FAU Sets C-USA Yardage Record in Manhandling of Mean Green
Florida Atlantic won their third game in a row and remained undefeated in Conference USA action with a 69-31 drubbing of North Texas on Saturday at Schnellenberger Field.
And for the second time in as many weeks, the Owls posted a program record for points and total yards while being less than seven point favorites.
This time they did it against the C-USA western division leader, in statement fashion.
The 804 total yards gained by FAU (4-3, 3-0 C-USA) broke a league record for most yards in a game. The original record was 791 set by Tulsa in 2008.
"Very proud of the players, there were some obstacles in this game when you look at handling success", said Head Coach Lane Kiffin. "The challenge was can we maintain that, can we improve…I think they did that."
Florida Atlantic started fast and never looked back as the surging Owls capped a 24-0 opening quarter scoring effort with a 69 yard pass from Jason Driskel to Willie Wright.
The scoring effort was the second most points in a quarter since achieving a program best 30 points against the same Mean Green back in 2009.
After turning the ball over two of thier first three possesions, UNT was able to break their drought with a 75 yard scoring drive.
But the second turnover forced by the FAU secondary kept the mean Green grounded with thier lowest output for a half since losing to Iowa earlier in the season.
The Owls would take a 41-7 lead into the locker room after Devin Singletary changed direction on a 22 yard scamper into the endzone, giving him a program record 14th touchdown just seven games into the year, and Greg Joseph nailed his 2nd fieldgoal.
The 41 points tallied by FAU was a program high at the D1 level of play and narrowly missed the all-time mark of 44 set against Siena College in 2003.
Singletary's 39 yard screen pass from Driskel, which frustrated the North Texas defense further, set up Harrison Bryant becoming the 2nd Owl to catch a touchdown pass and stretched the margin to 47-10.
Driskel (pictured) posted his best passing performance of the year behind a 24-of-35 effort for 357 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions.
"To go out and throw for 357 (yards) when he really didn't throw the ball at all in the fourth quarter at all, that's about as good as we could hope for", Kiffin said.
Running out of time, UNT (4-3, 3-1 C-USA) picked up a score but immediately gave up a pair of reciprocal efforts.
Running back Kerrith Whyte raced 82 yards to the end zone, and John Franklin busted a 55 yard rush out of the wildcat formation to make the score an astounding 69-17.
With the reserve nows in for Florida Atlantic, North Texas added thier final touchdowns.
Kicker Greg Joseph scored 15 points – two field goals and nine PATs – to break his own record of 14 points scored kicking at Tulsa in 2015.
Willie Wright led the receivers with eight catches for 141 yards and a score while Bryant had seven receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Singletary carried 17 times for 123 yards, leading the FAU corps that rushed for 447 yards, just six shy of the all-time record.
Defensivley, Chris Tooley and Shelton Lewis accounted for an interception each, and Azeez Al-Shaair notched a game high 14 total tackles.
"I think they are starting to figure out that this is what we're supposed to do", Kiffin said of the team's performance. "That's great, go enjoy it, but get ready to go play a team that I believe has been the top of the conference for a while around here."
Those words are fitting considering the Owls will next travel to Bowling Green for an important east division matchup against defending champions Western Kentucky, who is 3-1 in league play and narrowly lost to Louisiana Tech 23-22 in their single setback.
FAU owns a 5-3 series advantage over the Hilltoppers but will be looking to avenge an embarassing 52-3 defeat last season at home.
The game will kick-off at 4:30 PM and can be seen on streaming affiliate Stadium and locally on WTCN My15.