By: Marisa Herman
Boca Raton’s Florida Atlantic University Owls will have a chance to take home a bowl win at home.
The Owls will meet the Akron Zips during the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.
The match-up between the Mid-American Conference and Florida Atlantic University from Conference USA will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 19 at FAU Stadium. For those watching at home, tune into ESPN.
The Zips finished the season with a 7-6 record under head coach Terry Bowden. The team was 6-2 in conference play.
Senior quarterback Thomas Woodson leads the Zips on offense along with senior wide receiver Tra’von Chapman. On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Uylsees Gilbert III is ranked No. 15 nationally in total tackles (9.8), while junior defensive back Jordan George is No. 19 in interceptions. Akron is No. 7 in defensive touchdowns (4), No. 25 in turnover margin (.58) and No. 31 in red zone defense (0.791).
FAU finished the season 10-3 overall and a perfect 8-0 in the conference under head coach Lane Kiffin. The Conference USA champion is making its third bowl game appearance.
FAU brings an offense that ranks tenth in the nation in scoring offense behind the nation’s leading scorer in running back Devin “Motor” Singletary. The Owls are ranked first in ten conference statistical categories. They bring a defense led by linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and safety Jalen Young, that ranks first in C-USA in passes intercepted (18).
Both teams’ rosters are composed of high-talent athletes, many who received pre-season and post-season accolades.
For Akron, three student-athletes earned all-conference honors: junior linebacker Ulysees Gilbert earned first team honors. Defensive back Alvin Davis received second team honors while wide receiver Tra’Von Chapman earned honorable mention.
For FAU, running back Devin “Motor” Singletary leads the nation in total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and total points scored. Quarterback Jess Driskel earned Offensive Player of the Week honors while safety Jalen Young earned multiple Defensive Player of the Week honors.
This is both team’s first-ever appearance in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.