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Florida Atlantic entered 2017 having won less than ten games over the last three years. After leaving the pressure cooker of the SEC, the stress-free atmosphere of coaching in Boca Raton has allowed Kiffin to push the Owls to their first eleven win season in school history. Lane hired his brother, Chris, from Ole Miss to lead the defense, while Kendal Briles was brought in from Baylor to install his father’s iconic lightning-fast offense. The trio has assisted in transforming many of the same players from last year’s group into the best team in Conference USA. After starting off this season 1-2, Kiffin turned to redshirt junior quarterback Jason Driskel to lead the offense. Despite a heartbreaking loss at Buffalo, the Owls remained resilient and took a confident approach to the remainder of their schedule. Behind Driskel and returning sophomore running back Devin Singletary, the Owls proceeded to roll over their competition. Entering the season, there was an expectation that this team would implement a passheavy approach, but with the reemergence of Singletary and senior Buddy Howell, Florida Atlantic elected to run the ball more than anyone anticipated. Singletary became the first AP All-American in FAU history and finished the year with 1,920 rushing yards. A mid-season defeat of Marshall pushed the Owls to bowl eligibility for only the fourth time ever and the drubbing of in-state rival FIU paved the way for their first appearance in the Conference USA championship game. Taking on North Texas for the second time this season, Florida Atlantic cruised to a 41-17 victory and awarded



the Owls their first outright conference championship. Singletary led the way with three touchdowns and senior wide receiver Kalib Woods won MVP honors with over 200 receiving yards and one touchdown of his own. The impressive stat lines would not slow down as FAU took on Akron in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, the school’s third bowl game appearance. After stumbling out of the gate to score points, Driskel led the Owls to a 50-3 rout of the Zips behind 270 passing yards and two touchdowns. The victory brought FAU to 3-0 all-time in postseason bowl games and was the perfect way to celebrate the greatest season in school history. The ten straight wins to finish the year are part of the second longest active winning streak in the FBS. While Lane Kiffin has certainly seen his fair share of victories during his previous stints at powerhouse programs, Florida Atlantic has been the perfect opportunity for him to renew his identity as a great football coach. The accomplishments Kiffin has brought to Boca Raton in year one was unexpected by nearly everyone outside of the program and the excitement surrounding the Owls is at an alltime high. If Kiffin and the “Lane Train” can stick around for another year, Florida Atlantic University should be well on their way to even more success. @fau_football

The Atlantic Current: The Food Issue - Jan/Feb 2018  
The Atlantic Current: The Food Issue - Jan/Feb 2018