FIU looks for second win of the season

Peter Holland, Jr.//Asst. Sports Director

As they head to El Paso, the Panthers are looking to get their second win of the season against the University of Texas at El Paso. Should they win Saturday’s game, which starts at 8 p.m., the Panthers will be 2-0 in conference play.

Final Score Prediction FIU 31 UTEP 24

This could be a coin toss because both teams are seeking their second win of the season. If the Panthers can shut down the Miners’ running game and keep Jones under 100 yards, the Panthers can get their second consecutive victory.

Matchup to watch Aaron Jones vs. Treyvon Williams

The Panthers’ run defense has given up an average 222.6 yards per game. Despite their struggles against the run, one of their most consistent player is Treyvon Williams, who leads the team in total tackles (57), and sacks (3.0).

Aaron Jones, UTEP’s leading rusher, leads in rushing yards in Conference USA, too. The Miners offensive playmaker has 660 yards and five touchdowns. Last season, when the Panthers played UTEP, Jones was injured and unavailable to play in the 52-12 loss against FIU.

While the Miners’ starting quarterback Ryan Metz is out with a concussion, Jones will be the primary weapon on offense that could be the primary threat for the Panthers.

Ron Cooper building confidence for the Panthers.

Interim Head Coach Ron Cooper has made minor adjustments after the firing of Ron Turner. Practices are a little longer and more contact drills are involved. Every week during the first day of practice in full pads, Cooper has the team do Oklahoma drills, where an offensive player goes one-on-one against a defensive player.

“It was a nice change to get guys excited and hyped up,” starting linebacker Treyvon Williams said to FIUSports.com. “Guys loved it. It was something new.”

Cooper has also gotten players on the sidelines involved by having the backups cheer on the sidelines and bring energy to the crowd.

“I just want all the players to get involved anyway that they could,” Cooper said to Student Media. “I wanted all the players who were not on field to be cheerleaders on the sidelines just to support their teammates and hopefully everyone else could feed off the energy.”

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