NORFOLK, Va. -- Old Dominion fell to Florida Atlantic, 58-28, in its Conference USA opener on Saturday evening at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. Jeremy Cox rushed for a career-high 202 yards and two touchdowns and Melvin Vaughn caught a pair of touchdown passes in his season debut, but Old Dominion (2-3, 0-1 C-USA) could not contain Devin Singletary and the Florida Atlantic (3-3, 2-0 C-USA) rushing attack, as the Owls ran for 453 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
Early in the third quarter, Vaughn's second TD reception from freshman quarterback Stephen Williams cut the FAU lead to 31-21, but the Owls answered with 20 unanswered points to pull away from the Monarchs. Florida Atlantic got on the board first as Greg Joseph kicked a 21-yard field goal to cap a 17 play, 72-yard drive. The ODU defense stiffened in the red zone, as Tim Ward knocked down a pass, and Sean Carter and Andre Bernhard stopped Devin Singletary on third down.
Old Dominion struck back on its opening drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Steven Williams Jr. to Melvin Vaughn. ODU drove 75-yards on eight plays, as Williams delivered a 23-yard first down run and Jeremy Cox had a 24-yard run. Jason Driskel put FAU back out front with an 11-yard touchdown run to cap a six play, 75-yard drive in just 1:41.
Following a Jalen Young interception, Devin Singletary rushed for a 12-yard touchdown to put the Owls up 17-7 late in the first quarter. FAU went on top 24-7 early in the second quarter with a two-yard run from Greg Howell. The Monarchs came back with a 12 play, 75-yard drive capped by a three-yard touchdown run from Cox to make the score 24-14. FAU came back before the half with a 39-yard touchdown run from Driskel to make the score at the break 31-14.
Williams, in his first career home start, finished with 163 yards on 16-of-39 passing with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Isaiah Harper led ODU with four catches for 31 yards while Vaughn had three receptions for 54 yards and the two scores. Denzel Williams had a career-best 13 tackles to lead the defense. Overall, FAU outgained ODU, 550-411, and had nearly a 10-minute advantage in time of possession. Defensively, Denzell Williams and Jordan Young each notched career highs with 13 and 11 tackles respectively, while Rob Thompson recorded his second career interception.