Kiffin said he started Davidson with hopes he’d provide a spark.
Davidson delivered a career day, rushing for his first 100 yard game of his career and adding a touchdown. His 57-yard scamper late in the third quarter gave FAU a nine-point lead, enough to ensure victory.
“He’s got special speed and kinda like [former FAU and current Chicago Bears RB] Kerrith Whyte and them because they don’t get caught from behind.” Kiffin said
FAU’s breakout rushing afternoon wasn’t exactly expected. The Owls’ ground attack came into the day ranked No, 98 nationally and ninth in Conference USA, averaging 132 yards per game.
After getting beat for an early MTSU touchdown, cornerback Meiko Dotson responded with his second consecutive two-interception game. Rashad Smith also nabbed his second interception of the season.
FAU surrendered 459 to the Blue Raiders but were able to hold MTSU to 13 total points.
MTSU started the scoring with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Asher O’Hara to CJ Windham, taking a 6-0 lead. The Blue Raiders’ excitement proved short lived.
Keke Leroy blocked the extra point and, when the ball bounced into his hands, raced to the end zone for a 2-point score, cutting the lead to four.
“ I scooped it up and I was like, Run for your life,” Leroy said.
Quarterback Chris Robison struggled for the first time in four games. His four-yard touchdown pass to John Mitchell midway through the second quarter gave FAU its first lead, 9-6. Robison’s streak of consecutive yard games ended at three. was not able to continue his streak of 300 yard games after he managed only 145 yards.
“It just didn’t feel like a very clean game,” Kiffin said. “We struggled a times on offense, which is pretty new.”
FAU (4-2, 2-0) trailed 13-12 at the half but re-took the lead with a 26-yard Vladi Rivas field goal on the Owls first possession of the second half.
Leading 22-13 following Davidson’s long touchdown run, Rashad Smith set up the Owls’ final score with his interception, giving FAU the ball at the Blue Raiders’ 26.
Eight plays later Larry McCammon capped the scoring with a one-yard plunge.
FAU’s victory leaves the Owls and Western Kentucky as the lone undefeated teams in Conference USA’s East Division.
“I’m proud of our guys for winning but we’ve got to play a lot better to win this whole thing,” Kiffin said.
FAU now begins a short week of preparation for Marshall, which comes to Howard Schnellenberger Field on Friday at 6:30 p.m.