FAU runs over WKU defense in sixth straight loss

Hilltopper freshman running back Garland LaFrance (14) gets tackled by FAU defenseman Tim Bonner (45) during the 34-14 loss at FAU stadium in Boca Raton FL., on Sat. Nov. 10, 2018.

Matt Stahl

WKU’s 34-15 loss featured FAU running backs that managed to dominate the second half, as each outrushed WKU’s entire offense by themselves.

The Hilltoppers came face-to-face with one of the best players in Conference USA history, junior running back Devin Singletary. Singletary ran at will against the WKU defense, accumulating 148 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the win.

With the two touchdowns, Singletary moved into a tie for sixth place all-time in Football Bowl Subdivision rushing touchdowns. Singletary is now tied with former Indiana running back Anthony Thompson and former Texas running back Cedric Benson with 64 career rushing scores.

“Throughout the game, we knew we was pounding them,” Singletary told the media after the game. “We knew they was breaking down. In the fourth quarter, that’s what we do. We’ve got to finish, so we handled business.”

Singletary wasn’t the only running back the Hilltoppers had an issue with. His backup, redshirt junior Kerrith Whyte, rushed for more yards than Singletary, as he finished the game with 163 yards and two touchdowns of his own.

“I think the second half, that’s when they really broke out,” WKU sophomore defensive lineman DeAngelo Malone said in a video by the Bowling Green Daily News after the game. “They’re some pretty good backs, but we just had to tackle them better. That’s something we didn’t do.”

WKU head coach Mike Sanford said the inability to stop the run was a major factor in the loss.

“I think the difference in the game is we got outrushed,” Sanford said in a video by the Daily News. “That was going to be a big part of the game, we knew that was their strength, but to get out-rushed by, you know, over 150 yards, obviously that’s going to be what’s going to cost you in the end.”

This is the second week in a row the Hilltoppers have struggled against the run. Last week against Middle Tennessee State, running back Chaton Mobley went for 198 yards in the Blue Raiders’ win.

Sanford spoke of how falling behind a team with such a good rushing attack made a comeback difficult.

“Devin Singletary’s an outstanding back, Kerrith Whyte’s a great back, and I thought their quarterbacks played well, particularly Chris Robison I think played particularly well,” Sanford said. “They were a little bit more balanced until the explosive run at the end of the game.”

Redshirt freshman running back Joshua Samuel played very well offensively for the Hilltoppers, finishing with 101 yards, including a 61-yard rush. Samuel became the first player to rush for over 100 yards in a game for the Hilltoppers during the Mike Sanford era.

“We knew we could run the football,” Samuel said. “The line’s been getting better every week. They did their job tonight. We just couldn’t finish.”

The lost dropped WKU to 1-9 (0-6 C-USA). It was the Hilltoppers’ sixth straight loss.

The Hilltoppers will finish up their home slate of games next week against Texas-El Paso, who also comes into the game 1-9 (1-5 C-USA). The game starts at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be WKU’s senior night.


Reporter Matt Stahl can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @mattstahl97.