FAU WINS 2017 CHERIBUNDI TART CHERRY BOCA RATON BOWL!
JASON DRISKEL, DEVON SINGLETARY LEAD FLORIDA ATLANTIC OVER AKRON
50-3 IN CHERIBUNDI TART CHERRY BOCA RATON BOWL
Florida Atlantic converts five fourth downs, including three for touchdowns
Boca Raton, Florida – Jason Driskel threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for two more scores, to earn Offensive MVP honors and lead Florida Atlantic over Akron 50-3 in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Bowl Raton Bowl.
Devin Singletary added 124 yards rushing and three touchdowns, setting a Conference USA single-season record with 33 total touchdowns, including 32 rushing.
The Owls (11-3) racked up 582 yards of offense, converting five fourth downs, including three four touchdowns.
“It was an unbelievable day, I can’t imagine it being better. These stories don’t happen often. You don’t just come to FAU and win 11 games. These kids aren’t even playing close games,” said FAU head coach Lane Kiffin. “You don’t win bowl games 50-3. Sitting here one year and one week ago, no one would believe this other than me maybe. It’s just awesome to see. I am proud of these players.”
FAU took a 7-0 lead after converting a fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line as Driskel found Willie Wright wide open in the end zone.
The Owls then converted their second fourth down for a touchdown when Driskel scored on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal with 5:35 before halftime, giving the Owls a 14-3 lead.
On their first possession in the third quarter, the Owls did it once more as Singletary scored on a 2-yard run on fourth-and-goal, giving FAU a 28-3 lead.
“I told the players before the game ‘We believe in you’ and we go for it on fourth down more than anybody in the country,” added Kiffin. “All these analytics say we are more aggressive, but that’s because we believe in the players and they respond.”
While the Owls offense was unstoppable, the defense did its part, holding Akron to just 146 yards of total offense and just 77 yards passing. Azeez Al-Shaair was named Defensive MVP after leading FAU with 13 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss.
“Our defense played really well against a tough quarterback. Our guys came out, played strong and finished that last half together. That was the best half we have ever played and they dominated.”
Akron was forced to punt with 1:43 before halftime and the Owls capitalized once again. The Owls needed only four plays to go 87 yards, which was sparked by a 63-yard reception by Kamrin Solomon from Driskel. Singletary then capped the drive with his 30th rushing touchdown of the season.
“There’s not much I can tell you that you didn’t see. We just got whipped,” said Akron coach Terry Bowden. “I mean, they didn’t punt until the very end. We couldn’t stop them. I told our players, ‘That’s a butt kicking that we won’t forget’ But, before it’s all over, we’re going to remember the season our program had this year.”
FAU finishes the season at 11-3, tying the program’s best record in school history when the Owls also went 11-3 in 2003. Akron finishes 7-7.