All week there was speculation surrounding the job status of Lane Kiffin. One day he was a lock to be the next head coach at Arkansas. A couple days later, he was a lock to be the next head coach of Ole Miss. It remains to be seen who Lane Kiffin will be coaching next year, but today, there was no doubt.
Lane Kiffin is the head coach of FAU, and despite all the noise, the Owls put on an absolute show at FAU Stadium as FAU crushed UAB 49-6 to win their second Conference USA Championship in three years.
Today’s win was FAU’s best performance of the year by far. The defense held UAB to 223 total yards and forced two turnovers. UAB’s vaunted rushing defense that allowed 92 rushing yards and 269.8 yards per game was gashed. FAU’s offense gained 585 yards and rushed for 286 yards.
FAU’s special teams was terrific too as they got a blocked punt for a touchdown thanks to Tyrek Tisdale and Eddie Williams. Matthew Hayball had 2 punts pinned inside the 20, with one of them pinned inside the 5 yard line. Vlad Rivas was perfect on extra points (though he did miss a FG attempt)
If this was in fact Lane’s last game in Boca Raton, the Lane Train had one hell of a finale.
Right from the get go this game was in blowout territory as FAU outscored UAB 14-3 in the opening quarter. After an empty first drive that resulted in a punt, the Owls asserted themselves on offense with 10-play drive for 51 yards that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run from BJ Emmons.
After a field goal by Nick Vogel put UAB on the board, FAU would need just one play to reach the end zone again as Chris Robison would find Deangelo Antoine on a quick slant. Antoine made one defender miss and took it 75 yards to the house.
TOUCHDOWN #FAU!!— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) December 7, 2019
ONE PLAY. SEVENTY FIVE YARDS. DEANGELO ANTOINE!pic.twitter.com/GYaZbM2HVK
14-3 FAU, 1:32 1Q.
Chris Robison would toss two more touchdowns in the second quarter as he would connect with John Mitchell and Harrison Bryant to further solidify that UAB would not be winning C-USA for the second straight year. The pass to Bryant in particular was a beauty.
.@FAU_Football executes the 2-minute drill perfectly and scores their FIFTH touchdown of the first half!— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) December 7, 2019
: @CBSSportsNet pic.twitter.com/l8ZEp1fRzr
With a 35-6 lead at the half, Lane Kiffin continued the #LetsBeJerks mantra that a few fans from the FAU fan base has created since Kiffin got the job and kept the foot on the gas.
FAU goes for it on 4th and 6 and gets a TD from it while up 42-6 against UAB pic.twitter.com/59UuIvx2wS— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 7, 2019
The UAB offense struggled mightily today as Tyler Johnston III failed to gain any sort of consistency. Bill Clark would insert backup Dylan Hopkins in hopes for a spark but Hopkins failed to gain traction too. Both QBs combined to go 8-of-19 for 84 yard with two interceptions.
Those turnovers would be captured by Chris Tooley and Meiko Dotson. Both players helped lead what was a dominant performance by the secondary. The defensive line was fantastic too. Facing a tough running back in Spencer Brown, the Owls only allowed him to run for 3.6 yards per carry. Glenn Spencer’s defense looked to be the more physical and fast team all day, even with the game in hand. It was a championship-like performance.
With the win FAU moves to 10-3 on the season. Although the loss was tough to take, the Blazers of UAB have nothing to be ashamed of as they will enter bowl season with a 9-4 record. Conference USA will need both teams to finish the season with a great performance in bowl season as the league seeks to improve their image nationally.