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First Team shines in Florida Atlantic Spring Game

With plenty of scoring and a shutout on defense against second team players, the Owls' first team ended spring practice with a bang.

Henry Bussey had plenty of reps rushing the ball and as a receiver.
Henry Bussey had plenty of reps rushing the ball and as a receiver.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Atlantic Owls first team unit had plenty to showcase during the 2016 spring game, as the starters on both sides of the ball helped the red team cruise to a 55-0 victory versus the white team on Saturday.

The main event coming into the matchup was the battle of starting quarterbacks between Daniel Parr and Jason Driskel. Head coach Charlie Partridge said in the weeks leading up to the game that he would have both potential starters split time with the first team offense, creating a chance for either to take the position going into the fall.

Driskel received more pass opportunities out of the pair of signal callers, going 20-for-27 with two passing touchdowns and an interception, while Parr went 9-for-12 with two passing touchdowns and rushing score.

Despite Driskel making that one mistake in the interception, both quarterbacks were pretty even with all things considered. Parr definitely made the case that he was the more mobile with the amount of runs he took. Driskel fit in as the prototypical pocket passer with the performance he put in.

"Competition is the best thing for both of us," Driskel said. "It keeps you on your toes. You can't have a bad day."

This game was far from the deciding factor between the two quarterbacks, but both can be sure that their chance at the top spot is safe for now.

The running backs rotated thoroughly throughout the game as Marcus Clark, Greg Howell and Kerrith Whyte all saw the field for the red team. But, the most notable names missing from that list would be of suspended back Trey Rodriguez and Jay Warren, who sat out due to currently being a non-contact player.

Whyte is a player who definitely boosted his playing prospects. The redshirt freshman saw himself inserted with the first team offense early, running for a 3-yard score in the first half. He also ran for 16-yard score that was waived off due to holding.

"You see his quickness, you see his talent level, you saw what I think everybody who's from Palm Beach County thought he was going to bring to the table as a Seminole Ridge grad," Partridge said of the redshirt freshman.

He finished the day with two rushing touchdowns and a 17-yard receiving score, accounting for 18 of the red team's 55 points. If Whyte wasn't on track to get a few looks this fall, he should be now.

Kalib Woods seemed to be the favorite target of both Driskel and Parr as he received plenty of passes for the red team. Showing off his speed, he ran for a 45-yard touchdown pass during the second quarter.

Besides Woods, Kamrin Solomon and Henry Bussey also received an increased amount of looks from both quarterbacks. Tavaris Harrison and Nate Terry both had long touchdown receptions of 54 and 52 yards, respectively, showing off their open field speed on the longest two plays from scrimmage.

On defense, the red team took the opportunity to shut down white and keep them off the board for the whole game. Trey Hendrickson, Denzel Whitfield and Stephen Leggett were part of a unit that racked up several sacks on the day against the white team. Partridge highlighted the line as the best part of the defense's performance during the game.

Richie Kittles had one of the white team's few outstanding plays with his interception of Jason Driskel, while Jake Stoshak had red team's lone interception of the day on a play he nearly took to the end zone.

Even though the first team dominated the second team on both sides of the ball, Partridge highlighted the fact that the team still needs time to condition and institute their new offensive system.

The red offense ran 80 total plays during the game, a figure to keep in mind to compare for the Fall. If the Owls are already running more plays than they did last year before their system is fully there, that should be a great indicator that the Owls will have one of the fastest offenses in the FBS.

If you take the spring game for what it is, it mostly serves as a way to cap off spring practices and show how the team developed. For FAU, the Owls showed that if their growth continues they could be very competitive coming into next season.