Rusty Smith threw three touchdown passes and Charles Pierre ran for two touchdowns as Florida Atlantic defeated UAB 49-34 on Saturday afternoon.
Cortez Gent threw a touchdown pass and caught another, and Lester Jean caught two touchdown passes for Florida Atlantic (1-1). Di'Ivory Edgecomb and Chris Bonner also scored touchdowns for Florida Atlantic.
Smith finished 21-for-34 for 325 yards.
Joe Webb threw two touchdown passes for UAB (0-2). He was 26-for-48 for 326 yards. Aaron Johns and Justin Brooks rushed for touchdowns for the Blazers.
Trailing 42-34, the Blazers were on the Owls' 28-yard line with less than a minute to play when a fourth-down pass by Webb went over the head of receiver Mike Jones. On the ensuing play, Pierre ran 73 yards for a touchdown to put an exclamation point on the Owls' victory.
Trailing 21-3, UAB got back in the game with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. Webb hit Zach Lankford with a 20-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-10. A gaffe by Florida Atlantic on the ensuing kickoff gave UAB the ball back. The Owls allowed the kickoff to bounce behind kick returner Jeff Blanchard, and UAB's Ugonna Amarikwa pounced on the loose ball at the 28-yard line. Three plays later, Webb threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Frantrell Forrest to close to 21-17.
Florida Atlantic answered with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Gent to stretch the lead to 28-17 at the half.
The Owls scored on their opening drive with a little trickery. Wide receiver Gent took the handoff on a reverse and tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Bonner in the corner of the end zone to give them a 7-0 lead. A 5-yard touchdown pass by Smith to Jean made it 14-0.
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