Junior quarterback injures back during game, team receives second loss

Peter Holland // Assistant Sports Director

The football team made its debut in white uniforms for an all white Friday night lights theme at Ocean Bank Field on Friday. Unfortunately, the Panthers were outplayed and routed by University of Maryland’s offense 41-14, resulting in the Panthers’ overall record of 0-2 for the season.

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Maryland scored 31 points in the first half of the game. After trailing 3-0 in the first quarter,  junior quarterback Alex McGough threw a pick six to Maryland’s starting linebacker Jermaine Carter and gave the the Terrapins a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

McGough was injured during that play after attempting to make a tackle during the interception. According to Ron Turner,  McGough suffered a lower back injury.

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“He hurt his back obviously, and it came in right before the half and it tightened up on him,” Turner said.

Redshirt freshman Maurice Alexander took over after McGough was taken out. After trailing 17-0, the Panther’s offense began to pick it up. Junior running back Alex Gardner answered back with a 55-yard run up the middle in Maryland’s territory. The Jacksonville native finished the drive with a five-yard run for a touchdown, trailing  17-7.

“I pressed the hole after the offensive line got to their guys,” Gardner said. “I went up and got to the back, pressed the hole and seen the cutback, and I split the middle of it.”

Gardner finished the game rushing for 109 yards and one touchdown. This would be his fifth 100-yard touchdown in his career.

Maryland responded back by putting up 14 more points before halftime, then 10 additional points in the second half of the game. One was by Maryland’s quarterback Perry Hills, who threw a 40-yard pass to starting receiver DJ Moore. Hills finished the game 13-18 for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Moore had six catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

“We played a very good football team,” Turner said. “We gave a lot of the stuff early but I like this team. I believe in this team and it’s going to be a good football team.”

Alexander started the second half of the game. Despite trailing big, the Homestead native threw his first career touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Austin Maloney late in the fourth quarter. Alexander finished the game 9-18 for 131 yards and one touchdown.

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The Panthers will travel to play their first road game Saturday on Sept. 17 to face the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

Photo credit: Michael Sloan, FIUSM Photographer

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