CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Daniel Richardson threw three touchdown passes — two to LaJohntay Wester — and Florida Atlantic eased past Charlotte 38-16 on Friday night.
Kyle Cunanan kicked a 36-yard field goal at the end of a 13-play, game-opening drive to give Charlotte a 3-0 lead. Florida Atlantic (4-4, 3-1 American Athletic Conference) used five plays and three penalties against the 49ers to take a 7-3 lead. Richardson connected with Zeke Moore from 3 yards out after roughing-the-passer and face-mask penalties and a personal foul accounted for three of the four first downs on the drive. The Owls never trailed again.
Charlotte (2-6, 1-3) turned the ball over on downs at the Owls' 41-yard line and six plays later Richardson hit Wester for a 21-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead. The 49ers pulled within eight points on Cunanan's 44-yard field goal midway through the second quarter. Wester caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Richardson with 63 seconds left in the period and FAU led 21-6 at halftime.
Richardson hit Wester for gains of 15 and 23 yards before Michael Johnson Jr. scored on a 19-yard run and the Owls took a 22-point lead early in the third quarter. Charlotte answered with Trexler Ivey's 10-yard touchdown toss to Jake Clemens to get within 28-13. Cunanan connected from 44 yards out for his third field goal, but Carter Davis kicked a 38-yarder to push the Owls' lead back to 15 heading to the final quarter. Larry McCammon added a short touchdown run to cap the scoring.
Richardson completed 18 of 25 passes for 216 yards with one interception for FAU. Wester finished with 10 receptions for 149 yards.
Ivey, Jalon Jones and Dom Shoffner combined to complete 21 of 35 passes for 164 yards for the 49ers.