FAU Football Head Coach Lane Kiffin is not that happy with Saturday’s scrimmage, the first of fall camp for his Owls. In what he calls a “sloppy” performance, Kiffin feels that redshirt sophomore quarterbacks Chris Robison and Nick Tronti got ahead of junior Justin Agner, who has been sick in recent days.
According to Kiffin, “They both probably got ahead of Justin. Justin had the bad interception to start the game, but he’s been really sick…so kind of hard to evaluate him on that.”
Robison, the incumbent starter who was suspended this past spring, went 6 for 10 for 154 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Kiffin says, “I thought Chris did what he’s kind of done in camp. We all know he’s arm talented, made some really good throws. But at the same time, he’s got to make the right decisions. We’ve got a third-and-1 in two-minute there where you hand the ball off and he pulls the ball. You lose a yard and waste a timeout. He’s a sophomore now. He can’t make those mistakes in critical situations.”
Tronti went 4 of 11 for 57 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, but was not pleased with his performance. He explains, “I looked like a high school quarterback out there, to be honest. Missing throws, turning the ball over. Unacceptable. It’s not going to help the team win.”
Agner was 1 of 5 for 7 yards and an interception, unofficially.
The offense finally got going in the middle of the game. That’s when Robison connected with redshirt sophomore receiver Chris Herring for a touchdown. Then, Tronti hit senior tight end John Raine for a score on the following drive.
The Owls’ first three drives, which gave each quarterback who is competing for the starting job a chance on Saturday, all resulted in turnovers.
The first two were interceptions thrown by Agner and Tronti, and picked off by safety Da’Von Brown and cornerback Diashun Moss, respectively. The third, while Robison was in at quarterback, was a fumble from running back Kelvin Dean, which was recovered by linebacker Hosea Barnwell.
“I thought it was more a reflection of the offense,” Kiffin says. He adds, “The first interception, you should’ve never thrown. You just chucked it up. Anybody could’ve made that play on defense. The defense did force a fumble on the third one, but still, that’s bad ball security. A couple of other balls came out later from the running backs.”
The first points the offense scored came on the seventh drive, on a 41-yard field goal from Vladimir Rivas.
FAU has Sunday off, before returning to practice on Monday.