Johnson entered the game midway through the second quarter with the game tied at 7-7 and led the Owls to an electrifying 42 points the remainder of the way.
“We’re open to anything to win,” Kiffin said. “There could be a two-quarterback system, sure.”
Throughout his tenure at FAU Kiffin touted the idea of picking one quarterback for a game and sticking with him.
If he does employ two quarterbacks, the substitutions will come at the beginning of a possession.
“I don’t really believe in substituting during the series. I think that creates a different snap count and also when you are using tempo that’s a one-for-one sub so the other team can jog people on and sub,” Kiffin said. “I don’t really think of it within the series but potentially, like last night. That’s how we went into last night’s game, [knowing] we were going to play both.”
Johnson did most of his damage on the ground Saturday, carrying the ball seven times for 50 yards. He threw his first two career touchdown passes – one on a fourth down heave into the end zone to Jovon Durante and the other a jet sweep pitch to Durante.
Kiffin planned all week to use Johnson against FIU in the Owls’ version of the Wildcat offense, much in the same way they employed quarterback-turned-wide receiver John Franklin, another speedster, last season against FIU.
When Johnson experienced success, Kiffin stuck with him.
The primary beneficiaries of that choice were running backs Devin Singletary and Kerrith Whyte.
“That’s really hard to defend obviously,” Kiffin said. “It’s given people problems for years. When you play like that now people start jumping out of gaps into another gap when the quarterback runs, that really helps the running backs.”
Singletary, named by FAU its Shula Bowl XVII MVP, rushed for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Whyte added 165 yards and a score.
Johnson completed four of his six passes for 67 yards and those two scores, but most of those completions were at or behind the line of scrimmage.
“De’Andre can throw the ball fine, it was just not part of the game plan,” Kiffin said.
Johnson replaced Chris Robison, who started the first seven games of the season before injuring his ankle at Marshall. Robison led the Owls to a score on their first possession on Saturday and completed six of 10 passes before being lifted.
Johnson, Robison and Rafe Peavey battled during fall camp for the starting spot. Kiffin said the Owls haven’t decided on a starter for Saturday’s homecoming game against Western Kentucky.
“I don’t know that,” Kiffin said. “We’re in the fourth quarter of the season, so our Monday practice is just a walk through tomorrow. We’ve got a few days to figure that out.”