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Temple adds future home-and-homes vs. Akron, UMass

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Here’s your (latest) sign that we’re plunging deeper into the heart of the 2018 college football offseason.

Temple announced Monday that it has added a pair of future home-and-home series, versus Akron and UMass. Akron will play host to Temple Sept. 11, 2021, with the Zips traveling to Philadelphia to open the 2023 season. UMass will host the first game of its home-and-home Oct. 10, 2020, with Temple closing it out with a home game Sept. 24, 2022.

The Owls and Zips were members of the MAC from 2007-2011 and met each of those five seasons. Temple won all five by a combined score of 178-46.

The Owls and Minutemen played even more recently, squaring off in a two-game series in 2015 and 2016. The two teams split those contests, the first of which was played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly and the second at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

Th school noted in its release that locations of the future games remain undetermined.

Longtime Florida State assistant, former NC State head coach Chuck Amato announces retirement

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One of the most prolific assistant coaches of his era has hung up his whistle. Chuck Amato, 71, announced his retirement from coaching on Monday.

“It’s been a while that I’ve been thinking about this.” Amato said in a statement. “Bobby Bowden preached for years the three ‘F’s– faith, family, and football– in that order.  My wife has a sister and brother who are not doing well right now, and I’ve got twin boys (grandsons) in my house, and they just kill me. I said to myself, ‘Maybe it’s time to go ahead and let someone else do it.’ Just be happy and glad.  I’ve been around. I’ve been to the top of the mountain twice, and if it wasn’t for a wide left and a wide right, there’d be five of them (national championships). But I’m ready to retire, and I have to find something to do. If anybody out there has something they can give me, call me.”

As referenced in his statement above, Amato is best known for his space in the Bowden orbit. He spent 21 seasons on Bowden’s staff, split into two stints. He was a key cog in helping Bowden built Florida State into the juggernaut it is today, working as the Seminoles’ defensive line coach from 1982-95 and then as linebackers coach from 1996-99. That success led him to the NC State head coaching job, where he went 49-37 in seven seasons from 2000-06. Amato’s Wolfpack peaked with an 11-3 record and a top-15 final ranking in both polls in 2002, but he was let go after a 3-9 campaign in ’06.

After that firing, Amato returned to Tallahassee’s to serve as the executive assistant to the head coach from 2007-09. Bowden retired after the 2009 season and Amato spent a couple seasons out of the game before returning as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator on Terry Bowden‘s staff at Akron, where he remained from 2012 until today.

A former NC State linebacker, Amato jumped into coaching at the Pennsylvania high school level in 1969 before returning to his alma mater from 1971-79. He spent two seasons at Arizona before first joining the Florida State staff in 1982.

“He was my right-hand man,” Bobby Bowden said Monday. “He handled many of my burdens. I would give him a job to do, and I knew it would be done. I told Chuck one time, ‘If I can keep you around, I could coach 25 more years.’  He assisted our defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews many of those years with great defenses. He is a dedicated husband and father (and grandfather).  Chuck never embarrassed any of the schools he coached. I could go on and on with superlatives. I wish Coach Amato and his family a happy life the rest of the way!”

Lane Kiffin says Akron at fault for FAU going for two up by 31

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The irascible Lane Kiffin was at it again Tuesday night.

With his FAU squad up 31 points on overmatched Akron in the third quarter of the Boca Raton Bowl, Kiffin opted to go for a two-point conversion instead of just kicking an extra point after a touchdown down put the Owls up 34-3.  Twitter howled at the lack of class, lack of sportsmanship (take your pick) displayed by the polarizing head coach.

After the 50-3 blowout win, Kiffin shed some additional light on the situation, intimating that the Zips have no one to blame but themselves for the Owls’ going for two in the midst of a blowout.

Regardless of how much of the 10-year contract he actually he actually coaches, Kiffin’s presence will make certain that the football program specifically and the university in general are in the spotlight nationally — as evidenced by the fact that FAU’s out-of-state applications are up 35 percent for next year’s fall semester.

Devin Singletary sets C-USA touchdown record as FAU rolls in Boca Raton Bowl

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We understand why the respective conferences have their reasons for not launching a Group of 5 playoff, but it sure would have been nice to see Florida Atlantic play UCF, Toledo, Troy or Boise State on Tuesday night. Because the 7-win champions of the MAC East were no match for Lane Kiffin‘s Owls, as Florida Atlantic cruised to a 50-3 win over Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Quarterback Jason Driskel and running back Devin Singletary starred for the 11-3 Owls, who closed the year on a 10-game winning streak that saw Florida Atlantic win by an average score of 46-21. Driskel completed 17-of-23 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing 13 times for 67 yards and two more scores. Singletary broke the Conference USA single-season rushing touchdown record — a mark held by former Central Florida running back and now Singletary’s position coach, Kevin Smith — with his first rushing touchdown and racked up 26 carries for 124 yards and three touchdowns.

Singletary, a sophomore, finished the season with 299 carries for 1,920 yards (6.42 a carry) for 32 touchdowns, five shy of tying Barry Sanders‘s FBS record.

After both teams missed field goals to open the game, Florida Atlantic opened the scoring with a 13-play, 79-yard drive that culminated in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Driskel to Willie Wright, putting FAU up 7-0 with 1:08 to play in the first quarter.

Akron answered with a 12-play march that killed more than five minutes but ended at the FAU 2-yard line. Rather than go for a fourth-and-goal from the FAU 2-yard line, Terry Bowden opted for a 19-yard Nick Gasser field goal.

Florida Atlantic responded with another long drive, this time consuming five and a half minutes over 14 plays before scoring on a 3-yard Driskel run with 5:38 left in the first half. The Owls forced a punt on Akron’s next possession, and on the first play of FAU’s next touch Driskel hit Kamrin Solomon for a 63-yard connection. Devin Singletary finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run with 37 seconds left before halftime, giving him 30 on the season — which set the Conference USA single-season record, breaking a tie with former Central Florida running back and current Florida Atlantic running backs coach Kevin Smith — to push the score at 21-3 at halftime.

Florida Atlantic forced a turnover on downs to open the second half, then notched Singletary’s second touchdown of the night, a 2-yard rush. That pattern continued for the rest of the night. Akron did not mount a serious threat, while Driskel and Wright added another touchdown connection (plus a Wright 2-point conversion) to push the lead to 36-3 to close the third quarter, Driskel rushed for a second score to open the fourth quarter, and Singletary closed his season with a 26-yard score to put Florida Atlantic at the half-a-hundred mark with 10:47 still to play.

As a team, Florida Atlantic racked up 577 yards of total offense with 29 first downs, while Akron (7-7) gained 146 yards of total offense with 11 first downs. Kato Nelson completed 9-of-15 passes for 80 yards while Manny Morgan led the Zips with 41 yards on 17 carries.

Florida Atlantic in control at Boca Raton Bowl

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Florida Atlantic hasn’t exactly picked up where it left off in throttling North Texas for the Conference USA championship two and a half weeks ago, but the Owls are in firm control in front of their home crowd halfway through the Boca Raton Bowl.

After both teams missed field goals to open the game, Florida Atlantic opened the scoring with a 13-play, 79-yard drive that culminated in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jason Driskel to Willie Wright, putting FAU up 7-0 with 1:08 to play in the first quarter.

Akron answered with a 12-play march that killed more than five minutes but ended at the FAU 2-yard line. Rather than go for a fourth-and-goal from the FAU 2-yard line, Terry Bowden opted for a 19-yard Nick Gasser field goal.

Florida Atlantic responded with another long drive, this time consuming five and a half minutes over 14 plays before scoring on a 3-yard Driskel run with 5:38 left in the first half. The Owls forced a punt on Akron’s next possession, and on the first play of FAU’s next touch Driskel hit Kamrin Solomon for a 63-yard connection. Devin Singletary finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run with 37 seconds left before halftime, giving him 30 on the season — which set the Conference USA single-season record, breaking a tie with former Central Florida running back and current Florida Atlantic running backs coach Kevin Smith — and gave FAU a 21-3 lead at the break. 

Driskel closed the half hitting 12-of-13 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown, and Singletary led all runners with 13 carries for 37 yards. FAU out-gained the Zips 250-120.

Akron will receive to open the second half.