Owls Continue to Set Records Under Kiffin in Rout of Old Dominion
On December 13th, 2016, when FAU hired Lane Kiffin as the successor to then Head Coach Charlie Partridge, change was expected.
So far, with two record setting rushing nights to his credit in the span of just four games, and now the most points scored, he has proven a wise choice.
Coat tailing behind his first program win against Bethune Cookman, Florida Atlantic had the run game in record motion yet again on Saturday night as they moved to 2-0 for the first time since joining C-USA after knocking off Old Dominion 58-28 in Norfolk.
The Owls posted 439 yards on the ground in their 45-0 win against the Wildcats.
Tonight they rushed for a trio of new program records including 453 yards on 69 carries for eight touchdowns, and ran a whopping 91 plays which culminated into another all time mark of 58 points scored.
"We were like Navy today", Kiffin said. "If you rush the ball for eight touchdowns in a game, then you're going to win a lot of games."
FAU received a punishing performance from the usual combination of Devin Singletary and Gregory Howell but also rode the legs of quarterback Jason Driskel for four touchdowns and 92 yards on the ground.
"Ironically five of the touchdown rushes came from the quarterback position", commented Kiffin.
The secondary matched and exceeded last week's showing against Middle Tennessee (3) with four interceptions to their credit.
After nearly being forced to start from thier own two yard line, the Owls opened the game with a 17 play drive spanning just over five minutes. They were held out of the endzone and settled for a 20 yard field goal from Greg Joseph.
Old Dominion counter punched with a balanced 75 yard drive that needed just eight plays while landing the game's first touchdown and a 7-3 lead.
However the Owls would post 21 straight points to regain control.
Driskel converted a third down play to tight end Harrison Bryant to keep FAU's second offensive stanza alive before notching his first rushing score of the season from 11 yards away and put them back on top.
Jalen Young's seventh career interception, and second on the year, set Florida Atlantic (3-3, 2-0 C-USA) up for another touchdown as Devin Singletary (201 yards, 2 TD) took it in from 12 yards out.
Chris Tooley added injury to insult when he ended the Monarch's next drive into Owl territory prematurely with another interception.
That allowed Buddy Howell (109 yards) to pass the 2,000 career mark as he put FAU up 24-7 from two yards away on the ensuing Owl possession.
Late in the half, Driskel snuck through the center of the Monarch line, and employed a strong stiff arm, en route to a 39 yard scramble to the end zone and FAU led 31-14 at intermission.
Driskel (pictured) ran for his third score of the night in answer Old Dominion's 2nd half opening scoring drive, giving him a career high while Singletary matched that number soon thereafter as the Owls had the rout on.
Ocie Rose's interception gave the Owls back-to-back weeks with three turnovers in pass defense until another was added by Rashad Lewis.
"Our DB's can play in any conference in the country, so we should be able to lead the country in interceptions", said Kiffin. "And we're trying to do it."
Driskel then posted his fourth rushing score to give the Owls a season high 51 points.
"They played really wide at the defensive ends, so when they do that they take away your running back on those read plays", Kiffin said. "Really good job by our coaches, Coach Briles called a great game."
The Monarchs took advantage of a comfortable FAU defense as Jeremy Cox (206 yards, 2 TD) rushed 75 yards to complete Old Dominion's (2-3, 1-2 C-USA) scoring.
Reserve quarterback John Franklin took over for Driskel late the game, dashing his way to a touchdown which gave the position five on the night for Florida Atlantic.
Azeez Al-Shaair was the leading tackler for the Owls with 10 to his credit overall, and four solo efforts.
Ahead in the league standings at 2-0, FAU will have next weekend off before returning to action in a Homecoming showdown against North Texas on October 21st at 5:00 PM.
"We've got a lot of work to do to get better if we want to stay in first place", said Kiffin.
The 2007 Sun Belt Conference and New Orleans Bowl Championship Team will be honored during the game.