Akron Zips

Associated Press

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.

CFT Previews: Your Dec. 19 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

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Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 19 bowl menu, which, after the “opening weekend” buffet of five bowl games, is more like a snack than anything remotely resembling a meal. This one, though, features the Lane Train rolling into the postseason station.

WHO: Akron (7-6) vs. Florida Atlantic (10-3)
WHAT: The 4th Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
WHERE: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida
WHEN: 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: This game is easily, in the minds of the wagering establishment at least, the biggest mismatch of bowl season, one of just three games — UCF (+10) vs. Auburn, Peach Bowl; Southern Miss (+16) vs. Florida State, Independence Bowl — remaining on the postseason schedule that features double-digit point spreads.  In his first season with the Owls, Lane Kiffin has the Owls sitting at 10-3 and winners of nine in a row, including nine in a row for one of the longest winning streaks in the country.  FAU also features the No. 9 scoring offense in the nation (39.8 ppg) and is 14th in total offense (508.6 ypg).  Akron, meanwhile, is tied for 60th in scoring defense (26.3 ppg) and gives up 432.2 yards per game, 98th overall at this level.  Oh, and did we mention that the Owls will be playing in the comfy confines of their home stadium, where they are 6-1 this season and winners of six straight?  The Zips did qualify for the MAC championship game, which they promptly dropped by 17 to Toledo.  This game has all the making of a lopsided affair, with anything other than that, especially a Zips win, marking a monumental upset.  History doesn’t appear to be on the Midwestern squad’s side, either, as each of the first three Boca Raton Bowls by at least 15 points.  So, maybe we’re due for a close one — or even an upset?  Nah, never mind.
THE LINE: Akron, +23½
THE PREDICTION: Florida Atlantic 51, Akron 17

Final 2017 College Football Bowl Projections

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Sad as it is to say, the 2017 college football campaign in on its last legs and is moving on to the final phase: the postseason. While it’s a bummer that we only have a handful of games left in the year, the excitement is also about to pick up even more because it means the chase for the national title is down to four in the College Football Playoff.

With all that in mind, CFTalk decided to peer into our crystal ball and take a look at the postseason picture one final time — figuring out which teams wind up in certain bowl games prior to the official announcements on Sunday afternoon. Running through all the scenarios, here’s how the bowl picture could play out from the final four to the very first one on December 16th:

College Football Playoff

Bowl Teams
Rose Bowl No. 2 Oklahoma* No. 3 Georgia*
Sugar Bowl No. 1 Clemson* No. 4 Alabama

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl UCF* Notre Dame
Fiesta Bowl USC* Penn State
Orange Bowl Miami Wisconsin
Cotton Bowl Ohio State* Auburn

2017 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
New Orleans Bowl Troy North Texas
Cure Bowl Marshall Georgia State
Las Vegas Bowl Arizona Boise State
New Mexico Bowl Colorado State UTSA
Camellia Bowl Akron Arkansas State
Boca Raton Bowl Temple Florida Atlantic
Frisco Bowl SMU UCLA
Gasparilla Bowl Western Kentucky FIU
Bahamas Bowl UAB+ Ohio+
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Wyoming Northern Illinois
Birmingham Bowl USF West Virginia
Armed Forces Bowl Army+ Southern Miss
Dollar General Bowl Toledo App. State
Hawaii Bowl Fresno State Houston
Cactus Bowl Kansas State Oregon
Quick Lane Bowl Central Michigan Purdue
Heart of Dallas Bowl Texas Tech Utah
Independence Bowl Louisiana Tech Duke
Pinstripe Bowl Boston College Iowa
Texas Bowl Texas Missouri
Foster Farms Bowl San Diego State Washington State
Military Bowl Virginia Navy
Camping World Bowl N.C. State Oklahoma State
Alamo Bowl TCU Washington
Holiday Bowl Michigan State Stanford
Belk Bowl Texas A&M Wake Forest
Sun Bowl Florida State Arizona State
Music City Bowl Kentucky Northwestern
TaxSlayer Bowl Louisville Mississippi State
Liberty Bowl Iowa State Memphis
Arizona Bowl Utah State N.M. State
Outback Bowl South Carolina Michigan
Citrus Bowl Virginia Tech LSU

+Accepted bowl invite

*Clinched New Year’s Six Bowl bid

Note: Buffalo, Middle Tennessee and Western Michigan also qualified for a bowl but were not selected