Photo Credit: Juliet Bonavita

Following a rough performance from quarterback Nick Tronti, Willie Taggart turned to Javion Posey to lead the Florida Atlantic offense.

Posey, a redshirt freshman from Alabama, played the final 11 minutes and change for the Owls, eventually leading the Owls down the field for the game-winning touchdown.

“We talked about getting Javion some reps and having some plays for him but I felt like we needed a spark,” FAU head coach Willie Taggart said. “He came into practice this week and was a spark this week in practice and seeing the ways his teammates responded to him said a lot to me. In the game, he got out there and sure enough, it gave us a spark there.”

Posey’s first drive did not end in a pretty fashion. With a first down at their own 47-yard line, Posey rolled out and made a few defensive ends miss in space. While retreating, Posey attempted to throw the ball towards multiple Western Kentucky defenders. The pass was intercepted by linebacker Kyle Bailey.

“I’ma blame the wind on that one,” Posey said about the interception. “Just trying to put the ball out of bounds, it ended up falling into the defender’s hands.”

Following the interception, Western Kentucky’s Brayden Narveson connected on a 49-yard field goal, giving the Hilltoppers a 6-3 lead.

Despite the interception, FAU head coach Willie Taggart stuck with Posey for the next drive. On the following drive, Posey carried the ball three times for 22 yards. On his final run of the drive, Posey took the quarterback keeper to the left side of the field, outrunning the Hilltoppers defenders for an 11-yard touchdown.

The Greenville, Alabama native concluded the action as FAU’s leading rusher, rushing for 60 yards on 9 carries. Included in the 60 yards were team long runs of 15 and 17 yards.

“I [saw] everything I saw him doing when he first got here, as a freshman. Just waiting for his opportunity and you see what happened, he ran with it,” running back BJ Emmons said of Posey’s performance. “It just helped us out dramatically as a team, boosted us and it should boost his confidence coming into next week against FIU.”

Who is Posey?

Posey is the third quarterback to take a meaningful snap for FAU. Nick Tronti has started every game for the Owls, playing most of the Owls’ offensive snaps. Freshman Willie Taggart Jr. saw two drives in the third quarter against UTSA, rushing the ball three times and throwing it once.

Posey joined FAU as a quarterback before last season but moved to wide receiver for the entirety of last season. Posey’s only reception came against SMU in the Boca Bowl, where Tronti connected with Posey for a 23-yard passing touchdown.

“It brought excitement to me,” said Posey about playing quarterback again for FAU. “It felt real good to be back behind the center, just calling the offense really, controlling things.

Despite the strong play from Posey, Taggart did not go as far to say that the quarterback competition is open ahead of the Shula Bowl against FIU.

“We’ll see,” Taggart said. “I know he gave us a spark, he gave us some good things. We’ll watch the film and evaluate everything and make sure we do what’s best for us.”

Outside of Posey, the FAU offense was sluggish. BJ Emmons led FAU running backs with 56 yards on a team-high 14 carries. TJ Chase finished the night as the team’s leading receiver with 47 yards on three receptions. Jordan Merrell had the team’s longest reception, a 35-yard pass from Tronti.