CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Florida Atlantic University football team wrapped the regular season with an eight-game winning streak, and an 8-0 record in Conference USA play - for only the seventh undefeated league mark in conference history, and fourth with that 8-0 record - after Saturday's 31-12 win over Charlotte at Jerry Richardson Stadium.
"We didn't play very well today," said Head Coach Lane Kiffin. "The good thing about that is, we have a team that has high standards for themselves. It's not a very happy locker room, if you walked by, you'd think that we lost ... they've come a long ways. The standards have changed here, and it's good to see, because today was ugly. (Getting to 8-0) was conflicting, I did tell them that at the end, congratulations. It's pretty elite status."
- The Owls (9-3, 8-0 C-USA) and 49ers (1-11, 1-7 C-USA) traded empty first possessions, with each team failing to convert on fourth down. But on the next drive, FAU took a lead the team would not relinquish
- Because Charlotte had been unsuccessful on a fake punt, the Owls took over in enemy territory and needed just six plays to score. Willie Wright had carries of 12 and 15 yards, and "Motor" Devin Singletary capped the series with a six-yard rushing score
- After forcing a 49er punt, a 37-yard field goal by Greg Joseph made it 10-0
- Early in the 2nd quarter, it became a 17-0 game. The Owls moved down to the Charlotte five and were backed up to 3rd-and-17 on a penalty, but on the very next play, Jason Driskel found Kamrin Solomon wide open for a 20-yard score
- Charlotte scored on the next series, but FAU immediately answered. This time it was 4th-and-8 from the 49er 41, and Driskel aired it out again, finding Wright in stride and into the end zone
- The Owls took a 24-6 lead, and a 294-146 total yard advantage, into the locker room
- The lead was extended on the first series after the break, with FAU using more weapons. "Buddy" Gregory Howell, Jr. rushed for eight and 12 yards, and tight end D'Anfernee McGriff hauled in three catches (of 23, 17 and eight yards), with Singletary taking it in from one yard out
- That came in between two dominant FAU defensive stands, each with a sack. The drive prior, a host of Owls took down Charlotte quarterback Hasaan Klugh, while the latter ended on an eight-yard sack courtesy of Jeremiah Taleni
- Singletary posted his 10th straight game of 100 or more yards, but on the play he went over, the ball was forced loose to turn it back over to Charlotte
- The 49ers didn't score on their ensuing drive, but did convert after recovering another fumble, this time on the FAU 22. Four plays later, a 6-yard run (with an unsuccessful two-point conversion) cut it to 31-12
- Like Singletary on the ground, Wright eclipsed the century mark in receiving, after a 44-yard catch. He ended the day with nine catches for 103 yards, and added 37 yards rushing on three carries
- The FAU defense stopped a Charlotte fourth quarter drive on the doorstep, turning it over on downs and giving the offense the ball on their own 4-yard line
- They then took over eight minutes off the clock, flipping the field to the Charlotte nine when it was all said and done
- The Owls outgained the 49ers on the ground 318-84, and 563-255 overall
- Driskel ended the game 18-of-22 (for a completion percentage of 82 percent) for 245 yards and two touchdowns
- Six different Owl running backs gained over 30 yards, all with at least a 12-yard carry. After Singletary's 108, Howell had 63, Marcus Clark 40, Driskel 40, Wright 37 and Kerrith Whyte, Jr. 31
- The FAU defense combined for four sacks and seven tackles for loss, while also posting seven quarterback hurries
- The team's nine wins matches the second most ever recorded in a season, equaling the also 9-3 2004 team, trailing only the 11-3 mark posted in 2003
The team returns to FAU Stadium, where the Owls will host the 2017 Conference USA Championship next Saturday, Dec. 2, versus North Texas. Kickoff will be at noon, with the winner earning the C-USA title heading into bowl season.