By: David DiPino Contributing Writer
Coach Lane Kiffin flew into Boca Raton last year and guided the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Owls to a historic 11-win season capped off with a 50-3 win over the Akron University Zippers in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl Game.
What a honeymoon it’s been in the sunshine for FAU fans and Coach Kiffin. However, there are a few dark clouds on the horizon FAU football will have to maneuver through in order to obtain another invitation to go punch their ticket to another bowl game.
All six road games on the schedule for FAU this year feature teams who all made it to bowl games last season. Two of those road games are on national TV and one features a team that didn’t lose a game last season.
The FAU Owls start the season on Sat., Sept. 1, vs. the Oklahoma Sooners. While the game is in Norman, Oklahoma, there is a FAU Watch Party at Noon, at Biergarten309 Via De Palmas, Suite 90, Boca Raton. Expect food and drink specials and a block party. Biergarten is where the Boca Raton community got to know Coach Kiffin during ESPN West Palm 106.3 FM Radio Shows with Ken LaVicka.
FAU heads back home for games against the Air Force Falcons on Sat. Sept. 8, at 2 p.m. and Bethune Cookman on Sat., Sept. 15, TBD.
The Owls close out September on the road in Orlando at UCF, on Friday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. which is a nationally televised game on ESPN, and on Sat., Sept. 29, in Murfreesboro, Tenn., against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders on Sat., Sept. 29, at 7p.m.
In October and November, FAU has two home games each month – on Sat. Oct. 6, they play the Old Dominion Monarchs, Fri., Oct. 26, play Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m. and also on TV’s CBS Sports Network, Sat., Nov. 10, FAU hosts the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers and Saturday, Nov. 24 end the regular season at home against the Charlotte 49ers.
The Owls play on the road at the Marshall Thundering Herd on Sat., Oct. 20, at 2:30 p.m., at FIU Golden Panthers in Miami on Sat., Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. and at North Texas Mean Green on Thursday, Nov., 15, at 9:30 p.m. in Denton, TX., which can also be viewed on the CBS Sports Network.
Three things to watch this year for FAU Football include the defense, quarterback (QB) play on offense with Devin “Motor” Singletary still at running back and if the Owls can win back-to-back bowl games in the college’s history and first time since 2007-2008 seasons.
The FAU defense is experienced and should be a sure strength of this team. With the sure play at QB gone from last season, Jason Driskel retiring after his junior season from football to focus on his engineering degree, Coach Kiffin has quite an arsenal of arms.
Expect to see many different faces at QB this season including highly recruited De’Andre Johnson, a transfer from Florida State University (FSU), former Arkansas Razorbacks and Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs QB Rafe Peavey who’s a graduate transfer into the FAU program.
Redshirt freshman Chris Robinson is also playing in this QB battle. Indiana University Hoosiers QB Nick Tronti is practicing with the Owls but can’t play during games until next season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Finally, watch Devin “Motor” Singletary this season, he’s one of FAU’s running backs who played his high school football at American Heritage School in Delray Beach and last year led the nation with 32 rushing touchdowns, which is third all-time and had a whopping 1,920 rushing yards.