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BOCA RATON (AP) — Alfred Morris scored a career-high four touchdowns and Treon Howard returned an interception for a touchdown as Florida Atlantic beat Alabama-Birmingham 38-35 on Saturday night for the Owls’ first win of the season.
Florida Atlantic (1-10) snapped a 13-game losing streak dating back to last season and was the only remaining winless team in major college football.
Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger, who announced in August that he is retiring at the end of this season, also avoided his first winless campaign. Florida Atlantic has one final game against Louisiana-Monroe on Dec. 3.
Morris rushed for 198 yards on 38 carries in his fifth straight 100-yard game. Quarterback Graham Wilbert was 16 for 25 for 181 yards for Florida Atlantic.
Jonathan Perry was 17 for 26 for 190 yards and two touchdowns for the Blazers (3-9) and also ran for a score.
Jackie Williams and Jamarcus Nelson scored touchdowns for Alabama-Birmingham (3-9). D.J. Vinson and Nolen Smith each caught a touchdown pass for the Blazers.
Leading 31-28, the Owls converted twice on fourth down during a 17-play drive that used 8:13, and went ahead 38-28 on Morris’s 9-yard touchdown run with 1:38 left.
On UAB’s ensuing possession, Perry threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Smith with 33 seconds left, but the attempted onside kick went out of bounds.
The teams traded scores for most of the game.
The Blazers took a 28-24 lead in the third on Nelson’s 3-yard touchdown run The Owls retook the lead, 31-28, on a 10-yard touchdown run by Morris in the fourth.
Perry tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Vinson that gave Alabama-Birmingham a 21-17 lead. The Owls responded on a 4-yard touchdown run by Morris to put Florida Atlantic ahead 24-21 in the third.
With the score tied at 14, Florida Atlantic recovered a fumble by Perry at the Blazers’ 9-yard line and converted the turnover into a 28-yard field goal by Vinny Zaccario and a 17-14 lead at halftime.
A 1-yard touchdown plunge by Perry gave the Blazers a 14-7 lead in the second. The Owls came back to tie it at 14 when Morris scored on a 1-yard touchdown run.
Florida Atlantic scored first on Howard’s 23-yard interception return for a touchdown to make it 7-0. Perry’s pass was tipped and Howard picked it off and ran down the sideline for the score.
The Blazers answered on a 9-play, 69-yard drive culminated by a 2-yard touchdown run by Williams that tied the score at 7.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)