He made the most his nine-carries, scoring two touchdowns and averaging 5.3 yards per carry in Saturday’s 40-26 FAU victory over UTSA.
Emmons began his career playing as a true freshman at Alabama, where Lane Kiffin was then the offensive coordinator. Emmons transferred to junior college, then sat out another season to complete academic requirements before joining the Owls over the summer.
His much anticipated debut didn’t last long. Emmons broke his right ankle two plays into the season opener. Those nine carries against UTSA relieved a few years of grief.
“I think it was more about the personal story with him – how much he’s been through in the different schools, and then so excited to finally get here, then get hurt on the second play of the season, then wait two-three months to come back and score a couple times,” FAU coach Lane Kiffin said. “It was really good.”
Though he played high school football in North Carolina, Emmons has sisters and other relatives in Texas who made the trip to the Alamo Dome to watch him play.
Emmons scored his first career FAU touchdown on a 32-yard scamper early in the third quarter. He also completed the Owls’ scoring with a two-yard run. After that score, he looked into the stands and saw his family cheering.
“That was a heart touching moment, just to be able to see them in the stands and for them to see me score,” Emmons said. “I haven’t played college football in a long time. It was really good to play in front of them. I can’t wait to get back to them outside the stadium.”
GameBrowser: FAU (8-3, 6-1) 40, UTSA (4-7, 3-4) 26
Malcolm Davis raced 16 yards, basically untouched, up the middle to cap the Owls’ first drive of the game on Saturday, giving FAU a 7-0 lead. The Owls never trailed in the game and UTSA never truly threatened.
- FAU is getting healthier at running back at the right time. Emmons returned from a broken ankle suffered in the season’s opening game to rush for 53 yards on nine carries. No FAU rusher managed more than James Charles’ 63 yards, yet the Owls still rushed for 190 yards on the afternoon.
- Despite the victory, Lane Kiffin will have plenty of ammunition to keep his Owls from being overconfident. The Owls didn’t play particularly well in the second half defensively, surrendering 23 points. It’s the first time the Owls have been outscored in the fourth quarter all season.
- It’s a shame that the final game of the regular season will fall on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The Owls already already have enough trouble drawing fans. Now they will have to play what should be a Conference USA East Division clinching game on Saturday in what will likely be an empty stadium because students are away for Thanksgiving break.
- Turnover margin continues to be FAU’s friend. The Owls recovered two fumbles and intercepted Lowell Narcisse once on Saturday. The only FAU turnover came on the same play as that interception when officials looked at the replay and mysteriously ruled that Meiko Dotson fumbled the ball before stepping out of bounds on the return.
4 – Fumble recoveries on the season for Rashad Smith, a single season FAU record, after he fell on another loose ball Saturday.
5 – Road victories over FBS teams on the season for FAU, the most ever in one season for the Owls.
7 – Tackles for Keke Leroy and Hosea Barnwell to lead the Owls.
31– First downs for FAU. UTSA only managed 20.
100 – Victories in FAU program history.
182 – Receiving yards for Harrison Bryant, who eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for his career.
336 – Passing yards for FAU QB Chris Robison.
526 – Total yards for FAU on the afternoon.
Southern Miss comes to Howard Schnellenberger Field on Saturday for the regular season finale. Should the Owls win that game, they will host the Conference USA Championship Game the following week.