Florida Atlantic traveled more than 1,300 miles to host a "home" game against the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday, a game the Owls lost 30-17 at Ford Field in Detroit.
The game originally was scheduled to be played at the Owls' new stadium, but it won't be ready until next season so the game was moved to the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions.
Penalties and the inability to run the football cost FAU, 1-1. The Owls gained 301 yards, but only 45 came on the ground on 34 attempts, a miserable 1.3 yards-per-carry. Florida Atlantic was flagged 11 times for 85 yards, compared to four for 43 yards for the Spartans.
Michigan State improved to 2-0 behind a dominating ground attack. The Spartans rushed 30 times for 225 yards, an average of 7.5 yards per carry. Edwin Baker racked up 183 rushing yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, for Michigan State.
Navarre High School graduate Jeff Van Camp, the Owls' starting quarterback, completed 23 of 35 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown to Xavier Stinson. FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger let backup Graham Wilbert, a sophomore, finish the game for the Owls. Alfred Morris, a Pine Forest grad, and the Sun Belt Conference's leading rusher a year ago, managed 54 yards on 20 carries.
The Owls are off next week and will host North Texas University at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 at Lockhart Stadium. Michigan State returns "home" to East Lansing, Mich., next Saturday to play Notre Dame. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. central.