LAWRENCE, Kan. · Kansas
paid Florida Atlantic $400,000 to head west and play the Jayhawks,
expecting the young Owls to play the patsy.
ask for a refund after the Owls made the Jayhawks
and the Memorial Stadium crowd of 40,930 squirm
throughout much of the game, holding a 13-12 lead late in the third quarter
before falling 30-19.
It was just the
48th game in FAU's history and Kansas'
1,113th, as FAU was opening its fifth season and Kansas its 116th.
"It looked like we belonged here," FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said. "For three quarters we were
FAU quarterback Danny Embick made his debut as
starter memorable, with two 66-yard touchdown passes, the second putting FAU
in the lead and stunning the fans.
"I thought they would come back," Embick
said. "They didn't want to be embarrassed by a team like us. But I was
also thinking three-peat," referring to FAU's
two previous season openers, when FAU upset Middle Tennessee and Hawaii.
Embick completed 20 of 28 passes for three
touchdowns and no interceptions. "The offense did OK. We couldn't pound
the ball and made the defense stay out on the field all night," Embick said.
For FAU, which still has games with Oklahoma State,
Minnesota and Louisville on the schedule, the game
provided a huge boost of confidence. "We all went out and gave it our
all. I thought we were going to win," said freshman running back DiIvory Edgecomb.
FAU has 50 freshman, 18 sophomores, 13 juniors and 14 seniors on its roster,
and started five freshmen and six sophomores, with 11 Owls making their first
The Jayhawks' defense was as strong as advertised,
and was able to shut down the Owls' rushing attack, limiting FAU to 70 yards.
But Embick's two long touchdown passes were nearly
enough to pull off the upset. As young as FAU is, it was a pair of seniors
that got FAU on the board.
FAU trailed just 9-0 in the first quarter when Embick
found Thomas Parker streaking down the middle and hit him in stride for the
first of Embick's 66-yard scoring passes.
defense had not given up a touchdown in the first quarter all of last season.
Embick said before the game that was one of the
Owls' goals, and they did, with 19 seconds to spare.
Interceptions by Troy Pindell and Quincey Skinner ended two Jayhawks
drives in the half, as each of the two quarterbacks Kansas tried in the first half tossed one.
FAU had started the game by driving to the Kansas 42 before punting. The Owls got the
ball back quickly, after Kansas'
starting quarterback Adam Barmann threw three
But a 58-yard punt and blocking in the back penalty pushed FAU back to the
12. After nearly sacking Embick on the first play,
then dropping fullback Dominick Walker for a 1-yard loss, the Jayhawks chased Embick into the
linebacker Brandon Perkins about to wrestle him to the ground, Embick tried a desperation pass that came closest to Owls
offensive lineman Nick Paris.
Embick was called for intentional grounding in the
end zone for a safety and Kansas
had a 2-0 lead.
Embick's second strike went to Edgecomb,
who was playing his first college game. Embick
rolled to his right, then threw back across the
field to Edgecomb, who had a clear lane down the
After falling behind 30-12, Embick hit freshman
receiver Frantz Simeon for a 15-yard TD with no time left.
FAU's schedule will help the Owls forget about
Saturday's game in a hurry. The Owls will be practicing today to prepare for
Thursday's home opener against Oklahoma
State, another Big 12