Carroll fills in for an injured Medlock to give Panthers a road win

Photo by Srdjan Marjanovic

Jackson Wolek/Staff Writer

After being benched just a week before in favor of redshirt freshmen Jake Medlock, Wesley Carroll returned under center following a right shoulder injury to Medlock on the second play of the game to throws three touchdowns and lead the Panthers to a 28-17 win on the road to increase their bowl hopes.

“I’ve been in football long enough to know it is any given play and you have to be ready. Auburn my freshmen year our quarterback hurt his hand, so maybe that prepared me for a situation like this,” said Carroll. Carroll passed for 213 yards in relief-duty to lead the way for the Panthers.

FIU (7-4, 4-3 SBC) is on a two-game winning streak and has scored the most points over a two-game span this season.
After Medlock’s injury, Carroll picked up things right where he left off. On his second drive of the game, the senior signal caller found tight end Colt Anderson for a 13-yard touchdown pass to give FIU an opening 7-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter, Carroll got his second touchdown of the game, throwing a pass up the middle to Glenn Coleman, who made a shoe-string catch and took it into the endzone for a 27-yard score, making it 14-0 FIU with 9:22 left in the first half.

The excitement was short lived though, as it was immediately followed by a 98-yard kickoff return from ULM’s Luther Ambrose, marking the first kick-return for a touchdown against the Panthers in school history.

Carroll answered right back on the next drive to make it back-to-back touchdowns, finding T.Y Hilton this time for his first receiving touchdown since Oct. 18 against Arkansas State on a 58-yard pass. It was Hilton’s 23rd touchdown catch in his collegiate career, a Sun Belt and school record.

“We felt good coming out of the empty [formation]. Knowing the way they play was getting them nervous and I took them inside and just used my speed to do the rest,” said Hilton.
The Panther defense capped off the scoring barrage that the offense had put up in the second quarter by pinning ULM back on their own eight yard line, and getting an interception from Jonathan Cyprien, taking the score to 28-10 at the half. It was Cyprien’s first touchdown of his collegiate career.

Both sides went scoreless in the third quarter, but ULM cut the lead to 28-17 with 9:34 in the game on a 1-yard run by quarterback Kolton Browning. The Warhawks came close to scoring again on their next drive, until Ricard Leonard intercepted Browning in the endzone to avoid any chances of a Warhawk turnaround.
Medlock was knocked out of the game after scrambling out of the pocket. Instead of sliding on the ground to avoid getting hit, the redshirt quarterback braced for impact.

“I talked to Jake [Medlock] later on in the game and I said, ‘Come on, you cant play like this, you’ve got to start sliding. Every quarterback is sliding.’ Sometimes you’ve got to know when to drop [your shoulder] it and sometimes you got to know when to slide,” said Hilton.

The Panthers have one more game to impress bowl committees, a road game against Middle Tennessee on Nov. 26. Medlock’s status for the season finale is sill uncertain.

“We’re going to have to do some testing when we get home … We all know he likes to run … So were going to have to examine him when we get back … he was hurt enough that we had to keep him out of football,” said coach Mario Cristobal.

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