Lane Kiffin’s spring debut at FAU ended with mixed results as the Defense defeated the Offense 62-33 to cap spring practice.
Here was the scoring system for today’s spring game.
Here is the scoring system for #FAU's spring game. pic.twitter.com/scuFqdTtOM— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) April 20, 2017
I typically don’t take too much stock in spring games but the quarterback competition no longer looks like a forgone conclusion like I though it was going to be before spring practice started as Jason Driskel looked good. Real good.
Kiffin decided not to keep track of stats so there’s not an official count for any type of yards for the day but we do know Driskel was the MVP for today as he threw four touchdown passes and zero interceptions.
Several times he displayed poise in the pocket when hurried and most importantly, stayed away from turnovers. Incoming JUCO transfer De’Andre Johnson struggled for the majority of the day as he threw zero touchdowns and one interception.
Honestly, Johnson was fortunate two more interceptions weren’t added to the total as they were dropped. It’s tricky to judge Johnson’s play today due to his ability to maneuver out of sacks as many times the play was whistled dead when defenders were close by, negating his ability to add rushing yards. With that said, he was not good as a passer today.
Although the defense won the game decisively, they didn’t look all that sharp under new defensive coordinator Chris Kiffin. Several times they allowed receivers to get open, only to benefit from dropped passes. By my count there was seven drops today.
Not only that, but they displayed many of the same mistakes from last year in run defense, specifically tackling and gap control.
The linebackers were one of the few bright spots today as some guys made some key plays which was great to see especially given the injuries they’ve been dealing with this spring. Junior Jacob Douglas made the interception on Johnson and freshman Hosea Barnwell also made some nice plays in the backfield via sacks.
However, they were exposed too as Devin Singletary ran through a gaping hole and walked into the end zone from 18 yards out, signaling someone made a bad read.
Speaking of the running backs, they were awesome today at making the first guy miss as Devin Singletary, Greg Howell, Marcus Clark and Kerrith Whyte all looked capable of shouldering the load if their numbers are called during the season.
The special teams looked like their reliable selves as Greg Joseph nailed a 50-yarder with room to spare.
Overall this team still has a lot to work on heading into the offseason. Both units committed a bevy amount of penalties (I counted six false starts today) and didn’t look all that crisp.
If Lane Kiffin is to live up to the hype this season, FAU has a lot to work on. But the story of this game heading into the offseason is that Johnson and Driskel are in a dead heat to be named the starting quarterback this season.