FAU Wins C-USA Championship Behind Singletary

If it looked like you seen this game before, you probably did. Different scores but same outcome. In a battle between two teams that were predicted to finish fourth, and fifth in their divisions, both Seth Littrell and Lane Kiffin have done remarkable jobs getting their teams to this point. For North Texas head coach Seth Littrell, the problem seems to be when his team plays FAU.

Early on, the Mean Green looked confused after allowing a touchdown to the Owls on a wide receiver reverse pass to former ‘Last Chance U’ star John Franklin. Mason Fine tried to keep North Texas in position early, cutting across the FAU defense and scrambling for 27 yards. Although that would get the Mean Green in position for a field goal, an unsuccessful attempt to fake it would wipe out any hope of getting points during the first-half for North Texas.

The Owls offense would benefit in the first half from the strong running of Devin Singletary, who would eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark for the 11th straight game. Big plays from wideout Kalib Woods would also keep North Texas at a distance. With just three receptions in the first half, he accounted for 128 yards. The Owls defense also did their part by continuously pressuring Mason Fine with multiple sacks. When the North Texas offense did start to show promise on a drive, Jalen Young took the momentum right out of the air on an interception and returning it for 50 yards.

After being shut out in the first-half and allowing 27 points, the Mean Green would outplay FAU in the third quarter. Although they would allow a touchdown to Kalib Woods, the Mean Green would get nine points. More importantly, the Mean Green finally showed some confidence that they could stop the FAU offense in their two meetings. North Texas started to close the gap and show signs of hope by getting within 17 points going into the fourth quarter.

Lane Kiffin showed much of his frustration after several drives stalled or ended with field goals. With the game starting to get away from the Owls, Lane turned to his best weapon on the roster, Devin Singletary. On a 10-play 71-yard drive that chewed up five minutes off the clock, Singletary would carry the ball five different times before scoring on a five-yard rush. That touchdown score would give Singletary 29 rushing touchdowns on the season, which would tie former UCF great Kevin Smith who happens to be his running back coach. Singletary will have an opportunity in the bowl to break that record in only his sophomore season.

Winning the conference championship for FAU gives the school its second conference championship, the first since 2007 also the first since joining Conference USA. The 10th victory also gives the Owls it’s most wins in FBS history with an opportunity to win an 11th in the bowl game. Accomplishing the feat in Lane Kiffin’s first season will only heighten the notoriety of the promising coach. With many programs in need of a coach, his name is sure to be brought up when a departure is made.

Although Florida Atlantic will receive much of the headlines because of the “Lane Train”, North Texas head coach Seth Littrell has also done a fine job. Two seasons ago the Mean Green finished their season with only one victory. In his first season, he was able to lead the Mean Green to five wins and a bowl berth. With this being just his second season he led North Texas to an almost undefeated conference record, losing only to FAU. The Mean Green will head to their second consecutive bowl game under Littrell and could win 10 games this season.

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