Middle Tennessee comeback overcomes Florida Atlantic, 27-17
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Mike DiLiello ran for one touchdown and passed for another and Middle Tennessee scored 24 unanswered points to earn a 27-17 come-from-behind win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday to become bowl eligible.
The victory was Rick Stockstill's 100th as head coach of the Blue Raiders (6-6, 4-4 Conference USA).
N'Kosi Perry threw two first-half touchdown passes, hitting Je'Quan Burton from 48 yards out and John Mitchell on a 32-yard strike to put Florida Atlantic up 14-0. Morgan Suarez kicked a 23-yard third-quarter field goal to put the Owls up 17-3 with 9:13 left in the third quarter.
DiLiello, who came on in relief of starting quarterback Nick Vattiato and got the Blue Raiders into the end zone, punching over from the 1 to cap a six-play, 75-yard drive, then put them ahead, 21-17 with a 6-yard pass to Zaylin Wood with 4:41 left.
The Owls (5-7, 33-5) drove to the Middle Tennessee 22, but Perry was hit by a blitzing DQ Thomas and fumbled. Jordan Ferguson scooped up the loose ball and returned it 71 yards for the game's final touchdown.
DiLiello finished 12 of 19 for 131 yards and ran for another 43 to lead the Blue Raiders.
Perry finished 32 of 49 for 328 yards and two touchdowns for Florida Atlantic. LaJohntay Wester caught 14 passes for 95 yards.
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