The Florida International Golden Panthers wanted to make a splash early in the season. By taking on two Big 10 teams at home in their first two games, Coach Ron Turner was hoping to gain at least one win to earn some respect and give his players a boost.
Things did not turn out like Turner hoped as FIU fell to 0-2 following Friday night’s 41-14 drubbing at the hands of the Maryland Terps. They lost to Indiana last Thursday night 34-13, who were helped immensely by two interception returns for touchdowns.
While Indiana and Maryland are from one of the nation’s most iconic football conferences, they are clearly not among the league’s elite. Maryland finished the 2015 season with a 3-9 record while Indiana was only 6-6. The Terps hired D.J. Durkin from Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan to take over their program beginning this season.
Durkin’s team provided an even tougher test for FIU on Friday night. Another interception return against Alex McGough for a touchdown, this time by Jermaine Carter, Jr., put Maryland up 10-0 in the first quarter.
Following the interception, Maurice Alexander came on in relief of McGough and finished the game. From his respectable performance that included one touchdown pass and no interceptions, he may well get the nod to start next week.
It was 31-7 by halftime and 41-7 at the end of the third quarter. Quarterback Perry Hills threw for three touchdowns with D.J. Moore catching two of them. Reserves played most of the fourth quarter.
The Panthers search for their first win next week on the road. They will play against the Massachusetts Minutemen, a team that stayed with the Florida Gators for most of the game last week before falling 24-7.