No. 2: FAU Blazes to C-USA Crown
BOCA RATON – Following a 34-31 loss at Buffalo that left FAU with a 1-3 record in non-conference play, expectations weren’t exactly high for the Owls entering Conference USA play.
The Owls, though, opened C-USA play by avenging an embarrassing loss at MTSU the year prior, defeating the Blue Raiders 38-20.
From there the Owls never looked back. The following week Jason Driskel rushed for four of FAU’s eight rushing touchdowns, part of a 58-point outburst in a blowout of Old Dominion.
A week later the Owls tore up their own record book by torching what was thought to be a pretty good North Texas team 69-31.
After beating defending C-USA champ Western Kentucky by two touchdowns, the Owls downed traditional C-USA power Marshall 30-25 in what turned out to be the only FAU conference game decided by single digits.
FAU won its remaining three C-USA regular season games by at least 19 points, landing the Owls in their first ever conference championship game.
The rematch against North Texas wasn’t as high scoring, but was never really in doubt. The Owls pounded the Mean Green 41-17 before fans joined them on the field to celebrate the first Conference USA football title in program history.
What We Wrote
- QB Battle to Carry into C-USA Play
- Driskel, FAU De-throne Monarchs
- FAU Dominates North Texas in Battle of C-USA Frontrunners
- Kiffin Says FAU Turnaround “Not Normal”
- FAU Achieves Perfction – Kind of – Against Charlotte
- FAU Wins First C-USA Title
- An Absolute Rush
Why It’s Important
Winning the conference title is the goal of every football team at the start of the season – a goal Lane Kiffin reiterated on Wednesday during FAU’s #WinningInParadise coaches tour.
In Kiffin’s first year, FAU did exactly that in dominating fashion.
Prior to Kiffin’s arrival, FAU had been more chump than champ in Conference USA play. Since joining C-USA for the 2013 season, the Owls had never won more than four conference games in a season.
With 2017’s nine wins in C-USA play FAU nearly matched it’s C-USA win total of 11 from the previous four years combined.
FAU played entertaining football in Conference USA play. Devin Singletary ran wild. Driskel piloted the offense with aplomb. Azeez Al-Shaair refused to allow ball carriers room to operate. Jalen Young patrolled the secondary, intercepting passes at a rate that drew national attention.
The Owls left little doubt as to the best team in Conference USA.
The season culminated with a Boca Raton Bowl victory a couple weeks later, and while winning that game proved to be a nice reward for FAU, winning the Conference USA title game – and the eight games prior – is the bigger accomplishment.
And that run set FAU up as the favorite to win the C-USA title in 2018.
No. 10: Construction Begins on Schmidt Complex
No. 9: Stranded in Wisconsin
No. 8: Curry Out, May In
No. 7: Constant QB Battle
No. 6: Change at the Top
No. 5: Baseball Keeps Rolling
No. 4: Boca Bowl Bliss
No. 3: Motor’s Historic Run
No. 2: Conference USA Title Time
No. 1 : The Lane Train Express