Before Kiffin's arrival, FAU had suffered through three straight 3-9 seasons. Gilbert is a first-team all-Mid-American Conference selection who has recorded more than 120 tackles each of the last two seasons.
You can watch Akron and Florida Atlantic on ESPN. Nevertheless, the Zips will be looking to end 2017 on a high note with an upset over the Owls. Akron recovered to reach the Mid-American Conference championship game for the first time since 2005, then lost to Toledo 45-28.
After skipping out on Tennessee after one season in Knoxville, Kiffin was sacked from his dream job, Southern California. Despite its winning record, Akron gets outgained - on average - by 103.1 yards per game.
Following the incredible season that Kiffin had with the Owls in his first year at the helm, he was not considered for any of the major Power 5 jobs that were open, and soon it was evident he would be returning to FAU for the 2018 season. FAU averages nearly 40 points per game.
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"They weren't just walk-around coaches", Lane Kiffin said. They can easily outscore Akron. It's also the third bowl in Akron history.
For Akron, the Zips have had an up-and-down 2017 season. Given his job back when Kiffin decided to make a switch after a 1-2 start, Driskel has completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns against only 4 interceptions.
LB Ulysees Gilbert will likely need to tackle Devin Singletary a lot to keep underdog Akron in the game. Wide Receiver Kwadarrius Smith is the true playmaker and he has to make plenty of plays in this game. They're hungry, and every time we win, it's like they've just won the Super Bowl. I don't expect this to be much of a contest, what with this being a (literal) home game for the Owls - it's being played at FAU Stadium, for crying out loud!