Offense struggles, defense shines in FAU football’s first scrimmage

Chris Robison, with two touchdowns, led all other quarterbacks.


Head coach Lane Kiffin reflects on today’s scrimmage as the season opener comes closer. Photo by: Zachary Weinberger

Zachary Weinberger, Sports Editor

There are 21 days left until the season opener against Ohio State — and FAU prepared with their first scrimmage Saturday afternoon. 


Head coach Lane Kiffin called the scrimmage “very sloppy,” and added that’s normal for first scrimmages. He said there were “more penalties and more turnovers than what we have been doing in practice. That part is discouraging. We have a lot of work to do.”


The coveted job of starting quarterback is still up for grabs as Chris Robison, Nick Tronti and Justin Agner still compete. But based on the past seven practices and this afternoon’s scrimmage, it looks like Robison could be in the lead. 


Based on unofficial stats from today, Robison completed six passes out of ten attempts for over 150 yards and two touchdowns. Tronti struggled as he completed four out of 11 tries for 57 yards to go along with a touchdown and two interceptions. Agner, who was limited and is dealing with a sickness, only attempted five throws, completing one pass and throwing a pick. 


A standout on the offensive side of the ball was former Alabama running back BJ Emmons who showed off a lot of moves when dodging defenders. He showed he can be a dual-threat back, where one of the best plays of the day is when he took a screen pass for 50 yards and a touchdown. 


Tronti pointed out some of his mistakes for the day and what he can improve on. 


“I missed a lot of throws today, so accuracy has to get better,” the redshirt sophomore Tronti said. “For the most part, I felt like I understood all the plays, but I mean you can always sharpen up your mental side of the game.” 


Lane Kiffin thought the offensive line’s performance in today’s scrimmage could have improved. 


“I thought the ones and twos at times did some good things but I think I don’t think we played good upfront,” Kiffin said. “I think it was more of a reflection of the [running] backs, because a number of those runs was caused because of a miss by a linebacker.”


The bright spot of Saturday’s scrimmage was the defense. That “mob” mentality that middle linebacker Akileis Leroy talked about last week was shown full force today. They created multiple turnovers and seemed unstoppable, stopping everything in their way, whether it be through the air or on the ground. 


The defensive players who recorded an interception today included Da’Von Brown, Diashun Moss and none other than redshirt senior defensive linemen Noah Jefferson who athletically made a play to pick off Tronti.


The next scrimmage for the Owls is scheduled for Aug. 17.


Zachary Weinberger is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @ZachWeinberger.