BOCA RATON – Having entered the Top 10 in our countdown of the Top 25 FAU Games Ever Played, we’ve changed the format a bit. We’ll delve a little deeper into each game and implications on FAU’s athletic department.
We’ve also asked some guest contributors to provide their thoughts on the games and the rankings.
Landing at No. 9 is a game that capped one of the best seasons in athletic department history.
No. 9 FAU Game Ever Played:
FAU Football 50, Akron 3 (Boca Bowl, Dec. 19, 2017)
FAU went nearly a decade without appearing in a bowl game, but the Owls returned to the postseason in Lane Kiffin’s first season.
Coming off an undefeated demolition of Conference USA opponents FAU earned a berth to the Boca Raton Bowl. At the time, many considered that invitation a disappointment. The Owls were looking to be rewarded for their breakout season with a trip to some exotic destination. Instead they stayed home – and everything worked out for the best. Especially on the field.
A heavy favorite over Akron, the Owls started somewhat slowly against the Zips. FAU led 14-3 before getting the ball back at its own 13 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the first half. Rather than running out the clock, FAU swiftly covered 87 yards with time to spare. Devin Singletary’s 30th touchdown of the season sent the Owls into the locker room up 21-3.
FAU pummeled Akron in the second half. Quarterback Jason Driskel threw for 270 yards and two scores on the night. He also rushed for two touchdowns en route to earning Offensive MVP honors. Singletary added two more second-half touchdowns. Only Montee Ball and Barry Sanders ever rushed for more than Singletary’s 32 touchdowns on the season.
Below is our highlight video from the game.
For the third time in as many games, FAU fans rushed the field in celebration.
And with the Boca Bowl being the lone bowl game on the day, FAU treated a national audience to the cannonball express that was the Lane Train.
The Fan Experience – Wajih AlBaroudi, current OwlAccess.com journalist
FAU’s 50-3 annihilation of Akron was the cherry on top of the most magical season in program history.
Not because it marked 10 straight wins or the first bowl victory in nearly a decade, but because it made FAU football matter for the younger generation. That game transformed the team’s perception from pushovers to players on the national stage.
See, the year before that – my first as an FAU student – I didn’t step foot in FAU Stadium. Why should I – or any of my classmates, for that matter – have? The team was lousy, the stadium was a ghost town; there were a lot more interesting things to do in South Florida.
When Lane Kiffin took the Owls’ coaching job in December 2016, however, I committed to seeing one or two games the following season. Little did I know the thrilling on-field product would draw me to all but one of their home appearances.
Having a college football team to take pride in was invigorating. My school – which I was no longer reluctant to claim – was blowing out every team on the schedule, and the Boca Raton Bowl was no different.
I traded my fandom for a media credential the ensuing spring, but that 2017 season will always hold a special place in my heart. And the Boca Raton Bowl is my biggest memory from it.
Previous FAU Top 25 Game Rankings