Football preview: FAU hosts Old Dominion Saturday, looking for first four-win season since 2013

Currently at 3-7 with two games left, the Owls will be trying to avoid a third straight 3-9 season.


Owls running back Devin Singletary (5) passes multiple UTEP defenders for a first down in last Saturday’s victory over UTEP. Mohammed F Emran | Staff Photographer

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

For the first time in his tenure as Florida Atlantic head football coach, Charlie Partridge’s team has won consecutive games. The Owls will look to add a third straight win under their belt in their last home game of the season on Saturday against Old Dominion.

Last Saturday, the Owls (3-7, 2-4 Conference USA) drove 96 yards to capture a lead over UTEP with 25 seconds on the clock on a touchdown pass from redshirt sophomore Jason Driskel to redshirt junior Nate Terry. It was their first lead of the game since the 4:22 mark of the first quarter when UTEP tied the score at seven.

The quarterback will have to continue to build on FAU’s recent success on the offensive end of the floor, scoring a combined 77 points over the past two games.

Driskel has averaged 318.3 total yards and two touchdowns in the three wins. During the seven-game losing streak which sandwiched between the victories, he was limited to 170.6 yards and 0.57 touchdowns per game.

Joining Driskel in the backfield for the majority of snaps over the last two weeks has been freshman running back Devin Singletary. After recording a total of 300 rushing yards in the first eight games, Singletary has rushed for 397 since taking over the lead-back role two weeks ago.

Against Rice on Nov. 5, the freshman set the program’s single-game-rushing record with 252 yards along with three touchdowns. He scored two more touchdowns the next week, setting a record for most rushing scores by a freshman.

Driskel and Singletary will have to continue their recent success against an Old Dominion (7-3, 5-1 Conference USA) defense that ranks fourth in the conference in passing and rushing defense. The Monarchs have also put together the second best overall defense in the conference, allowing 28.2 points per game.

Their offense has been just as good, ranking fourth in the conference, scoring 34.8 points per game. FAU has allowed only a point more per game, 35.8, than the Monarchs have averaged.

The Owls will have to prepare for a balanced offensive attack that features the fourth best rushing unit as well as a quarterback, David Washington, who has thrown the fifth most touchdowns in Conference USA.

In FAU’s two consecutive wins, the defense has done a good job at forcing opponents to lose their balance. Still responsible for the worst rushing defense in the conference, FAU limited Rice to just 3.5 yards a carry.

The next week, the Owls held UTEP quarterback Ryan Metz to 118 passing yards and forced him into an interception.

The Monarchs will come to Boca Raton on a three-game winning streak where they averaged 36.7 points. They are enjoying their first winning season since 2013 and sit a half game behind Western Kentucky at the top of Conference USA’s East division.

The Owls will be looking to play spoiler for the Monarchs. They also will be trying to pick up their first four-win season since 2013.

The two teams will kick off at FAU Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @feeney42.