In his surprisingly quick return from a groin injury, Davidson rushed for 144 yards and a career high three touchdowns. The redshirt freshman missed only one week
Davidson was the workhorse in the FAU backfield. The running back took 17 of the Owls carries. He missed setting a career high for rushing yards in a game by only five yards, having rushed for 149 in a victory over Middle Tennessee earlier this season.
“Malcolm’s an extremely explosive player,” FAU coach Lane Kiffin said. “He’s been really banged up or else you’re looking at a really special year.”
The victory is FAU’s 13th in the 17-game series. With the win, FAU (7-3, 5-1) is assured of a bowl berth.
The Owls rushing attack rushed for 261 yards and Davidson’s three scores. It is the most yards FAU has rushed for this season and the second time the Owls have hit over 200 plus rushing yards in a game.
Davidson opened the scoring with a 10-yard run on the Owls’ first drive of the game. FAU led 13-7 t half but used two scores in the first five six minutes of the second half to put the game away. Harrison Bryant’s 5-yard catch capped the opening drive of the second half. Bryant also caught the ensuing two-point conversion.
Davidson’s second score, a 6-yarder, came after cornerback Chris Tooley forced fumble inside the FIU 20 yard line. His final score, a 23-yard run in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, provided the Owls with their final touchdown. He claimed the Shula Bowl MVP.
FAU’s defense held the FIU offense in check throughout the game, limiting the Panthers to 304 total yards – 75 of which came on their lone touchdown from running back Napoleon Maxwell in the second quarter.
“I think the story is our defense,” Kiffin said. “We limited them to one big play.”
The Owls’ offense moved the ball freely against FIU, recording 579 total yards. Quarterback Chris Robison completed 22 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown.
The Owls heads into the bye and will head to San Antonio to take on the Road Runners November 23rd.