Football: Owls cruise in 69-31 homecoming victory over North Texas

The team had 804 total offensive yards on way to third straight win

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Football: Owls cruise in 69-31 homecoming victory over North Texas

Redshirt Junior quarterback Jason Driskel runs toward the open field on a rush play in the first half of FAU's 69-31 win over North Texas on Oct. 21. Driskel ran for 66 yards and touchdown during the game. Joshua Giron | Contributing Photographer

Redshirt Junior quarterback Jason Driskel runs toward the open field on a rush play in the first half of FAU's 69-31 win over North Texas on Oct. 21. Driskel ran for 66 yards and touchdown during the game. Joshua Giron | Contributing Photographer

Redshirt Junior quarterback Jason Driskel runs toward the open field on a rush play in the first half of FAU's 69-31 win over North Texas on Oct. 21. Driskel ran for 66 yards and touchdown during the game. Joshua Giron | Contributing Photographer

Redshirt Junior quarterback Jason Driskel runs toward the open field on a rush play in the first half of FAU's 69-31 win over North Texas on Oct. 21. Driskel ran for 66 yards and touchdown during the game. Joshua Giron | Contributing Photographer

Ryan Lynch, Business Manager

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The last time Florida Atlantic football faced the North Texas Mean Green during homecoming, the team was sitting at a 3-5 record on Nov. 8, 2008. In a 46-13 blowout, the Owls earned their fourth victory of the season and later won three of their last four to make it to their second ever bowl game.

Almost 10 years after that game, FAU (4-3, 3-0 Conference USA) was once again able to overpower the Mean Green (4-3, 3-1 CUSA) on its way to a fourth win, grabbing a 69-31 victory Saturday. For head football coach Lane Kiffin’s offense, it marked a third straight double-digit win for his team and the highest scoring game in program history.

“It was kinda like Madden when you have to coach,” Kiffin said. “It was one of those games. Coach (Kendal) Briles did a good job, the players did a good job.”

Redshirt junior quarterback Jason Driskel had a much better showing than in last year’s 52-3 homecoming loss versus Western Kentucky, in which he threw for only 52 total passing yards on 10-of-24 attempts. This time around, he tripled his whole game production in the first quarter with 166 yards and finished with 357 yards and two passing touchdowns.

“You try not to look back, we obviously didn’t play well that night,” Driskel said “We haven’t always played well this year, but we played well tonight and will try to build forward on what we did.”

Driskel also was able to make an impact on the ground, rushing for 66 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Daniel Parr came into the game with 1:33 left in the third quarter, but did not throw a pass.

Sophomore running back Devin Singletary also stood out alongside Driskel’s performance, rushing for 123 yards and three touchdowns.  His performance broke his personal mark for rushing touchdowns last year (11) and moved him into second all-time in program history behind Alfred Morris, who has 27.

Singletary also set the single season rushing touchdown record for FAU with his third score, a 22-yard rush with 3:55 left in the second quarter to give him 14 total on the year. Senior running back Greg Howell added 70 yards of rushing and a touchdown, graduate student wide receiver John Franklin III ran for 69 yards and a touchdown and redshirt sophomore Kerrith Whyte ran for 86 yards and a score.

“They’re my little brothers, it’s crazy” Howell said of his unit’s success. “You get to sit there and celebrate. It’s fun.”

FAU’s secondary successfully contained Mean Green quarterback Mason Fine, keeping his offense to no scores until 11:45 in the second quarter. Fine finished with 283 yards and two touchdowns, while the entire Mean Green offense was held to 31 points.

The defense also forced three turnovers on the night, including interceptions by sophomore cornerback Chris Tooley and junior cornerback Shelton Lewis.

FAU is now 7-4 all time against the Mean Green and its win breaks a four game losing streak versus North Texas. They are also now 10-7 in homecoming games.

Next week, the Owls travel to face Western Kentucky on Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m. with a chance to stay undefeated in conference play. WKU has won the last two games between the two teams.

Ryan Lynch is the business manager of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.