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Old 12-20-2017, 12:41 AM
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Default Florida Atlantic 50 Akron 3
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University football team capped a historic 2017 season with their 10th straight victory, 50-3 over Akron, in Tuesday night's Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium.

Quarterback Jason Driskel, 19-of-25 passing for 270 yards and two touchdowns with 67 rushing yards and two more scores, was named Offensive MVP. Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, who had 13 tackles, 2.5 for a loss and a sack, was chosen as Defensive MVP.

"Really just an unbelievable day," said Head Coach Lane Kiffin. "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. Sitting here one year and one week ago, no one would believe this other than maybe me. It is just awesome to see. I am proud of these players."

Quick Hits
The Zips (7-7) won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Owls (11-3) drove into Akron territory, but a 44-yard field goal attempt missed wide right
Akron made it within the FAU 10, but on 3rd-and-goal, Jeremiah Taleni got a hit in on Zips' quarterback Kato Nelson, and Hunter Snyder wrapped him up for the sack and an 11-yard loss The Zips too would miss the field goal, wide right as well, from 38 yards out

The FAU offense found legs on the next drive, with completions from Driskel to John Raine for 23 yards and Kalib Woods for 15

Four plays later, on 4th-and-goal from the four-yard line, Driskel found Willie Wright wide open for the game's opening score. Coupled with Greg Joseph's extra point, the Owls took a 7-0 lead

Akron got on the board with a 19-yard field goal, with the FAU defense holding the Zips' ballcarriers to two yards, one yard and one yard - and out of the end zone - on the three plays prior

For the second straight drive, the Owls went for it on 4th down inside the Akron five, with Driskel keeping it for a 3-yard score, and Joseph was good again to make it 14-3

On the ensuing Akron drive, Al-Shaair notched his fifth and sixth tackles of the night on back-to-back plays, tying and then breaking Frantz Joseph's all-time mark of 346, cementing the record in just three seasons

The Owls got the ball back with 1:35 to go in the half, and wasted no time to march down the field and score. Driskel went over the top to Kamrin Solomon for 63 yards to the Akron 24, and hit "Motor" Devin Singletary with a screen pass for 13 more. Driskel rushed for five, then handed it off to Singletary for six yards and the score

That marked Singletary's 30th rushing touchdown of the season and 31st touchdown overall, both breaking his position coach Kevin Smith's all-time Conference USA records

He also became just the fifth FBS player in history to reach 30 rushing scores
The Owls took a 21-3 lead into the half, and a 250-122 total yard advantage to that point

After forcing a turnover on downs on Akron's first possession of the second half, the Owls boosted their lead
A Driskel-to-Woods five-yard score was overturned on review, but two plays later, and again on 4th down, the Owls found paydirt as Singletary went in from two yards out and a 28-3 lead. He had 40 rushing yards on the drive
After an Akron punt and a first down loss, Driskel rushed for 25 and "Buddy" Gregory Howell, Jr. had three carries for a total of 20 yards to take it to the Zips' 3. Driskel then notched his third passing touchdown of the night, and Wright's second, and Wright rushed in the two-point conversion to make it 36-3
Late in the third, the Owls got two sacks on the same drive, one on a combined stop by Snyder and Leighton McCarthy, and the other on third down by Rashad Smith

Singletary went for 14 on the ground on the first play of the subsequent series, and two plays later, Driskel connected with Woods for 43 yards to once again enter the red zone

Driskel went in on a keeper on the second play of the 4th quarter, his second rushing score, and Joseph's PAT pushed it to a 40-point advantage
Singletary's third score came on a 26-yard gain with 10:47 to go, and pushed him over the century mark in rushing for the 12th straight game. Ryan Rickel came on to kick the extra point to wrap the scoring

With that, his 32nd rushing score of the year, Singletary moved into third place all-time in FBS history, surpassing Colorado State's Kapri Bibbs and Keenan Reynolds of Navy, both achieved in 2013. His mark trails just Barry Sanders (37 for Oklahoma State in 1988) and Montee Ball (33 for Wisconsin in 2011)
His 33 total touchdowns is also third-highest all-time, behind only Ball's 39 and Sanders' 37

FAU outgained Akron on the night, 582-146. The Owl defense had 11 tackles for loss, five sacks and held the Akron rushing attack to 1.9 yards per carry, and the Zips offense to just 11 first downs and 3-of-15 on 3rd down
The 47-point margin is the largest in FBS history, and the 11 wins matches the all-time program record set in 2003

Pending UCF's result in the Peach Bowl on Jan. 1, the Owls will end the year with either the longest or second-longest win streak in FBS. The Knights are the only undefeated FBS team at 12-0, and will put that 12-g9ame streak on the line versus Auburn that afternoon

Singletary ended the game with 124 rushing yards and had three or more rushing scores for the seventh time this year

Wright led the receiving corps with seven catches and had 71 yards, while Woods had a team-high 79 yards and Solomon 71, both on four receptions
Al-Shaair's 13 tackles paced the squad, with Smith adding 10 and Jalen Young seven

The game was played before an announced attendance of 25,912

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Old 12-23-2017, 09:41 PM
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