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Sealing the deal

FAU defensive back Keith Reaser's snare of a lateral and touchdown return brought an unusual end to the Owls' 37-28 victory vs. Western Kentucky on Saturday on a play FAU fans will remember for a long time.

Originally published on 11/12/2012

by Marcus Nelson

BOCA RATON - FAU defensive back Keith Reaser spent plenty of time watching film of Western Kentucky last week.

That's not what helped him make the biggest play in Saturday's 37-28 victory over the Hilltoppers.

Reaser sealed FAU's victory by grabbing WKU's lateral out of the air on a "hook-and-ladder" play and returning the ball nine yards for a touchdown with 5 seconds remaining in the game.

“It looked pretty obvious,” Reaser said. “I knew the receiver wasn't going to just run a curl with about 10 seconds left in the game. He caught it and I saw the man coming. I just stepped in between them, caught the pitch and jogged on in.”  

Reaser knew the lateral was coming, but not because he had seen Western Kentucky do it before.

“It was just football knowledge growing up,” Reaser said. “I had seen it just watching TV when teams try it all the time.”

Also, Troy tried a similar play on its last play of the game in FAU's 34-27 victory last month,.

“It was fresh in my mind,” Reaser said.

FAU coach Carl Pelini was impressed with Reaser's play.

“I've never seen a play like that before,” Pelini said. “It was a pretty head's-up play.”

Reaser, who also had an interception earlier in the game, knew the play meant the Owls would win the game, snapping a 15-game road losing streak.

“Everybody was kind of in shock,” Reader said. “We were just anxious to get the win and get home.”

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Breakdown Box

Shula Bowl set for national stage

Friday's game against Florida International will give Florida Atlantic a rare opportunity to showcase its program to the nation.

The Shula Bowl will be televised nationally on ESPNU and the game will garner some attention by being played on Friday night when there is only one other major college game that night.

The FAU-FIU game kicks-off at 8 p.m. and will have an exclusive window to attract college football fans until Hawaii- Air Force starts at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

“Any exposure for us right now is good and hopefully we can put our best foot forward and put on a good showing,” FAU coach Carl Pelini said.

Pelini knows one group that will be watching – other college coaches, who will be stuck in their hotel rooms while on the road.

“Everybody watches it,” Pelini said. “I'll get a 100 phone calls.:”

This is FAU's first game on an ESPN network since facing Michigan State in the second week of the 2011 season.

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