The entire offense was in a groove, as they netted 460 first-half yards on their way to a 41-7 halftime lead. Jason Driskel completed 18 of his 27 passes for 237-yards, including a nice 69 yard touchdown pass to Willie Wright. Driskel was also effective in the running game, rushing four times for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Not to be out-done, the FAU defense also had a big half. Holding the UNT Mean Green to just 145 first-half yards and only 7 points, the Owl defense flew around the field and kept the momentum built by the offense. The Owls forced three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble recovery) in the first half, and the two interceptions added to a season total that has the secondary ranked 5th in the country in interceptions.
The second-half saw more of the same for the Owls, as both sides of the ball continued their excellent play. The offense racked up 344 more yards of total offense, bringing them to 804-yards for the game. This set a C-USA record (as well as the FAU record) for yards in a game and was the second most yards in any FBS game played this season. Jason Driskel continued to be impressive and finished his night by completing 24 of his 35 passes for 357-yards and two touchdowns before being replaced in the 3rd quarter.
Devin Singletary finished the game with 17 carries for 123-yards, as they began to cycle in other running backs during the second half. Head Coach Lane Kiffin was asked about Singletary’s performance and if he were to give a Madden rating for him. Kiffin joked, “He can’t be a 99 because his top-end speed is a little bit questionable, but he’s probably about a 91.”
Although Kiffin was joking about the rating, Singletary’s performance really was impressive. His three touchdowns (all in the first half) led him to set the FAU single-season record for rushing touchdowns. With almost the entire second-half of the season left to play, he has set himself up to set a high bar for future players to strive for.
Another record was set by the Owls, as running-back Kerrith Whyte broke off an 82-yard rushing touchdown, the longest touchdown in FAU history.
The defense gave up 24 second-half points (including a touchdown in the final minute of the game) but overall were successful as the offense continued to grow its lead. Three first-half turnovers allowed the offense to keep the pressure on the UNT defense, and the Owls were able to get the 2nd and 3rd team late reps because of the lead.
The victory was a statement for the FAU Owls, who are now 3-0 in conference play. In back-to-back weeks, the offense has broken its record for total yards and points in a game, and the defense has continued its great work, creating turnovers and opportunities for the offense to get back on the field. The Owls 4-3 overall record doesn’t look great on paper, but rebounding from an 0-2 start to win four of their last five games does, and if they can continue this momentum, they will make some noise as they approach the C-USA championship game.
FAU will next travel to Western Kentucky to take on the Hilltoppers next Saturday at 4:30 p.m.