The disappointing season continues for the Golden Panthers.
This past weekend FIU played in the “Shula bowl” against the FAU Owls in Boca Raton. The Golden Panthers lost the game by a final score of 31-17.
This loss was mainly due to the poor defense, which struggled against one of the worst offenses in the conference. Clearly, it wasn’t a great offensive game, but not all the blame is on the offensive side of the ball.
The FIU defense allowed 17 points in the first half, but held FAU to zero points in the third quarter. After that; however, the wheels fell off the wagon and the Golden Panthers allowed 14 in the fourth quarter.
The Golden Panthers offense simply could not keep up with FAU’s offensive attack. What is even more unfortunate about this loss, is that FIU’s star players did not have bad games.
Quarterback Alex McGough throw for 196 yds, a touchdown, and running back Alex Gardner ran for 105 yards on 20 carries.
These numbers are not stellar, but should have been good enough to beat a team that came into this matchup with only one victory.
This was yet another game that FIU let slip because of the poor defensive performance.
FAU did not destroy FIU threw the air like most blowouts. FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson only threw for 113 yards on 10 completions.
It was the run game that killed the Golden Panthers. FAU running back Trey Rodriguez ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns, on the same amount of carries as FIU running back Alex Gardner.
One more stat that shows the poor defense shown in this game: not one leader in passing, rushing, or receiving for FAU had better stats than FIU.
In other words, Alex McGough had more passing yards than Jaquez Johnson, Alex Gardner had more rushing yards that Trey Rodrigez and wide receiver Clinton Taylor had more receiving yards than Owl wide receiver Jenson Stoshak.
This just goes to show you that the offense is not the problem.
This loss is unfortunately not a total surprise, the Golden Panthers have lost every road game this season except one, pinning their road record at 1-4.
This game puts FIU’s overall record at 4-5, and puts them in 4th place in the Conference USA east standings.
Game prediction: Next week the Golden Panthers will face off against the 2-6 University of Charlotte 49ers. FIU needs a win. There is a chance they lose this game if they come in with a cocky mindset, but if they have the right mentality and make the right plays they can win this game. I see FIU blowing up the score in the first half but Charlotte staying close. The 49ers will get some quick scores in the third, but FIU holds up on the defensive side and gets a couple late scores resulting in a win.
Final score: FIU 42 Charlotte 21