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.