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Akron To Take On Florida Atlantic In The 2017 Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
By: Boca Raton Bowl
The 2017 Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m. ET, at FAU Stadium. The game will be aired on ESPN.
Akron football finished the season 7-6 overall and 6-2 in the MAC under sixth-year head coach Terry Bowden. Senior quarterback Thomas Woodson leads the Zips on offense along with senior wide receiver Tra'von Chapman. On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Uylsees Gilbert III is ranked No. 15 nationally in total tackles (9.8), while junior defensive back Jordan George is No. 19 in interceptions. Akron is No. 7 in defensive touchdowns (4), No. 25 in turnover margin (.58) and No. 31 in red zone defense (0.791).
FAU finished the season 10-3 overall and a perfect 8-0 in the conference under head coach Lane Kiffin. The Conference USA champion is making its third bowl game appearance. FAU brings a strong offense that ranks tenth in the nation in scoring offense behind the nation's leading scorer in running back Devin "Motor" Singletary. The Owls are ranked first in ten conference statistical categories. They bring a balanced defense led by linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and safety Jalen Young, that ranks first in C-USA in passes intercepted (18).
Both teams' rosters are composed of high-talent athletes, many who received pre-season and post-season accolades. For Akron, three student-athletes earned all-conference honors: junior linebacker Ulysees Gilbert earned first team honors. Defensive back Alvin Davis received second team honors while wide receiver Tra'Von Chapman earned honorable mention. For FAU, running back Devin "Motor" Singletary leads the nation in total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and total points scored. Quarterback Jess Driskel earned Offensive Player of the Week honors while safety Jalen Young earned multiple Defensive Player of the Week honors.
This is both team's first-ever appearance in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.
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Bonnie S. Kaye