CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — N’Kosi Perry set up three touchdowns on as many drives in a breakaway third quarter and Florida Atlantic held Charlotte scoreless for all of the second half for a 38-9 victory Thursday night, just hours after each university announced it will be leaving Conference USA.
Perry was a crisp 9 of 11 passing for 225 yards and three TDs. Johnny Ford rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown and caught one pass for 32 yards and another score.
Charlotte (4-3, 2-1) was seeking its first 5-2 start. FAU (4-3, 2-1) entered the game winless on the road but, strangely, remains undefeated in Charlotte in four games there.
Charlotte led 9-7 at halftime as Chris Reynolds found Grant DuBose at the front of the end zone with a pass from the 1-yard line on the last play of the second quarter. The 49ers twice converted on fourth-and-one during the 17-play drive.
Florida Atlantic opened the second half with a four-play scoring drive when Ford hauled in a screen pass from Perry and took it to the end zone on a 32-yard catch and run.
On FAU’s next possession, Perry hooked up with Je’Quan Burton on a 57-yard pass to set up first-and-goal, and Malcolm Davidson carried on a nine-yard touchdown a play later as the Owls extended their lead to 21-9. Perry found Brandon Robinson with a 30-yard touchdown pass near the end of the third to lead 28-9.
Reynolds was 22-for-31 passing for 219 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for Charlotte, which was held to 77 yards on the ground.
Both Charlotte and FAU on Thursday accepted invitations to leave C-USA and join the larger American Athletic Conference along with four other schools — Alabama-Birmingham, North Texas, Rice and Texas-San Antonio.
The American’s expansion date was not announced.
‘PICKING’ UP A GIFT FOR MOM
FAU’s Ahman Ross intercepted Reynolds early in the fourth quarter and, after returning it 20 yards, chugged back to to the far end of the field to give the ball to his mother in the stands. The interception was Ross’ first.
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