FAU clinches 1st bowl birth since 2008 with 1st ever win over Marshall

Written by Brian Pohl
Boca Raton, FL- The FAU Owls squared off against the Marshall Thundering Herd in a C-USA Eastern Division showdown, which saw a back and forth contest of two different offensive styles. The up-tempo offense of FAU and the shotgun offense of the Herd battled until the Owls put the game away in the 4th quarter by a final score of 30-25.

The victory marks the first time in program history that the Owls have beaten the Herd and several players were asked how it felt to beat Marshall for the first time in school history. They all explained the feeling as “surreal,” with several upper-classmen talking about how far the program has come in the short time under head coach Lane Kiffin.

FAU started the game fast and furious. Receiving the ball first, the Owls marched right down the field, scoring as quarterback Jason Driskel went untouched into the end zone for their first score of the game. The up-tempo offense of FAU gave the Marshall defense fits to start the game, as the Owls were able to score on their first two possessions, and push their lead to 16-3 at the half after a field goal from kicker Greg Joseph.

Marshall came out firing in the second-half, scoring quickly on their first possession. An onside-kick immediately gave the Herd the ball back and momentum seemed to be completely on their side as the game was tied at 16. FAU needed a big play to get the momentum back and this came from a trick play that saw senior wider receiver Kamrin Soloman throw a 64-yard pass to a wide-open running back in Devin Singletary, who took the ball into the end zone. This play gave the Owls the momentum back and they would take this momentum to the finish line.

Singletary continued his record-setting season, rushing for 203 yards on 28 carries, including a 66-yard run that tied his career long. A rushing touchdown in the third quarter moves his season total to 19 on the season, as he continues to create separation in the record books. Driskel was accurate, but wasn’t called upon to be a deep ball threat as he completed 11 of his 17 passes for just 104 yards.

The Marshall offensive game plan was to control the clock, with long sustaining drives to keep the FAU offense off the field. This was effective mostly in the second-half, with the Herd holding the ball for 34:53 for the game. Marshall quarterback Chase Litton completed 20 of his 39 passes for two touchdowns, but it was his four interceptions that proved to be the difference in the game.

The FAU defense continues to be highlighted by its impressive backfield unit. Four interceptions in the game added to their already 11 on the season, bringing them to 15 on the season. The Owls lead the nation in interceptions and their continued success will be key to how far this team can go. Junior defensive back Jalen Young had three of the teams four interceptions, which tied the FAU record for interceptions in the game. Young now leads the team with 10 interceptions on the season.

The game was tightly contested until the end and Kiffin was asked about the difference in feeling between winning by a large margin and these tightly contested games. He joked, “I like those [large margins] more.” This victory makes FAU bowl eligible for the first time since the 2007 season, but the Owls aren’t satisfied. Kiffin said of the feat, “I know our players are excited about that, but our goals are to win the division and win the conference, so let’s go do that.”

FAU will next travel to Louisiana to take on LA Tech in another C-USA showdown on 11/11 at 3:30 p.m.

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