Something had to give. Both Florida International and Massachusetts entered Saturday’s game with 0-2 records.
One of these teams had to come away with their first win of the season. In the end, it was the Minutemen, who topped the Golden Panthers 21-13 in Amherst, Massachusetts.
After two blowout losses to Big 10 teams Indiana and Maryland, FIU was in this game to the end. But a key late turnover doomed their chances to win.
Quarterback Alex McGough threw three interceptions returned for touchdowns in the first two games, but suffered no interceptions on Saturday. Instead, a fumble at the UMass 43 in the closing moments allowed the Minutemen to run out the clock.
It started off well for the Panthers. Deonte Wilson intercepted a pass to end the Minutemen’s opening drive. After taking a 3-0 lead, UMass followed with two touchdowns to close the first half with a 14-3 lead.
The Panthers got within 14-13 late in the third quarter, but could not score again. McGough rushed for a first down on a fourth-and-one on their final drive, but he coughed up the ball.
FIU showed a running game on Saturday with Alex Gardner rushing for 130 yards on 23 carries.
The Panthers seek their first victory next week when they host Central Florida on Saturday night.