BOCA RATON – Saturday’s scrimmage ended pretty much the same way that all previous scrimmages dating back to spring football did – with FAU still looking for a starting quarterback.
FAU coach Lane Kiffin said on Sunday that none of the three quarterbacks in the mix for the spot did enough to separate from the pack.
“No one took the job,” Kiffin said.
De’Andre Johnson, Jason Driskel and Daniel Parr combined to throw four interceptions against only one touchdown pass.
Parr threw for one touchdown and ran for another, from about 15-yards out, on a designed passing play that he described as being “like the Red Sea parting.”
He completed about 55 percent of his passes, with Driskel and Johnson coming in 45-percent range.
Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles named Tyrek Tisdale and Gerald Hearns, likely the fifth and sixth running backs in the rotation, as two players who impressed the most offensively.
“We have a lot of work to do and we’re not at all where we want to be,” Kiffin said.
FAU’s wide receivers didn’t do much to help their quarterbacks.
Kiffin counted nine drops among the 70 passes thrown on Saturday.
“We just don’t have timing right now,” Kiffin said. “There’s too many loose plays where guys are scrambling around, having to make plays vs. when you’re passing game is really going, everything is in rhythm.”
Kiffin believes some of those timing issues may resolve themselves once he and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles pick a starting QB.
At that point the winner of the battle will receive more repetitions with the primary receivers.
“I think it takes some time to get those guys on the same page so that when they run those routes they know exactly where the ball is going to be – I know exactly how to throw it as a quarterback, where they’re going to be,” Kiffin said. “That’s where I see it taking some time.”
The Owls would like to name a starting quarterback well before the Sept. 1 opener against Navy, but with each passing practice the likelihood that FAU could play at least two QBs against the Midshipmen increases.
“It could be whether you design, because you have different types of quarterbacks, or you just haven’t figured it out – let two guys go and see who plays better as we go and then figure it out,” Kiffin said. “Ideally that’s not what we want to do.”
The biggest bright spot in the passing game thus far has been the emergence of 5-foot-8, 160-pound true freshman Willie Wright at slot receiver. Along with showing good hands and the ability to get deep, Wright also returned a punt 95 yards on Saturday.
Expect Wright to see multiple opportunities to impact the Navy game.
“Our best guy right now is a true freshman who just got here,” Kiffin said.
The Owls did not practice on Sunday, opting instead to hold their media day along with a meet-and-greet for fans.