Panthers go dark in homecoming game

The Panthers returned to campus for their homecoming game in this 2013 season, but that’s all she wrote, as they fell to the Blazers of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

A much closer game than earlier games in the season, the Panthers once again hurt themselves and allowed the Blazers to march 70 yards in their last drive to end the game on a field goal.

Someone at FIU Stadium must’ve forgotten to pay the electricity bill, as the scoreboards went dark during the Blazers game-winning drive. As the game went on, the Panthers defense didn’t.

Mental lapses and personal foul calls on the defense handed the win to the Blazers to even both teams Conference USA record at 1-1.

The bright side of the night was the offense. Quarterback Jake Medlock was back under center and ended the night with a season-high 302 yards in the air and two touchdowns. Medlock went into Saturdays game with two scores all season.

Going into Saturdays matchup was the question of how would true freshman Silas Spearman III come back after his game versus the University of Southern Mississippi, and he didn’t disappoint in the first possession of the game, but that’s where it ended.

The Panthers were only able to muster 94 yards on the ground, compared to the Blazers 217, courtesy of running backs Jordan Howard and Darrin Reaves, who combined for 202 yards rushing.
Looks like someone also forgot to tell the tailgaters that a game was being played. According to FIU, 15,696 “fans” attended the game. Not sure where that person was sitting but from my vantage point during the game, that seems to be a stretch.

Clearly more people attended the tailgate festivities just feet outside the gates of the stadium. Even a week after the Panthers got their first win of the season and in C-USA wasn’t enough to get the seats filled and bring excitement to the stadium, on a night that is supposed to be spent showing support and school spirit.
Thankfully for the supporters of this team, it looks as if this group is finally getting a hold of the playbook, as opposed to the beating they took early on in the season.

If Medlock can keep off the injury list, he could have more big time games. Not to say he will have another 300-yard game but equaling his total touchdown mark of the season in one game is a way to start.

Another breakout Panther was receiver Rockey Vann. Vann finished with 88 yards on two receptions. He was unable to reach the end zone but the biggest play came on a Hail Mary pass from Medlock to Vann that ended at the one-yard line.

Don’t expect this squad to put many points up on the board but, if guys are able to connect on the fly, it will clearly open up the running game which has already shown they are capable to compete.
As the season unfolds, we will all see if this team truly is on the rise or if that lone win was just a lucky shot in the dark.

About the Author

Patrick Chalvire
: Radio Host for Panther Sports Talk Live. Assistant Sports Director for The Beacon. Majoring in Communication Arts. Sports fan and aspiring anchor.

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