MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- Eugene Gross rushed for a career-high 208 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Middle Tennessee to a 35-14 victory over Florida Atlantic on Saturday.
Early in the game, Gross capped an 85-yard scoring drive in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown to give the Blue Raiders (6-3, 5-0) a 7-0 lead. Then with 44 seconds left before halftime, Gross scored on a 56-yard touchdown run.
The Owls (3-6, 2-2) used the two-minute offense effectively to cut the lead to 14-7 with 16 seconds left in the half. But at the beginning of the second half, Middle Tennessee's Damon Nickson returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
The return was Nickson's second of the season, which tied a school record for most kickoffs returned for touchdown in a season.
The Blue Raiders, who rushed for 271 yards on the ground, improved to 5-0 in conference play for the first time since 1992 (an 8-0 start in the Ohio Valley Conference).