It was the Wild Wild West in the final quarter of the college football matchup featuring the Florida Atlantic Owls, who played host to the Marshall Thundering Herd.
Brenden Knox scored the game-sealing touchdown with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and Marshall beat Florida Atlantic 36-31 on Friday night, ending their four games winning streak.
“We had so many opportunities early to take advantage of the situation, which we did not do obviously,” FAU coach Lane Kiffin said. “This is what happens. You keep getting penalties, you miss tackles, you have three-and-outs, and you don’t convert on fourth-downs, you lose at the end.”
Knox finished with 23 carries for 220 yards and two touchdowns for the Thundering Herd (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA). His game-winning 17-yard TD run capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive and was the fourth lead change of the fourth quarter.
The Owls had one more opportunity for a possible game-winning drive. With 36 seconds remaining in the game and one timeout left.
The Thundering Herd failed to convert the two-point attempt after Knox’s TD, but on the next play from scrimmage, the Herd’s Steven Gilmore intercepted Chris Robison’s pass to secure the victory.
“We called straight verts,” Robison said. “The corner was playing really far back. Thought I could back-shoulder him, but just a bad throw. I should’ve given him a chance to make a play.”
Robison scored on a 1-yard keeper to give the Owls (4-3, 2-1) a 24-22 lead with 10:09 left in the game. Less than a minute later, Isaiah Green’s 60-yard TD pass to Willie Johnson put Marshall ahead 30-24. Marshall failed on the two-point conversion, and FAU took the lead on Malcolm Davidson’s 2-yard TD run with 3:36 left.
Robison passed for 369 yards. The Owls’ offensive line struggles persisted with Robison being sacked seven times and being hit five more times.
It was FAU’s first Conference USA loss of the season.
The beat goes on.
The Owls take their talents on the road and visit Old Dominion. The Thundering Herd play host to Western Kentucky.