BOCA RATON – As Lane Kiffin puts the finishing touches on his first recruiting class with Florida Atlantic, the Owls announced who the fifth coach in program history will be playing in 2017.
FAU’s offers two tough assignments to begin the Kiffin era, Navy at home on Sept. 2 and at Wisconsin the following Saturday.
As was the case in each of the last two seasons, FAU will play four of their six home games against C-USA opponents: Middle Tennessee, which put up 77 points against the Owls in the 2016 season finale, North Texas, Marshall, and FIU, which will come to town on November 18 for the 16th annual Shula Bowl.
Middle Tennessee and North Texas were two of the seven Conference USA teams that qualified for bowls this past season. Navy also played in a bowl game, losing to Conference USA’s own Louisiana Tech on December 23.
Road C-USA games in 2017 include trips to Old Dominion, Western Kentucky – which gave FAU their worst home loss in program history with a 52-3 drubbing on October 29 – Louisiana Tech, and Charlotte.
The Owls will be facing the Bulldogs for the first time in Conference USA play.
FAU’s season finale against Charlotte will be a rematch of last season’s ‘Fail Mary’ game in which a game-winning Hail Mary pass from Jason Driskel to Kamrin Solomon was originally ruled a catch before being overturned following replay review.
None of the three teams that FAU defeated in 2016 – Southern Illinois, Rice, and the University of Texas-El Paso – are on the Owls 2017 schedule. Three C-USA teams that beat the Owls by seven points or less in 2016, however, are on the schedule: FIU, Charlotte, and Marshall.
FAU’s four non-conference games – home matches against Navy and Bethune-Cookman, the former of which is the season opener, and road showdowns with Wisconsin and Buffalo – had already been known.
Conference USA announced that the 2017 season will mark the return of a ‘multi-year schedule rotation’ that was previously shelved for standalone schedules because of realignment. This multi-year rotation will be in place for the next several seasons, the conference confirmed.
UAB, which dropped it’s football program following the 2014 season, re-launches its program in 2017. The Blazers will play in Conference USA’s West Division, giving the conference 14 teams – seven in each division, allowing the schedule rotation to return.
No official kickoff times for games have been announced yet, nor has Conference USA announced television coverage for any of the Owls’ games in 2017. Radio wise, all FAU games will continue to be broadcast on ESPN 106.3.
Conference USA’s championship game will be held on Dec. 2.
FAU Football 2017 Schedule
Sept. 2 – Navy
Sept. 9 – at Wisconsin
Sept. 16 – Bethune-Cookman
Sept. 23 – at Buffalo
Sept. 30 – Middle Tennessee*
Oct. 7 – at Old Dominion *
Oct. 14 – Bye
Oct. 21 – North Texas *
Oct. 28 – at WKU *
Nov. 4 – Marshall *
Nov. 11 – at Louisiana Tech *
Nov. 18 – FIU *
Nov. 25 – at Charlotte *
*Denotes C-USA game