BOCA RATON, Fla. — Nick Tronti accounted for three touchdowns, coach Willie Taggart collected his first win at Florida Atlantic and the Owls started their season with a 21-17 win over Charlotte in a Conference USA opener on Saturday night.
Trailing 10-0, Tronti broke loose for a 49-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, and then tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Logan Peterson. The Owls (1-0, 1-0) forced a fumble on the next series, and Tronti connected with T.J. Chase on a 16-yard touchdown two plays later.
Tre Harbison III bulled in from the 1 for Charlotte to cap the scoring with 13 minutes left. Inside the final two minutes, the 49ers drove to the FAU 9 when time expired.
Tronti was 11 of 22 for 98 yards passing and added 94 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Chris Reynolds was 24-of-32 passing for 314 yards with a touchdown pass to lead Charlotte (0-2, 0-1). Harbison finished with 49 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Seating was limited to 20% capacity at 29,419-seat FAU Stadium. Social-distancing measures were in effect and masks were mandatory.