Florida Atlantic won thier six straight game on Saturday in a 48-23 defeat of the Bulldogs in Rustin.
"I'm just excited that they're getting to do these things and that they are getting national recognition for thier work", said head Coach Lane Kiffin."
It took a while but the run game finally got going after being quiet for the first half of play.
LA Tech (4-6, 2-4 C-USA) enjoyed advantages in both total yards (512-415) and time of possession (39:53 - 20:07) but were kept at bay effectively while in the redzone, where they scored just two touchdowns on six tries and had to settle for field goals while missing one.
"I think it's something our coaches instilled in us - a bend but don't break mentality", said linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair. "We know if we can limit them to field goals it's a completely different game."
In what has become a pattern as of late, the team set another program mark during the contest as Kerrith Whyte (photo) took a kick off the distance for the first time in program history - a mark which has stood for 17 years.
"We were just being patient and we finally got one", said Whyte. "When I saw the endzone I just thought "this has to be it right here'. History has been made."
Jason Driskel had his most proficient performance of the season completing 14-of-17 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
"We had schemed up some things and had some guys pretty open, but a lot of our offense is seeing what the defense gives us and giving our guys the ball in space", said Driskel. "Tonight we executed on the pass."
"We need that because it's not about one game if you're going to win a bowl or be a championship program", Kiffin said. "Today was really good…to get rid of the passing issue that we had."
Devin Singletary rushed for 104 yards and three scores, marking his eighth straight 100 yard effort, while overcoming a slow start in the first half.
With North Texas defeating UTEP tonight, they lock-up the west division title, setting up a potential rematch with the Owls at home for the Conference USA Championship.
FAU (7-3, 6-0 C-USA) defeated the Mean Green 69-31 earlier in the season while scoring the most points in program history.
In the meantime, Shula Bowl XVI is on deck, with FIU coming to Boca Raton while potentially seeking to keep the Owls out of their title hunt.
The contest has recently received a social media promotional push by fans for inclusion in the ESPN College Gameday schedule. On Saturday a banner stating "Come To #FAU" was flown over the set of the event held in Miami for the Hurricane's game against Notre Dame.
Kick-off is at 7:00 PM from Schnellenberger field and the gamw will be televised on WTCN My15 locally and streamed on Stadium.
- The Owls were brazen from the onset, going for it on 4th down from their own 21 yard line.
- Jason Driskel then found Kalib Woods for 36 yards and pushed FAU into the Bulldog redzone for Devin Singletary's four yard touchdown score and a 6-0 lead. A two point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
- LA Tech was forced to settle for a 23 yard field in their second possession after a strong showing on third down from the Owls' defense.
- Florida Atlantic wouldn't be as fortunate on their next fourth down attempt, failing to convert, but the Bulldogs were once again held to a field goal attempt and missed this time from just 26 yards away.
- For the second straight week the Owls used trickery when Driskel took a flea flicker and tossed to Woods for his longest touchdown strike on the season - 77 yards - in untouched fashion.
- Shifting to a wish bone formation, the third time was no charm for LA Tech in the redzone, as they were once again forced to attempt a kick. However they did convert to trail 13-6 with just over four minutes to go in the first half.
- Driskel once again shifted the passing game into gear with three straight completions that were capped by a 33 yard strike to tight end Harrison Bryant and a two touchdown lead.
- Still unable to find the endzone, the Bulldogs notched their third field goal as time expired to trail 20-9 at halftime.
- Kerrith Whyte took the second half kick-off to the house, giving the Owls their first return for a score in program history as the Owls moved ahead 27-9.
- Devin Singletary was held to just 16 yards on nine attempts for first half but rumbled for 23 yards in just three plays for his second score as the Owls continued to pull away.
- Ahead 34-9, FAU's defense continued their denial prowess as LA Tech failed to convert on a 4th and 11, but a Singletary fumble handed the ball back while they finally found pay dirt to trail 34-16.
- Singletary's next carry fared much better and was his longest of the game for 44 yards and his third touchdown. Woods made good on on the two point conversion.
- LA Tech scored again to make it a 42-23 affair, and the Owls added injury to insult with Buddy Howell taking it in for his fourth touchdown of the year on 4th and goal.
- The Owls point after was blocked.
- Daniel Parr took over for Driskel with just under 5:00 to go in the contest but did not attempt any throws.
- Woods finished with 118 yards on three catches to lead all receivers.
- Defensively, Al-Shaair was once again the team leader with 14 tackles, Rashad Smith added 10, and Chris Tooley seven.
- The Owls had nine total tackles for loss in the win.