Missed field goals are costly

FORT LAUDERDALE - Florida Atlantic kicker Warley Leroy came into Saturday's game having made 8 of 10 field goals on the season.

But Leroy missed three field goals in the first half against South Florida, points that proved precious as FAU would tie the score 14-14 in the third quarter before the game slipped away late in the fourth.

Leroy missed from 32 yards in the first quarter when he was kicking against the wind, then from 42 yards and 45 yards in the second quarter with the wind. All three kicks were wide left.

If any of the kicks had been on target, the Owls would have had a lead at halftime, instead of being deadlocked 7-7.

"I think if we had gotten ahead I think we would have kept the lead," said tight end Jason Harmon. "Their offense would have felt obligated to score, and when that happens they mess up."

Quarterback Rusty Smith said, "We left a lot of plays on the table in the first half that we didn't capitalize on. We brought a kicker on the field more times than we wanted."


South Florida had limited its four previous opponents to 106.2 yards and 2.9 yards per carry, but FAU was able to run for 152 on 35 carries for a 4.3-yard average.

"Every yard you had was well-earned," said running back DiIvory Edgecomb, who had four carries for 32 yards and caught a 47-yard touchdown pass.

The problem for FAU was that the Bulls had much more success on the ground, churning out 312 yards and averaging 6.9 per carry.

Benjamin Williams had 186 yards on 25 carries, including the winning score when he broke three tackles during his 54-yard run that made it 28-17 with 9:54 left in the game.

Bulls fans let out a collective groan when star defensive end George Selvie left the field holding his arm midway through the second quarter.

Selvie, who entered the game leading the nation with 9.5 sacks and added another takedown in the first quarter, was injured when FAU running back Charles Pierre leveled him with a block as he tried to chase down Smith.

The sophomore returned in the second half, but played primarily on passing downs the rest of the way.

"I got banged up a little bit," Selvie admitted after the game. "But I should be OK. Just a little rehab and I'll be fine."

Selvie now holds the team's single-season record for sacks just five games into the year.

Staff Writer Jake Simpson contributed to this report.