Not known for its defense, No. 7 Oklahoma limited Singletary to 69 yards on 18 carries in a 49-point victory over FAU in the season-opener for both teams. The back known as “Motor” didn’t log one carry after his five-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.
“We just got outplayed, that’s all it was,” Singletary said.
Singletary led the nation by rushing for 32 touchdowns in 2017 – the third highest total ever in a single NCAA season. His 1,920 yards ranked third, nationally.
His performance as a sophomore prompted FAU to erect billboards along I-95 with Singletary’s photo on it proclaiming “Heisman in Paradise.”
But non-Power Five players rarely receive recognition for national end-of-the-year honors. Those who do can almost always point to at least one outstanding performance against a Power Five program. Saturday was Singletary’s only real chance to do that.
He did dazzle on a few early runs, leaving some Oklahoma defenders diving at air, but Singletary needed to to eclipse the 100 yard plateau on Saturday, and he didn’t come close. He needed a couple of touchdowns, but only scored once.
Singletary did catch one pass out of the backfield, a 13-yard gain on fourth down that kept his touchdown-scoring drive alive, but like the rest of the Owls he came up short on Saturday. He couldn’t win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, but he could eliminate himself from contention. With FAU’s 63-14 loss, that’s exactly what happened.
“Obviously you can’t let one game define your season,” Singletary said. “We’re going to learn from it. We’re going to digest it and keep moving forward.”
GameBrowser: No. 7 Oklahoma (1-0) 63, FAU (0-1) 14
TURNING POINT: Really, fans learned all they would need to know even before the first snap, when officials penalized the Owls for delay of game. FAU looked ragged and ill-prepared in all three aspects of the game and never really managed to get rolling.
- All the focus on the quarterback battle this fall obscured some other issues. FAU has three new coordinators – offense, defense and special teams – and not one of those units looked even adequate compared to last season.
- The kicking game is especially worrisome for FAU. Sebastian Riella took way too long getting his punts off, and Oklahoma blocked the only punt that it rushed. Kickoffs came up well short of the goal line. These kinds of shortcomings will cost FAU in close games.
- The good news about FAU’s non-physical fall camp was that the Owls emerged mostly healthy heading into the season. The bad news was that FAU’s defense proved to be shockingly bad at tackling. Is it too late to start tackling in practices?
- As poorly as FAU played, it’s useful to remember that Oklahoma is one of the best teams in the nation – a playoff team last year. The loss is only one loss, and FAU did lose its opener last season. The Owls were never going to win the national championship this year, but the Conference USA title is still theirs to lose.
BY THEN NUMBERS:
2 – Tight end formation employed by FAU to start the game. Harrison Bryant and John Raine drew the starting assignments.
4 – Catches covering 57 yards for FAU WR Pico Harrison, who surprisingly got the start for FAU. The yards led FAU’s receivers, while the catches tied with Jovon Durante and Willie Wright for the most among Owls.
5 – Touches by Durante in the first half, three catches and two runs. Quarterback Chris Robison also missed a wide open Durante a couple times.
6 – Penalties committed by FAU in the game, all of them coming in the first half.
9 – Tackles by Rashad Smith to lead the Owls.
10.5 – Yards averaged by the Sooners on their 62 plays.
15 – Kickoff return yards by linebacker Akileis Leroy. The upback fielded a short kick for the lone FAU kickoff return of the game, so he officially leads FAU in kick return yardage.
20 – First downs for FAU. Because the Sooners kept hitting big plays, Oklahoma only managed 26.
74 – Plays run by FAU’s offense, 12 more than Oklahoma ran.
100 – Rushing yards on five carries for Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson. He scored twice.
605 – Total yards of offense for Oklahoma. FAU managed 324.
UP NEXT: FAU welcomes Air Force to Boca Raton on Sunday for the Owls’ home opener. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.