for this game

Smith's five touchdown passes lifts FAU over Memphis

Dec 22, 2007 - 6:21 AM By William Dunn PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Already known as a coach that can resurrect a program, Howard Schnellenberger might soon be known for not losing bowl games as well.

Rusty Smith tossed five touchdown passes - all to different receivers - to lead Florida Atlantic to a 44-27 triumph over Memphis on Friday night in the seventh annual New Orleans Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome.

Schnellenberger, who helped build both Miami, Fl. and Louisville into national prominence, is now 5-0 as a coach in bowl games. It was also the first bowl victory for Florida Atlantic (8-5), which joined the Football Bowl Subdivision three years ago.

"We're thrilled," Schnellenberger said. "I'm particularly proud of the offense, satisfied with the defense, and our special teams really came alive tonight."

Smith led a constant Owls' attack that never trailed during the contest. He drove them down for a score on their first possession, finding running back Charles Pierre for a four-yard touchdown less than three minutes in.

The Tigers (7-6) responded on the ensuing drive when Martin Hankins threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brett Russell with 9:20 remaining in the opening quarter.

Smith was nearly flawless in the first half, completing 15-of-20 passes for 206 yards and four touchdowns as Florida Atlantic jumped out to a 30-20 halftime lead. He went on to pass for 333 yards with one interception.

"I'm so happy that I could help my team come out with a victory," Smith said. "My goal for the year was to try to be the very best I could and do the most to help my team win, and I think I did that tonight."

Memphis had struck just before the half as Hankins connected with Earnest Williams for a 19-yard touchdown pass and looked to be mounting a comeback after Hankins found Carlos Singleton on an eight-yard strike to cut the deficit to 30-27.

"We knew we were going to have to play four quarters, and fight every play like it was our last," Tigers senior running back Joseph Doss said.

With the Tigers knocking on the door, the Owls responded by holding them to a three-and-out before junior wide receiver Wilfred Rivera blocked a punt to set Florida Atlantic up with great field position at the Memphis 19-yard line.

"I told the kids that we had to return the kickoff and allow our offense to go back out there and score a touchdown," Schnellenberger said. "I didn't give some kind of special speech or something, which I never do. We just had to go back about our business."

Two plays later, Smith set a New Orleans Bowl record by throwing his fifth touchdown pass of the night, a 16-yard strike to tight end Jason Harmon, to extend the Owls' advantage to 37-27.

"Disappointed we didn't do the things we needed to do," Memphis coach Tommy West said. "We knew we had to play defense and special teams, and we didn't do either. I thought the turning point of the game was when they got the blocked punt. That kind of took the wind out of us."

The next possession killed the Tigers' chances of coming back as Hankins suffered a left leg injury and had to be carried off the field. Hankins finished with 283 passing yards and three scores.






  • 30
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 22 2:56 AM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MEMPHIS 7 13 7 0 27
    FLA ATLANTIC 17 13 7 7 44 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLA ATLANTIC - TD, CHARLES PIERRE 4 YD PASS FROM
    RUSTY SMITH (WARLEY LEROY
    KICK), 2:57. FLA ATLANTIC 7-0
    MEMPHIS - TD, BRETT RUSSELL 8 YD PASS FROM
    MARTIN

    Dec 21 11:37 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD FLA ATLANTIC
    DIIVORY EDGECOMB 4 YD RUN
    (WARLEY LEROY KICK)
    MEMPHIS 27
    FLA ATLANTIC 44 9:12 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 11:16 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MEMPHIS 7 13 7 27
    FLA ATLANTIC 17 13 7 37 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLA ATLANTIC - TD, CHARLES PIERRE 4 YD PASS FROM
    RUSTY SMITH (WARLEY LEROY
    KICK), 2:57. FLA ATLANTIC 7-0
    MEMPHIS - TD, BRETT RUSSELL 8 YD PASS FRO

    Dec 21 10:57 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD FLA ATLANTIC
    JASON HARMON 16 YD PASS FROM RUSTY SMITH
    (WARLEY LEROY KICK)
    MEMPHIS 27
    FLA ATLANTIC 37 1:39 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 10:44 PM
  • 25
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 10:29 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD MEMPHIS
    CARLOS SINGLETON 6 YD PASS FROM MARTIN HANKINS
    (MATT REAGAN KICK)
    MEMPHIS 27
    FLA ATLANTIC 30 9:30 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 10:23 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MEMPHIS 7 13 20
    FLA ATLANTIC 17 13 30 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLA ATLANTIC - TD, CHARLES PIERRE 4 YD PASS FROM
    RUSTY SMITH (WARLEY LEROY
    KICK), 2:57. FLA ATLANTIC 7-0
    MEMPHIS - TD, BRETT RUSSELL 8 YD PASS FROM
    M

    Dec 21 9:48 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD MEMPHIS
    EARNEST WILLIAMS 19 YD PASS FROM MARTIN HANKINS
    (JOEY MACK KICK)
    MEMPHIS 20
    FLA ATLANTIC 30 0:52 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 9:45 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD FLA ATLANTIC
    WILLIAM ROSE 4 YD PASS FROM RUSTY SMITH
    (PAT FAILED)
    MEMPHIS 13
    FLA ATLANTIC 30 3:34 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 9:34 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD FLA ATLANTIC
    WILLIAM ROSE 4 YD PASS FROM RUSTY SMITH
    (WARLEY LEROY KICK)
    MEMPHIS 13
    FLA ATLANTIC 31 3:34 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 9:33 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    FG MEMPHIS
    JOEY MACK 35 YD
    MEMPHIS 13
    FLA ATLANTIC 24 5:55 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 9:25 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD FLA ATLANTIC
    CHRIS BONNER 16 YD PASS FROM RUSTY SMITH
    (WARLEY LEROY KICK)
    MEMPHIS 10
    FLA ATLANTIC 24 10:25 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 9:13 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    FG MEMPHIS
    JOEY MACK 38 YD
    MEMPHIS 10
    FLA ATLANTIC 17 12:12 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 9:07 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MEMPHIS 7 7
    FLA ATLANTIC 17 17 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: FLA ATLANTIC - TD, CHARLES PIERRE 4 YD PASS FROM
    RUSTY SMITH (WARLEY LEROY
    KICK), 2:57. FLA ATLANTIC 7-0
    MEMPHIS - TD, BRETT RUSSELL 8 YD PASS FRO

    Dec 21 8:52 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD FLA ATLANTIC
    CHARLES PIERRE 29 YD PASS FROM RUSTY SMITH
    (WARLEY LEROY KICK)
    MEMPHIS 7
    FLA ATLANTIC 17 5:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 8:36 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    FG FLA ATLANTIC
    WARLEY LEROY 21 YD
    MEMPHIS 7
    FLA ATLANTIC 10 7:23 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 8:24 PM
  • 20
    roots
    MaxOmuS Added 5 roots

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 8:20 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD MEMPHIS
    BRETT RUSSELL 8 YD PASS FROM MARTIN HANKINS
    (MATT REAGAN KICK)
    MEMPHIS 7
    FLA ATLANTIC 7 9:20 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 8:16 PM
  • 15
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 8:14 PM


  • NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS
    NCAAF NEW ORLEANS BOWL
    TD FLA ATLANTIC
    CHARLES PIERRE 4 YD PASS FROM RUSTY SMITH
    (WARLEY LEROY KICK)
    MEMPHIS 0
    FLA ATLANTIC 7 12:03 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 21 8:08 PM
  • 10
    roots
    Johncool19 Added 5 roots

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 20 11:04 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Memphis vs. Florida AtlanticDec 18 10:12 PM