Finally, the streak is over.
FAU (2-7, 1-4) defeated Rice (1-8, 0-5) 42-25 for their first win since the first game of the season. It took 63 days for the Owls to get their second win of the year and although it was against a bottom-feeder I’ll take it.
The offense was incredible today. After Daniel Parr got the nod to start the offense opened the game extremely out of sync as Parr’s first two series leading the offense ended in punts
On the third series Charlie Partridge went back to Jason Driskel and the offense took off. Driskel passed for 317 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. It was easily Driskel’s best game ever as an Owl. Henry Bussey was his favorite target as he had a career day with four receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
For as good as the passing offense looked none of that would have been possible without the rushing attack being unstoppable today. Greg Howell was his reliable self as he rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown but Devin Singletary was the star today as he broke the record for all-purpose yards with 281 on the day.
Singletary rushed for 252 yards and three touchdowns, one of which included a 66 yard run in the fourth quarter in which he broke four tackles and juked several defenders on his way to the end zone as the score sealed the win for FAU.
In the offseason we were told so much about Travis Trickett’s #NoHuddleNoMercy offense and today we finally got to see what it looks like when it’s clicking on all cylinders and man did it look amazing as the offense broke the record for most yards in a game with 653 yards.
Driskel was able to use play action effectively and for the first time in ages the receivers didn’t have the case of the drops this year.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the play of the offensive line today. They weren’t amazing but they certainly had their best game of the year as Driskel had a clean pocket on a majority of his pass attempts.
At times the run blocking was a bit spotty but Howell and Singletary are so skilled that a lot of the times this year they were able to mask line’s breakdowns. Other than Singletary’s 66-yard run in which he faced defenders as soon as he got the handoff, there weren’t many blocking issues today.
The defense was underwhelming in the second half as injuries once again started to mount and Rice began to move the ball with ease but in the first half they were great as they only allowed 14 points.
Trey Hendrickson set the tone early by registering a sack on the first play of the game. He finished the game with three of FAU’s five sacks on the day.
Ocie Rose and Richie Kittles both registered an interception and both came in critical junctures in the games. Rose’s interception came in the end zone to prevent Rice from cutting FAU’s lead to 10 midway through the fourth quarter and Kittles’ interception ended Rice’s comeback officially.
FAU still looked sloppy at times as they registered a ridiculous 13 penalties for 122 yards but for the first time since September 3rd the hard work put in by the players lends itself tangible progress as they were rewarded with a win.
With all the talk about Partridge’s job and the state of the program over the past two months it feels great to focus on a win and still remember that no matter who the head coach will be next year they will have an incredibly talented bunch of players who are hungry to put FAU on the map.
Next up for the beloved Owls is a contest against UTEP (3-6, 1-5) at FAU Stadium. After ending a losing streak on the road let’s hope FAU is able to carry this momentum and snap our home losing streak.