Kif­fin plays quar­ter­back roulette

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Sports - By David Furones dfurones@sunsen­tinel.com / @DavidFurones_

BOCA RA­TON — Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kif­fin went away from the quar­ter­back that or­ches­trated a 42-7 scor­ing run against ri­val FIU last Satur­day as his starter ver­sus Western Ken­tucky.

He went back to De’An­dre John­son and then back away from him again, in fa­vor of red­shirt fresh­man Chris Ro­bi­son be­fore the end of the first half at FAU Sta­dium on Satur­day dur­ing the Owls’ home­com­ing game.

Ro­bi­son trot­ted out with the first-team of­fense on FAU’s open­ing drive against the Hill­top­pers and was on for their first touch­down drive, en­gi­neered mostly by the run­ning game. He com­pleted a pair of passes, but ju­nior back Devin “Mo­tor” Sin­gle­tary had a 31-yard rush to get the Owls into WKU ter­ri­tory and Ker­rith Whyte scored on an 8-yard touch­down run.

Up 10-6, Kif­fin went back to John­son early in the sec­ond quar­ter af­ter three Ro­bi­son drives. John­son had a rush­ing touch­down called back and then threw an in­ter­cep­tion to end the red-zone scor­ing threat. Ro­bi­son was 8 of 10 for 96 yards at the time of the change.

John­son came up empty on a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sion, and Kif­fin went back to Ro­bi­son. He lost a fum­ble on the Owls’ fi­nal drive be­fore half­time that led to a Hill­top­pers field goal.

Ear­lier this week, Kif­fin would not pub­licly com­mit to a starter. That af­ter John­son’s per­for­mance last week which saw him throw two touch­downs, run for

52 yards and open up lanes for Sin­gle­tary and Whyte to amass

349 rush­ing yards com­bined. Ro­bi­son han­dled the orig­i­nal bench­ing well.

“I want to be great,” Ro­bi­son said this past week. “Even though, the com­peti­tor I am, I want to be tak­ing the ones reps, but I’m all about team.”

John­son said he no­ticed no dif­fer­ence in the dis­tri­bu­tion of first-team reps this past week in prac­tice.

“I’m just ex­e­cut­ing what coach Kif­fin is de­sign­ing up — him and [of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Char­lie Weis Jr.],” said John­son. “Which­ever way I can con­trib­ute to the team is what I’m ded­i­cated and com­mit­ted to do­ing. What­ever helps the team win.”

John­son ar­rived in Boca Ra­ton last year af­ter stints at FSU and East Mis­sis­sippi CC, where he was fea­tured on Net­flix se­ries “Last Chance U.”

Ro­bi­son has started ev­ery game ex­cept for a 21-13 loss at home to Lou­i­si­ana Tech where grad trans­fer Rafe Peavey started as Ro­bi­son dealt with an an­kle in­jury. Ro­bi­son en­tered the lineup late in the game for the Owls’ fi­nal drive.

Said re­ceiver DeSean Holmes: “I feel like ev­ery­body we have are good quar­ter­backs. They’ve been thrown in the fire, so all we have to do is go and rally around them.”

Mile­stone for Sin­gle­tary: Sin­gle­tary eclipsed the 4,000-yard ca­reer rush­ing yard mile­stone on the Owls’ open­ing drive on Satur­day. He is the only FAU player to reach the mark as the pro­gram’s all-time lead­ing rusher, pass­ing Al­fred Mor­ris ear­lier this sea­son . ...

Re­ceiver Wil­lie Wright re­turned af­ter suf­fer­ing a con­cus­sion in last week’s win at FIU. He was hit on a play where Pan­thers de­fen­sive back Richard Dames was called for tar­get­ing as Wright reached for a pass in the flat . ...

As part of the home­com­ing fes­tiv­i­ties at FAU, the 2008 Owls’ foot­ball team was hon­ored. Quar­ter­back Rusty Smith and line­backer Michael Lock­ley were on hand from the team that won the Mo­tor City Bowl.

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