BLOG: FAU 17, WKU 16 (Final)

Follow along as WKU (1-7, 1-3 Sun Belt Conference) hosts FAU (2-5, 1-3 Sun Belt) Saturday at Houchens-Smith Stadium. Kick is set for 3 p.m.

Zach Greenwell

Follow along with Herald beat writer Zach Greenwell as WKU (1-7, 1-3 Sun Belt Conference) hosts FAU (2-5, 1-3 Sun Belt) Saturday at Houchens-Smith Stadium. Kick is set for 3 p.m.

FAU 17, WKU 16 — Final

As most have likely seen by now, Kawaun Jakes came up short on a fourth-down run, sealing the win for FAU.

We’ll have a full recap and reaction from Taggart and players at later tonight.

FAU 17, WKU 16 — 9:30 4th

Jakes goes deep to Willie McNeal but McNeal falls down, and Tavious Polo intercepts the ball for FAU in the end zone. That’s a terrible break for WKU.

The Owls are driving now, and WKU desperately needs a stop.

FAU 17, WKU 16 — 14:42 4th

The Owls gets a 25-yard field goal from Ross Gornall to take a one-point lead. Makes you question WKU’s decision not to go for two after taking a one-point lead in the third quarter.

WKU 16, FAU 14 — End 3rd

There were four straight three-and-outs by WKU and FAU after Rainey’s touchdown, but FAU is now driving at the WKU 17.

It’ll be a 3rd and 12 situation for the Owls when we start the fourth, and a field goal would be good for the lead.

WKU 16, FAU 14 — 10:31 3rd

WKU gets the ball at midfield after linebacker Orlando Misaalefua recovered a fumble by FAU’s Alfred Morris. Ryan Beard forced the fumble.

Bobby Rainey broke off a 38-yard run on WKU’s first play of the drive, and later scored on a 1-yard rush. Taggart opted to take the extra point instead of go for a two-point conversion, which gives WKU a two-point lead.

FAU 14, WKU 9 — Half

WKU heads into halftime in this one trailing by five.

This has been an all-around poor display on offense for the Toppers. The defense has kept FAU in check enough that they should have a lead, but the offense has only mustered a touchdown by Bobby Rainey to go along with a safety they didn’t force. Not good.

Ironically enough, some negative-yardage runs by Rainey have him back under the 1,000-rushing yard mark. It’s safe to say he’ll reach that plateau for good in the second half, though.

Rainey finished the first half with 60 yards and a score.

Kawaun Jakes was a poor 6-of-17 passing for 65 yards. The leading receiver was tight end Demetrius Coley with 18 yards on two catches.

Both teams had five penalties in the first half, costing WKU 43 yards.

FAU outgained WKU in the first half, 157-140.

This is clearly the second straight week where the Toppers’ offense has looked out of sorts. It’ll be interesting to see if Taggart points the blame at Jakes or the receivers for the passing game’s woes.

FAU 14, WKU 9 — 1:47 2nd

FAU’s Jeff Van Camp connects with receiver Lester Jean for a 62-yard touchdown strike, and FAU has reclaimed the lead in this one.

WKU corner Tyree Robinson got his second interception on FAU’s previous drive, but the Tops managed to come away with no points from the FAU 27. This offense better find a way to move down the field, or the Owls are going to slowly start pulling away.

Or maybe quickly pull away, if Jean makes another catch like the last one.

WKU 9, FAU 7 — 6:53 2nd

The Tops can’t score with their own offense today, so they take a 2-point lead after a safety by FAU. The Owls were set to punt the ball away, but snapped the ball through the end zone.

WKU also gets the ball back now, so this could be a big swing in momentum.

Junior running back Bobby Rainey has also gone over 1,000 rushing yards this season.

WKU 7, FAU 7 — End 1st

WKU will have the ball in a 3rd and 2 situation at the FAU 41 when the second quarter starts.

Rainey had a 49-yard touchdown run brought back by a holding penalty on Quinterrance Cooper. Tops have shot themselves in the foot quite a bit already today.

WKU 7, FAU 7 — 3:32 1st

Both teams take turns punting before FAU gets an easy 18-yard touchdown run by running back Alfred Morris. WKU had the Owls stopped on 3rd down, but Tyree Robinson committed the Tops’ second pass interference penalty of the game.

WKU is going to have to be more disciplined when it has a chance to get the defense off the field.

WKU 7, FAU 0 — 10:04 1st

FAU goes three-and-out on its first drive, and WKU answers with an 11-yard touchdown run by junior running back Bobby Rainey.

WKU went 51 yards on the drive in 3:52. The Tops converted one third down with a 16-yard pass from quarterback Kawaun Jakes to Demetrius Coley.

Good start for the Tops.

Pregame: WKU won the coin toss and chose to defer to the second half. FAU will receive.

Looks like WKU’s starting lineup will be the same from last week, except for one change.

Freshman kicker Monte Merrick is listed as the starter on the pregame depth chart, so it appears he won the job from junior Casey Tinius this week. Merrick made both of his field goal tries against North Texas last week after replacing Tinius, who missed a 41-yarder to start the game.