BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
If there was a matchup that was destined to happen in The Ryan Conference-USA Championship Game, this afternoon’s FAU Stadium matchup between the UAB Blazers vs FAU Owls is it.
In 2018, UAB defeated Middle Tennessee 27-25 to capture the C-USA Championship.
In 2017, FAU mauled North Texas 41-17 in Coach Lane Kiffin’s first season and the Owls finished the regular season 10-3 then proceeded to defeat Akron 50-3 in the Boca Raton Bowl. This culminated in an 11-3 campaign.
Going into this contest, one storyline that was common has centered around Kiffin, who has been linked to Power Five job opportunities, with the most rampant one circulating being the Ole Miss Rebels of the SEC. At the end of the game, that speculation became a reality and resigned immediately.
Kiffin finished his tenure with FAU compiling a 26-13 mark.
Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer was named interim head coach and will lead the team in the Bowl Game which will be revealed Sunday Night.
Going into the game, Kiffin has abstained from discussing his future to concentrate on this Championship Game.
When the game was over, he only wanted to reflect on an outstanding season for his team as well as the successful three year run he had with the program.
On Thursday’s Sports Exchange, I predicted that FAU would win 21-17.
Whether this would be his final game, the Owls responded by jumping out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The team played hard-hitting inspired football from the get-go.
By the 14:09 mark in the second quarter, the Owls matched my predicted point mark, jumping out to a 21-3 lead. The Owls led 35-6 at the half as they also blocked a punt deep in Blazers territory which was recovered for a TD. FAU also added a late score with 26 seconds left in the half.
FAU has now scored over 30 points in 10 games. The Owls amassed 304 yards in the first half.
The Owls were in cruise control the rest of the contest. The Owls would come out on top 49-6 and out gained UAB 585-223.
QB Chris Robison was the Championship Game MVP as he threw for 267 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed for an additional 30 yards.
Prior to today’s game, the largest margin of victory for the Owls was a 49-34 win at the now demolished Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on September 6, 2008, which I covered. The largest margin of victory in this series occurred November 7, 2009 on the road when the Blazers routed FAU 56-29.
The Owls now lead the lifetime series 5-2 and await their Bowl opponent.
Meanwhile, Blazers Coach Bill Clark has done a tremendous job with his program as he owns an all-time career mark of 34-18.
He’s been with the school since 2014 and despite a two-year hiatus, UAB in an elite program in Conference USA.
The future looks bright for UAB as they’ll play in a brand new 45,000 downtown stadium that will open in 2021.
As of this post, UAB also awaits its Bowl destination.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and is the CEO and Founder of The South Florida Tribune.
He also owns the South Florida Tribune Broadcasting Network.
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