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Boca Raton Bowl - Dec. 19
By: Staff Writer - StatFox
Published: 12/17/2017  at  6:13:00 AM
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AKRON ZIPS (7-6)
at FLORIDA ATLANTIC OWLS (10-3)

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl Ė FAU Stadium Ė Boca Raton, FL
Kickoff: Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Line: Florida Atlantic -22.5, Total: 61.5

Lane Kiffin will be going for an 11-win season in his first year with Florida Atlantic on Tuesday.

Akron isnít necessarily a bad football team, but the Zips just barely made it into a bowl game and are going to be somewhat overmatched against an FAU team that went 10-3 during the regular season. Akron won six of its final nine games to ultimately earn a spot in this game, but the Owls enter this contest on a nine-game winning streak. And while the Zips can occasionally put a decent amount of points on the board, their offense is nothing compared to what Kiffin is running at Florida Atlantic. The Owls have scored 40 or more points in six of their past eight games, and they absolutely blew out a few teams that were supposed to play them close. That is why FAU enters this game as a favorite of more than three touchdowns. One thing that does favor Akron in this contest is the fact that the team is 6-0 ATS after covering the spread in two of its past three games on the season. Florida Atlanta, meanwhile, is an impressive 8-2 ATS when playing as a favorite this year.

Itíll be interesting to see what the Zips do in this meeting with Florida Atlantic on Tuesday. The team is currently dealing with a bit of a situation at quarterback, as freshman QB Kato Nelson has been the guy under center lately and the team had been winning games with him. Senior QB Thomas Woodson will, however, want to play in this one badly. Itís his last game as a student, so expect both of them to see the field often in this one. Nelson is a bit more of a dynamic runner, but Woodson is a more accurate passer. Their games could each help at a certain point, but they both better be ready to help move this offense. If the Zips do not put up at least 30 points in this game then itís hard to imagine them winning. RBs Manny Morgan and Van Edwards Jr. could really help by getting it going on the ground. If they are doing their parts to make third downs a more reasonable distance then Akron just might have a chance of pulling off this upset. Defensively, however, the Zips better come ready to defend the run, as the Owls are one of the best rushing teams in the nation.

Florida Atlantic had one of the best offenses in the nation in 2017, and a lot of that had to do with the play of RB Devin Singletary. Singletary wasnít up for the Heisman Trophy or anything, but he definitely made a good case to be considered the most productive back in football. On 275 carries, Singletary rushed for 1,796 yards and also racked up a ridiculous 29 touchdowns. Thatís pretty crazy considering the fact that he is only a sophomore. Look for him to run wild in this game, too. Akron just does not have what it takes to really slow him down. And when the Owls need to make plays in the passing game, QB Jason Driskel is prepared to do just that. He was extremely solid this year, and does just enough to keep defenses on their toes. As for FAUís defense, the unit has been very solid. Thatís really all you need when you have an offense like this one.

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