UPDATED Nov. 27, 1:10 p.m.: Saturday’s scheduled game between FAU and MTSU will not be played as scheduled. Two teams may try to reschedule for next week, which would bump Ga. Southern, a non-conference opponent, from the schedule. Both FAU and MTSU have COVID-19 issues.
BOCA RATON – FAU is on the brink of having another game either canceled or postponed because of COVID-19 issues.
Sources tell FAUOwlAccess.com that positive tests and contact tracing have hit the running back position hard, but coaches remain optimistic that Saturday’s game at Middle Tennessee (3-6, 2-4) can be played. A lack of players available within a position group is often cited as the reason for postponing or canceling games.
FAU (5-1, 4-1) is preparing to be without at least its top three leading running backs – Malcolm Davidson, BJ Emmons and James Charles. Kelvin Dean is expected to miss the game.
Larry McCammon, a starter at times last year, is already out for the season with an ankle injury.
Those five players account for all of the 726 yards gained by running backs this season. Their absence will put more pressure on redshirt-freshman quarterback Javion Posey and an FAU passing game that’s averaging only 114.0 yards per game – better than only four teams in the nation.
Posey is expected to make his third career start. His biggest asset thus far has been his running ability. In two games as a starter Posey’s rushed for 272 yards and two touchdowns. His 332 rushing yards on the season position Posey as the Owls’ leading rusher.
He replaced Nick Tronti starting quarterback two games ago but it was Tronti, temporarily subbing for the injured Posey, who threw the lone touchdown pass in last week’s 24-2 victory over UMass. Tronti’s thrown four touchdown passes on the season, while Posey only has two.
If none of the Owls’ top running backs are available the rushing load will likely fall to former walk-on Daniel Leconte. The redshirt-junior has 26 career carries covering 87 yards. He does not have a carry this season.
The Owls would also have to rely on sophomore Glover Cook, who signed as an offensive player but converted to defensive back last season. Cook moved back to running back earlier this season. A prolific and electrifying offensive threat at Ocala-Vanguard, Cook has yet to take an offense snap at FAU.
FAU coach Willie Taggart could also employ either Tronti or Posey at running back. Tronti’s 83 rushing yards are fifth most among Owls and his two touchdowns trail only Posey’s three for the team lead.
Redshirt-freshman walk-on Rayquan Berry is the only other running back listed on FAU’s roster.
Should FAU not play on Saturday, it would be the seventh Owls’ game to be canceled or postponed because of COVID this season. Games at Minnesota, and against Stony Brook and Old Dominion were canceled before the season even started. Contests at Georgia Southern and Southern Miss were postponed until December. The game against South Florida was announced as a postponement but no makeup game has been announced.
The Owls could conceivably add a game the weekend of Dec. 19 should they not reach the Conference USA title game.