Miami Sports Day

FIU: Panthers Down UTEP Miners at Home, 32-17

MIAMI –  FIU rolled past UTEP 32-17 at home on Saturday night, as the Panthers picked up their second Conference USA win of the season.

With the win, FIU improves to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play.

UTEP falls to 1-5 overall and 0-3 in C-USA. The Panthers will travel to Murfreesboro, Tennessee next week to face Middle Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 26, before returning home to host Old Dominion on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Anthony Jones led the Panthers on offense with 163 yards from scrimmage and a score, as the running back crossed the century mark with 102 yards on the ground and hauled in another 61 yards through the air. The game marked Jones’ third-straight over the 100-yard mark. On the defensive side, Tevin Jones got the start at middle linebacker and produced with a game-high nine tackles.

Rishard Dames grabbed his third interception of the year and added two tackles in the game.

Trailing 7-3 after the first quarter, FIU utilized a 15-point second quarter to take the lead over UTEP and never relinquished it the rest of the way.

The Panther offense strung together an 11-play drive on their second possession of the game and capped it with a nine-yard touchdown pass from James Morgan to Shemar Thornton to go up 10-7 over the Miners.

FIU forced a safety later in the second quarter when a bad Miners’ snap led to a sack on quarterback Kai Locksley in the end zone. Kicker Jose Borregales was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals in the first half as he connected from 32, 34, and a season-long 46 yards out, giving the Panthers an 18-7 lead before the break.

The two highlight plays of the night came in the fourth quarter from Jones, who first reeled in a short pass from Morgan and turned on the jets for a 61-yard gain down the sideline. Jones punched in a three-yard rushing score two plays later to give FIU a 25-7 lead late in the game.

On the next FIU possession, Jones busted free for a 65-yard scramble to set up Napoleon Maxwell for a rushing score of his own, as the Panthers racked up over 30 points for the fifth-consecutive game.

FIU hits the road next week as the Panthers travel to Middle Tennessee on Saturday, Oct 25. Kickoff against the Blue Raiders is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET.

GAME NOTES: FIU recorded its first safety since Nov. 11, 2017 against Old Dominion…..Jose Borregales connected on his longest field goal of the season from 46 yards out…Anthony Jones logged his fourth-consecutive game with a rushing touchdown and ran for over 100 yards for the third-straight game….FIU recorded a season-high three sacks in the game against UTEP….James Morgan is now tied with Paul McCall for third-most touchdown passes as a Panther. Morgan has thrown for 34 in just two seasons at FIU.

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