Schnellenberger's Owls Beat Central Michigan
by Mike Mitchell
December 26, 2008
Howard Schnellenberger improved to 6-0 lifetime, and 2-0 at FAU, as a head coach in college football bowl games as his Owls beat Central Michigan 24-21 in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit.
FAU beat Memphis 44-27 in last year's New Orleans Bowl.
The Owls built a 24-13 lead which the Chippewas had a chance of trimming to 24-16 with a 4th-quarter field goal with 5:17 left. But Butch Jones eschewed the kick and a 4th-and-goal pass from the 6 was batted away.
FAU went 3-and-out quickly on its ensuing possession and, after a short punt, CMU scored on a 15-yard TD pass after keeping the drive alive on a 4th-down play from the FAU 27. The touchdown came with 3:09 to play and the 2-pt.conversion pass made it 24-21.
But Central Michigan never got the ball back as FAU drove inside the Chippewas' 10-yard line in the waning seconds to secure the win.
QB Rusty Smith threw for 307 yards and had two second-half touchdown passes. His 52-yarder to Chris Bonner put FAU ahead 17-10 in the 3rd quarter, and an 18-yard pass to Cortez Gent made it 24-13.
CMU entered the game ranked last in the MAC in yards allowed and gave up 418 to FAU.
Central Michigan's only lead of the game was at 10-7 in the second quarter, but it had an opportunity to take the lead at the end of the end of the 3rd quarter. Trailing 17-13, the Chippewas had a 72-yard touchdown on a reverse called back because of a facemask penalty that occurred at the tail end of the play. FAU extended the lead to 24-13 on the ensuing possession.
Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour threw for 253 yards with 2 TD's and 1 INT. Antonio Brown had 11 catches for 92 yards and a TD.
FAU's Gent led all receivers in yardage with 98 and a TD on 7 catches. Bonner had 85 yards and a score on 3 receptions. The Owls' Charles Pierre led all rushers with 77 yards on 16 carries.
The win gave FAU a 7-6 record overall.
Central Michigan fell to 8-5 and completed the season with three consecutive losses. The Chippewas all-time bowl record is 1-4. This was their third Motor City Bowl appearance in as many years and their only bowl victory came in the 2006 edition of this game.