Even after the 45-0 victory over Bethune-Cookman, FAU coach Lane Kiffin expected more production from his passing game.
He elected to re-open the quarterback battle between Parr and Jason Driskel – a battle that’s meandered into its second season.
“We just felt like even though the stats looked good last week we weren’t performing well in the passing game,” Kiffin said. “So it kind of opened up during the week – thought that Driskel [performed] just a little bit better during the week so we gave him a shot and, you know, that didn’t fix the pass game because the longest pass in the 1st half was 12-yards.”
Driskel played the entire game in FAU’s 34-31 loss at Buffalo, completing 17 of 29 passes for 150 yards. One of those passes was intercepted.
By comparison, Parr completed 15 of 26 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown last week against FCS foe Bethune-Cookman. He was intercepted once.
Former Florida St. quarterback DeAndre Johnson, who transferred to FAU from East Mississippi CC where he was featured in the Netflix docu-series “Last Chance U” was expected to be part of that battle. Johnson, however, underwent surgery to remove blood clots from his arm two weeks ago and his ability to return this season is in doubt.
After Saturday’s loss, Kiffin told ESPN West Palm that the quarterback competition will remain open this week.
GameBrowser: Buffalo (2-2) 34, FAU (1-3) 31
TURNING POINT: Facing a fourth-and-three at its own 17 with a little less than three minutes remaining, FAU unsuccessfully tried to pick up a first down. After taking over possession Buffalo didn’t gain any yardage on its first two plays, and with FAU using its timeouts, only about a dozen seconds came off the clock. If FAU could have held on third down it would have forced Buffalo to attempt a field goal, which would have kept the Owls within one possession. Instead, Anthony Johnson streaked behind FAU cornerback Raekwon Williams and backup quarterback Drew Anderson lofted the ball perfectly into his arms for the score that put the game out of reach.
- FAU averaged 7.1 yards per rush. The Owls only averaged 8.8 yards per completion. Why in the world does FAU insist on putting the ball in the air? Decent play calling would have allowed FAU to win. Is it time for Kiffin to take over play calling duties from offensive coordinator Kendal Briles?
- For a coach who constantly bemoans the lack of timing and coordination between FAU’s quarterbacks and wide receivers, electing to make a quarterback change was an odd decision. The only way the rapport between QBs and WRs is going to improve is through repetition. To constantly change quarterbacks limits the amount of time passers and catchers get to build that cohesion. Wouldn’t it be better to pick a quarterback and stick with the decision?
- Every time Jason Driskel looks downfield it feels like an interception looms. He stares down the primary receiver and his arm isn’t strong enough to overcome a safety who’s reading his eyes.
- FAU committed six penalties in the first 20 minutes of play. Many of them came before the snap or had no effect on the outcome of the play. Teams that win close games don’t make those mistakes.
- Buffalo’s physical offensive line overpowered FAU up front. The Bulls rushed for 204 yards – 94 of them coming in the second half when, with a back-up quarterback in the game, everyone knew the run was coming.
- FAU learned how important linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair is to the defense. Al-Shaair didn’t play on Saturday after suffering a shoulder injury against Bethune-Cookman. Without Al-Shaair, the Owls missed even more tackles than usual.
0 – Buffalo turnovers forced by FAU on Saturday.
3 – Third down conversions in 10 tries for FAU. That’s actually a better percentage than the Owls’ season average.
7 – Receptions for FAU WR DeAndre McNeal, totaling 37 yards.
15– Tackles for true freshman safety Zyon Gilbert to lead the Owls. Gilbert replaced Andrew Soroh as the starter on Saturday.
15 – Of FAU’s 22 first downs that came on running plays.
40:28 – Time of possession for Buffalo. FAU had the ball less than 20 minutes.
43 – Passing yards first half for FAU.
156 – Rushing yards for Devin Singletary, 99 of which came in the first half.
UP NEXT: FAU begins Conference USA play on Saturday when Middle Tennessee comes to Boca Raton for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Owls have not beaten the Blue Raiders since 2007.