Both backs seemed to get better as the game progressed.
“He was stronger in the fourth quarter,” Kiffin said. “That’s how Derrick was.”
Of the 244 yards Singletary compiled on the ground in Saturday’s 42-28 FAU victory at Western Kentucky, 144 of them came in the fourth quarter. Two of his four touchdowns, including the 60-yarder that set up the two-point conversion that tied the game at 28, came in the final 15 minutes.
Not only did Singletary get stronger as the game progressed, he retained the elusiveness that gives each run highlight potential.
In that manner he reminds Kiffin of another Heisman winner he coached – USC’s Reggie Bush.
“Making the first guy miss is similar to the Reggie part,” Kiffin said.
A 5-foot-9, 200-pound sophomore, Singletary carried the ball a career-high 36 times against the Hilltoppers, with 14 of those rushes coming in the fourth quarter.
“Honestly I didn’t know I had that many carries until all the way after the game, until I was on the bus and someone said I had 36 carries,” he said.
The 244 yard, four-touchdown performance prompted Conference USA media members to vote Singletary the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week. It’s the second consecutive week an FAU player claimed the award, with quarterback Jason Driskel earning the honor last week.
For Singletary, it’s the second time this year he’s won the award – although the first time he shared it with North Texas wide receiver Jalen Guyton for games played the final weekend of September.
Singletary’s statistics, however, are about more than one game. The Saturday’s rushing totals pushed him beyond the 1,000 yard rushing mark. He also broke Alfred Morris’ career rushing TD mark at FAU and now has 30 touchdowns in only 20 games as an Owl. His 18 rushing touchdowns lead the nation.
“As a whole, as running backs, even as an offense, we’ve got to lead the nation in something,” Singletary said. “Rushing was the main point, which we’ve still got a chance to do. To be leading in touchdowns, that’s good, too.”
The success of Singletary, who wears No. 5 and goes by the nickname “Motor,” has sparked a modest #MotorForHeisman campaign on social media from FAU fans and staffers.
On Sunday Kiffin tweeted: “Don’t get scared now #5forheisman #cometotheFAU” along with a brief video of an attacking Owl.
“That’s marketing,” Kiffin said. “I have no idea about, at this level, whether they pay attention to the guy’s play. A lot of them realistically could be. When you lead the country in touchdowns – and we really didn’t give him the ball in the first two games hardly at all – it’s pretty impressive.”
Against Navy and Wisconsin, the Owls’ first two opponents, Singletary carried the ball a combined 23 times for 94 yards, scoring only one touchdown,
On Monday. Singletary smiled at the Heisman talk.
“I guess you could say it’s fun,” Singletary said. “All the hard work we put in is paying off for people to be saying that. I guess we’re doing something right.”