back-to-back wins this season.
FIU's special teams unit made a big impact by finishing with 220 total yards on returns, including Leonard's touchdown. The Owls produced just 60 combined yards on three kick returns and two punt returns.
11/17 01:21:41 ET
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