Jacksonville Sports Day

FAU to Face SMU in the 2019 CheriBundi Boca Raton Bowl

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Florida Atlantic University’s football team (10-3), the 2019 Conference USA Champions, have accepted an invitation to play in the 2019 CheriBundi Boca Raton Bowl. The Owls will square off against the SMU Mustangs (10-2) on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m. at FAU Stadium. The game will air on ABC, and will also be carried by Fox Sports South Florida 640 AM.

“We’re thrilled to accept an invitation to the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. We’re looking forward to what we know will be a great experience for our football team. We’re also very excited to play one more game here in Paradise in front of our fans. Plus, it’s great exposure for us with network television on ABC, said Brian White FAU’s vice president and director of athletics.”

The Owls are led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Robison, who has completed 264 of 434 pass attempts for 3,396 yards and 26 TDs. Robison was named the 2019 C-USA Championship game MVP as he found eight receivers in the game, connecting with four for scores, including John Mackey finalist Harrison Bryant. Bryant is just the third Owl to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season and the third C-USA tight end to ever reach that plateau. A newcomer to the team this season, DeAngelo Antoine, etched himself in the FAU and C-USA record books in the title game with a 75-yard touchdown, which was not only FAU’s longest play of 2019, but it also matches the longest pass reception ever recorded in a C-USA Championship game.

Robison will also have the opportunity to hand off to a number of running backs that have teamed together to rush for 2,136 yards and 29 TDs this season, despite extended injuries to three of the four starting backs. Sophomore Malcom Davidson leads the squad with 711 yards, an average of 7.0 yards per carry, and has scored nine times. Redshirt junior James Charles has been with the Owls the longest and had added 359 yards and three TDs on 69 carries. True freshman Larry McCammon III returned to the field last Saturday with two carries for nine yards. He adds 91 carries, 324 yards and seven TDs to the total while junior BJ Emmons, who broke his ankle the second play of the season, has returned to shoulder the weight of late with 34 carries for 165 yards and five touchdowns.

Defensively, the Owls show strength on all three levels and from sideline to sideline. Junior linebacker Akileis Leroy leads the team with 101 tackles, including 15.5 tackles for loss, of which 7.5 are sacks. Fellow linebacker and senior Rashad Smith, who is second on the squad with 98 tackles, leads the nation with four fumble recoveries, while redshirt junior defensive back Meiko Dotson leads the nation with nine interceptions, paving the way for the Owls, who set a program high with 21 single-season interceptions. Up front, seniors Tim Bonner and Ray Ellis team with redshirt junior Leighton McCarthy for 14.5 sacks.

The 2019 CheriBundi Boca Raton Bowl will be the fourth bowl appearance for the Owls and the second in Boca Raton. The Owls, who began playing football in 2001, captured the 2007 New Orleans Bowl with a 44-27 win over Memphis. One year later, just the second year the program was eligible to be considered for bowl selection, FAU qualified again for a bowl and downed Central Michigan, 24-21 in the Motor City Bowl. In 2017, head coach Lane Kiffin guided the Owls to an 11-3 record, in his first season as the Owls’ head coach. That record included a 50-3 win over Akron in the CheriBundi Boca Raton Bowl.

The FAU ticket office has an allotment that is dedicated to FAU fans, by calling 1-866-FAU-OWLS (328-6857) or emailing tickets@fau.edu.

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