Published On: Wed, Dec 20th, 2017

FAU Wins Boca Bowl Blowout

By: Michael Demyan

Photo Credits: FAU Athletics

The Florida Atlantic University Owls grabbed the victory in blowout fashion as they beat the Akron Zips 50-3 Tuesday night at the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.

The victory came the same day that head coach Lane Kiffin announced he extended his contract with FAU from four years to 10, signifying a good chance that he will be sticking around for a little longer. The number 10 had an even bigger significance by the end of the night as the win gave the Owls (11-3) 10-straight on the season.

“Really just an unbelievable day,” Kiffin said. “I can’t imagine being better. This is a special story. These stories don’t happen often. You don’t just come to the FAU and win 11 games. These kids aren’t even playing close games. It’s one thing to play a close game, go to triple overtime, but these kids just dominate everyone they play. By the fourth quarter, the game is usually over. To win 10-straight games is incredible. You don’t win bowl games 50-3.”

Head coach Lane Kiffin announced an extension to his contract through 2027 earlier in the day.

Akron (7-7) kept the Owls within reach throughout the first quarter, finally allowing the first touchdown of the game with just over a minute remaining. Quarterback Jason Driskel passed to Willie Wright to put them up by six. Greg Joseph followed with the extra point.

The Zips’ Nick Gasser followed up with a field goal to start off the scoring in the second, bringing the score to 7-3, but it would be the last time Akron would put points on the board.

After Driskel ran the ball in for FAU’s second touchdown, Devin “Motor” Singletary added his first of three rushing touchdowns on the night, breaking FAU coach Kevin Smith’s Conference USA record for rushing and total touchdowns in a season.

Quarterback Jason Driskel (16) heads for the end zone.

Azeez Al-Shaair broke a record of his own in the first half as well with his 347th tackle as an Owl, with the previous record holder for the program being Frantz Joseph. Al-Shaair has also committed to returning to FAU for his senior year rather than going for the NFL.

By the end of the 50-3 victory, the Owls gained 582 yards compared to Akron’s 146. Singletary rushed for 124 yards, while Kalib Woods (79), Wright (71) and Kamrin Solomon (71) led the way with receiving yards. Since 2000, only two other bowl games had larger margins of victory.

Driskel and Al-Shaair were named the offensive and defensive MVPs, respectively. Driskel finished the game 19-of-25 passing, with two passing and two rushing touchdowns. Al-Shaair finished with 13 tackles and a sack.

The Owls reached 11 wins for the first time since 2003.

“Sitting here one year and one week ago, no one would believe this other than maybe me,” Kiffin said. “It is just awesome to see. I am proud of these players.”

The FAU fans are proud of them too as the 25,912 in attendance witnessed the team tie the program record of 11 wins in a season, which hasn’t happened since 2003.

Now after celebrating their Boca Raton Bowl victory, Kiffin and the Owls will soon look forward to kicking off next season with their 11th straight victory on Sept. 1 in Oklahoma.

 

About the Author

- Michael Demyan is the associate editor and reporter for The Boca Raton Tribune. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University where he received a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Twitter: @michaeldemyan

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  1. Randy Demyan says:

    Couldn’t be prouder of you Michael. Well written story. Randy Demyan, Medina, oh.

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