FAU spring game will feature a modified scoring system.
BOCA RATON— Florida Atlantic’s spring game on Saturday will include a modified scoring system and an offense vs. defense format, coach Lane Kiffin announced Thursday morning.
The offense will earn points for touchdowns (6), field goals (3), two-point conversions (2) and extra points (1). The defense will earn points for touchdowns (6), three-and-outs (5), stops (3), fumble recoveries (3) and interceptions (3).
Kiffin said the format was chosen because of FAU’s depleted depth due to injuries.
“It’s something we’ve done before, one year when our numbers were really low at USC because the probation,” Kiffin said.
The game starts at 4 p.m. in FAU Stadium, with gates opening at 3 p.m.
Kiffin said the first half of Saturday’s game would be played live (tackled to the ground), and the coaching staff was debating whether the second half would be live. Quarterbacks will not be live, meaning hopeful starters Jason Driskel and De’Andre Johnson will not get hit.
FAU will play four traditional, 15-minute quarters with a halftime slightly shorter than a typical game halftime.
The Owls will kick field goals, but wouldn’t do more extensive special teams, Kiffin said. FAU has practiced special teams in four separate groups this spring, and Kiffin said the top two groups would have a 7-minute “competitive period” of special teams.
FAU will play in game uniforms instead of practice jerseys on Saturday. According to a university spokesperson, the offense will wear red, the defense will wear white and the quarter backs will wear blue.
Kiffin said the playbooks would be minimized, allowing the players to play fast in both Kendal Briles’ offense and Chris Kiffin’s defense. Lane Kiffin said FAU is done installing both the offense and defense, but didn’t want to throwa lot ofnewideas at his players at the last minute.
Instead, the players enter Saturday prepared like they would be for a game, according to Kiffin.
“We’re not going tohave a ton of things,” Kiffin said. “That way they should be able to play really fast so we can get a really good evaluation of them. … Scaling it down should be able to help these guys really have no excuses to play really well.”
Last season, former coach Charlie Partridge opted to match up the first-team against second-team. The starters won, 55-0.
Admission to the game is free. It will not be streamed online.
“It’ll be great for all our guys to get out there and hopefully, we’ll have a lot of people come out,” Kiffin said. “It’s free for a reason. Wewant people to come out and see what we’re doing.”
FAU opens its season Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. against Navy on ESPNU.
No separation with QBs
After 14 spring practices, Kiffin said there was no separation between Driskel and Johnson in the competition to be starting quarterback. Johnson worked with the first-team offense Thursday, and Driskel did so on Tuesday.
“Some days, you come in and one guy is better than the other guy,” Kiffin said. “They’ve both had really good springs, played really well and made really good decisions. It’s a very good problem to have.”
Driskel started 11 games for FAU last season, throwing for 2,415 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Johnson transferred to FAU from East Mississippi Community College, where he threw for 2,646 yards, 26 touchdowns and six interceptions.
■ FAU did not practice in pads Thursday morning and wore shorts and helmets instead. It was one of its three NCAA mandated sessions without contact. The Owls were also without pads in the first two practices this spring.
#16 QB Jason Driskel takes part in the FAU spring football practice, Mike Stocker, South Florida Sun-Sentinel