CHARLOTTE — N’Kosi Perry set up three touchdowns on as many drives in a breakaway third quarter and Florida Atlantic held Charlotte scoreless for all of the second half for a 38-9 victory Thursday night, just hours after each university announced it will be leaving Conference USA.
Perry was a crisp 9 of 11 passing for 225 yards and three TDs. Johnny Ford rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown and caught one pass for 32 yards and another score.
Charlotte (4-3, 2-1) was seeking its first 5-2 start. FAU (4-3, 2-1) entered the game winless on the road but, strangely, remains undefeated in Charlotte in four games there.
Charlotte led 9-7 at halftime as Chris Reynolds found Grant DuBose at the front of the end zone with a pass from the 1-yard line on the last play of the second quarter. The 49ers twice converted on fourth-and-one during the 17-play drive.
Florida Atlantic opened the second half with a four-play scoring drive when Ford hauled in a screen pass from Perry and took it to the end zone on a 32-yard catch and run.
On FAU’s next possession, Perry hooked up with Je’Quan Burton on a 57-yard pass to set up first-and-goal, and Malcolm Davidson carried on a nine-yard touchdown a play later as the Owls extended their lead to 21-9. Perry found Brandon Robinson with a 30-yard touchdown pass near the end of the third to lead 28-9.
Reynolds was 22-for-31 passing for 219 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for Charlotte, which was held to 77 yards on the ground.
Both Charlotte and FAU on Thursday accepted invitations to leave C-USA and join the larger American Athletic Conference along with four other schools — Alabama-Birmingham, North Texas, Rice and Texas-San Antonio.
The American’s expansion date was not announced.