Running back, team captain able to make connections on the field

Jasmine Casimir // Assistant Sports Director

The ending to the story Friday night for the Panthers was another loss, but junior running back, Alex Gardner, gave it all he had to fight for a different ending.

Gardner was a man with a plan in the Friday night lights game against University of Maryland, who was leading the Panthers with 113 rushing yards.

The offense opened up the first quarter scoreless, but had a different mindset for the second quarter as they made an impressive drive to put them on the scoreboard.

The drive to the Terrapins’ end zone included a 55-yard breakthrough by the running back, putting the offense at the four-yard line.

“I pressed the hole when the offensive lineman got to the guys,” Gardner said. “I seen(sic) the cutback and I split through the middle and just did my thing after that.”

In the very next play, redshirt freshman quarterback Maurice Alexander handed off to Gardner to finish the job.  

Gardner’s on-field relationship with quarterback Alex McGough was cut short during the game after McGough sustained an injury, but made a connection with Alexander after he stepped in for McGough.

“McGough is one of our leaders so when he went down, it was kind of frustrating, but [Hardtime] came in and he showed up big,” Gardner said. “With him coming in, it opened us up with the inside run game.”

Gardner was one of the four team captains for the matchup, and made it his duty to step up for his team no matter the outcome.

“The great thing about sports is that you get another chance to improve and get better,” Gardner said. “Next week we’re going to bring it, we’ll be good.”

FIU will go on the road for the first time in the season to take on the University of Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised on American Sports Network.

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