The only thing standing between Florida Atlantic and its first C-USA title is a game against another first-timer in the Conference USA Championship Game, the North Texas Mean Green.
North Texas Mean Green vs. Florida Atlantic Owls
Date and Time: Saturday, December 2, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
Opening College Football Odds: Florida Atlantic -10
North Texas vs. Florida Atlantic TV Coverage: ESPN2
This FAU team has been brilliant this year, and the mastery of Kiffin is to thank for it all. The Owls average 39.8 points per game, and they haven't been beaten since September 23 in a tough game at Buffalo.
When you talk about the Owls, you have to talk about their spread rushing attack. Neither Jason Driskel nor Daniel Parr really have the ability to throw the ball consistently, but Devin Singletary is a heck of a running back. He has 25 total touchdowns this season, 24 of which have come on the ground.
Since being held to 94 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown in his first two games of the season, Singletary has averaged 143 rushing yards per game since and has 24 of his 25 total touchdowns. The sophomore has run for at least 100 yards in all 10 games, giving him the longest active streak of 100+ yard performances in America.
North Texas underwent a tremendous reclamation project this year as well. The Mean Green have started to throw the ball a ton more this year, and Mason Fine is really taking well to his second year on the job as their starting quarterback.
Fine is completing 64.4 percent of his passes and has 27 touchdowns. Sure, he's thrown 11 picks, too, but on 413 pass attempts, that's not the end of the world.
The Last Meeting
Don't think for one second that North Texas doesn't remember what happened the last time it came down to Boca Raton. The Mean Green were down 24-0 after one quarter, 41-7 at halftime and 62-17 at the end of the third quarter in what turned out to be a 69-31 Owls' romp.
FAU kept its foot on the gas pedal the whole game, amassing 804 yards of offense and racking up 37 first downs. Driskel threw for 357 yards and two scores while Singletary had 123 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Five different players had rushing touchdowns, and all five men had at least 68 rushing yards.
There was just no stopping the Owls on this day, and three North Texas turnovers didn't do anything to help the cause.
North Texas vs. Florida Atlantic Free Picks
UNT was just +3.5 on the closing line at all of the best internet sportsbooks in the regular season meeting, but all of a sudden, it's getting a lot more points than that now at +10. To say that this is insulting is an understatement.
The Mean Green don't have the Lane Train hyping them up the same way the Owls do, but it should be noted that they haven't lost since their defeat in Boca Raton in the middle of October, including four straight covers to get to this point.
This could be a big moment in Fine's career and the game that we realize that what Seth Littrell is trying to accomplish is finally working. We suspect this is going to be a really high-scoring Conference USA Championship Game, and that plays right into the hands of what North Texas is trying to accomplish. If Fine holds onto the football, we could see an upset in Boca Raton.
College Football ATS Pick: North Texas +10 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: North Texas 55, Florida Atlantic 48