ADVERTISEMENT

Florida Atlantic in wrong Lane whole game

October 22, 2018 GMT

The wrong Lane.

That’s where Florida Atlantic University spent the entire game during a 31-7 loss to Marshall University Saturday afternoon at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

The game wasn’t nearly as close as the score.

All because of the wrong Lane.

If FAU had been driving on a two-lane road, it would have been in the wrong Lane. If the Owls had been on an interstate highway, they would have been driving east-bound in the west lane, again, the wrong Lane.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Just about every move Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin made during this important Conference USA East Division contest was wrong.

That’s why FAU finished with the least amount of points in a C-USA game since Kiffin took over the program in 2017.

But it wasn’t merely points.

It was everything.

Imagine this.

Florida Atlantic was saddled by four interceptions from starting quarterback Chris Robison including one to MU nose tackle Malik Thompson (that’s right, nose tackle); tried two other quarterbacks with no success; lost a fumble; committed a total of five turnovers and missed 30-and 31-yard field goals.

ADVERTISEMENT

Then, there was the coup de grace.

On a fourth-and-1 situation from FAU’s own 13-yard line with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter, Kiffin decided to go for it and failed. On the very next play, Marshall quarterback Alex Thomson tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Armani Levias to give MU a 24-7 lead.

Game. Set. Wrong Lane.

“I was surprised he went for it on fourth down,” said Marshall head coach Doc Holliday. “But it was good for us.”

Was it ever.

It clinched the topsy-turvy game for the Thundering Herd.

Just ask MU’s Thomson.

“We talked about their coach,” said the junior quarterback, “that he liked to do stuff like that. That ended it. That score after that really deflated their sideline.”

How could it not have? Kiffin rolled the dice and it came up wrong Lane. Again.

It’s no wonder Kiffin chose to do his post game press conference under the big river birch tree on the east end of the Shewey Building. He might have been thinking about lynching himself.

Too bad it wasn’t a weeping willow.

As it was, it was a weepin’ wrong Lane.

Not that Marshall took full advantage of all this wrong Lane charity. The Herd most assuredly didn’t.

Instead, Marshall punted 10 times. That’s not a misprint. Punter Robert LeFevre booted nine punts for a 43.8-yard average and quarterback Alex Thomson quick-kicked for a 31-punt that landed inside the 20-yard line.

That’s a lot of punting during a blowout win.

Besides that, Thomson was sacked three times, star wide receiver Tyre Brady had only five catches for 41 yards, Brady was targeted a season-low nine times and he was also hit for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

So, it wasn’t exactly an offensive masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.

ADVERTISEMENT

But defensively?

Oh, yes, it was. Yes, indeed. MU held FAU star running back Devin Singletary to only 31 yards in 16 carries, forced four different passers to toss incompletions and, then, there’s all those turnovers.

“We went in wanting to stop the run and force that quarterback to beat us throwing,” explained Holliday. “He didn’t get that done.”

Not even close.

And that was just the tip of the wrong Lane iceberg.

It will be a long while before Kiffin forgets his first visit to Huntington, West Virginia.

Right, Lane?

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.