Florida Atlantic University football captured a 33-27 victory over Air Force last Saturday. The duo of Chris Robison
and Rashad Smith
led the Owl efforts and were named the Conference USA Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, on Monday.
Robison led the Owls to victory over an Air Force team that came into the game with a 1-0 record on Saturday afternoon. And he did so after remaining focused during a 1:15 rain delay. Robison had a record-setting performance in just his second collegiate outing going 33-for-40 for a school record single-game completion percentage of 83. His 33 completions equated to a school-record 471 yards and three touchdowns, and his longest pass was a 49-yarder to Jovon Durante
Despite AF stacking the box, Robison was sacked just once during the game. His first two drives were a 13-play, 69-yard drive that ended in a field goal, and an 11-play, 47-yard drive that again ended in a field goal for a 6-0 led after the first. FAU's Robison-led offense improved that lead to 13-0 with 7:52 remaining in the half with a 5-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 36-yard run by Devin Singletary
, and would go into the locker room with a 13-7 lead.
Robison would then lead the Owls into the end zone twice in the second half while also completing a 2-point play. The win marked the first time FAU had defeated an academy school in three attempts and extended the Owls' home win streak to eight. Robison also earned honorable mention CFPA National Performer of the Week honors for his efforts.
Smith led the Owls a week ago versus Oklahoma in total tackles, and Head Coach Lane Kiffin
praised the linebacker as potentially the lone bright spot of the game. One week later versus an Air Force triple option offense, which requires eye discipline, Smith came through once again with a career-high 16 tackles, including one tackle for a loss of two yards. While his relentless work equated to 18 percent of the team's total tackles, it was a critical late interception that sealed the game for the Owls.
The Owls held a 33-20 lead when Air Force forced the Owls to attempt a punt. The Falcons blocked the punt attempt, recovered the ball and skated into the end zone untouched. Following the extra point, Air Force trailed by just six points and would succeed on an on-side kick. They took over on their 37 knowing a touchdown would tie the game and the extra point would give them the win. Two incompletions, two penalties and a five-yard run that gave AF a first down at the FAU 46 with less than 30 seconds to play, trailing by six. On the next play, Smith hauled in the team's first interception of the 2018 season to give the Owls the ball for the victory formation.
Monday's honors are the first Conference Player of the Week awards earned by either player. The duo will be back in action this week when the Owls play host to Bethune-Cookman University, 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at FAU Stadium. To purchase tickets call 1-866-FAU-OWLS.