COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP

Florida Atlantic runs wild in Boca Raton Bowl rout

Sports Xchange

December 19, 2017 at 10:41 pm.

Dec 19, 2017; Boca Raton, FL, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls running back Devin Singletary (5) carries the ball against Akron Zips cornerback Alvin Davis (1) in the 2017 Boca Raton Bowlagainst the Akron Zips  at FAU Stadium. Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 19, 2017; Boca Raton, FL, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls running back Devin Singletary (5) carries the ball against Akron Zips cornerback Alvin Davis (1) in the 2017 Boca Raton Bowlagainst the Akron Zips at FAU Stadium. Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

BOCA RATON, Fla.– Florida Atlantic quarterback Jason Driskel accounted for four touchdowns, and running back Devin Singletary broke a conference rushing-touchdown record as the Owls defeated Akron 50-3 in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday night at FAU Stadium.

The junior quarterback was 19 of 25 for 270 yards and two passing touchdowns. He added 67 yards rushing and two more scores on 13 carries.

Singletary, the nation’s leader in rushing touchdowns, already was named Conference USA’s MVP and a third-team All-American as a sophomore. He ran 26 times for 124 yards rushing and three touchdowns Tuesday, giving him 32 rushing scores this season.

Singletary eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in each of the final 12 games to end the season.

After taking a 21-3 lead into halftime, Florida Atlantic (11-3) stopped Akron (7-7) on downs at midfield to start the second half.

Singletary scored his second touchdown on fourth down at 9:13 of the third quarter on a 2-yard run.

Driskel tossed his second touchdown to wide receiver Willie Wright on a 3-yard pass for a 36-3 lead on the next series.

Driskel’s second score on the ground was on a 7-yard run on a keeper up the middle just 25 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Singletary’s final TD run was from 26 yards with 10:47 left.

In the first meeting between the schools, Florida Atlantic and Akron both missed field goals on their first series of the game before the Owls converted a second fourth-down conversion for the first score.

Driskel rolled out and tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Wright for a 7-0 lead, capping a 79-yard drive late in the first quarter.

Akron responded with a 19-yard field goal from kicker Nick Gasser early in the second quarter.

Driskel led the Owls to another fourth-down score on the next series, rushing in from 3 yards out for a 14-3 lead to end a 75-yard drive.

Florida Atlantic scored on four plays, going 87 yards in 58 seconds to close the first half’s scoring. Singletary’s 6-yard run gave the Owls a 21-3 lead. Singletary broke the C-USA mark of 29 rushing touchdowns held by former UCF back Kevin Smith, now Florida Atlantic’s running back coach.

NOTES: The game marked just Akron’s third bowl appearance since moving to Division 1-A (FBS) in 1987. The Zips lost the 2005 Motor City Bowl against Memphis, but the 2015 squad posted Akron’s first bowl victory — a 23-21 decision over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. … The Zips claimed their third MAC East title and first since 2005. … Akron has 29 players from Florida, including 12 from South Florida. … Florida Atlantic has no players on its roster from Ohio. … The Owls were victorious in the 2007 New Orleans Bowl over Memphis and the 2008 Motor City Bowl against Central Michigan. … FAU first-year head coach Lane Kiffin signed a 10-year contract extension before the game. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Only Mark Richt, in his second year at Miami, is a longer-tenured coach in Florida than Kiffin.