The 2008 football season at Florida Atlantic University was a roller coaster ride to say the least.
FAU dropped five of its first six games.
But the Owls responded with a handful of victories in their last half-dozen contests to become bowl eligible.
Florida Atlantic carried that late-season momentum to a 24-21 victory over Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl on Friday night.
For the Owls - who won the Sun Belt Conference a year ago - it was their second consecutive triumph in the postseason. FAU beat Memphis in the 2007 New Orleans Bowl.
The win was also a special one for coach Howard Schnellenberger – who led Miami to the 1983 national championship and was hired to commence the Owls’ football program in 1998. Schnellenberger improved his bowl record to 6-0. The six victories are the most without a loss in the Football Bowl Subdivision era – a classification FAU has been a part of since 2001.
FAU’s grit, coupled with Schnellenberger’s winning ways, proved to be an effective combination for the Owls and proved that sometimes it’s now how you start that’s important, but how you finish.