Carl Pelini’s first game as head coach at Florida Atlantic ended in quite the blunder. Late in the 4th quarter with his Owls down 34-6 to the Miami Hurricanes, Owls quarterback Quez Johnson led the Owls deep into Miami territory.
On 3rd and 5 with about 22 seconds in the game, Johnson scrambled out of the pocket but was tackled short of the first down. It’s then that ESPN cameras catch head coach Pelini motioning for Johnson to spike the football. Johnson obliges and cameras then catch Pelini being informed of the blunder.
After the game, Johnson took the blame for the blunder.
“I made a bad mistake that you can’t make as a quarterback,” Johnson said. “I made a mistake. I didn’t realize the down and distance. I just have to make better decisions.”
Johnson said he chose to spike the ball on his own without prompting from the sideline, although FAU coach Carl Pelini appeared to be signalling for Johnson to throw the ball into the ground to stop the clock.
“I called for it,” Johnson said.