The defensive line becomes a cornerstone for the Panth

The Panthers’ defensive line engages with the offensive line during a Training Camp practice on Aug. 14, 2017. Anthony Monzon/Panther Press

By Joshua James/Contributing Writer


The Panthers’ defensive line is off to an impressive start to the season and has been finding success against opposing teams.

So far, FIU’s defense is only allowing 203.2 passing yards-per-game and through six-games have secured eight sacks.

Through the first six-games of this season, the Panthers have had 39 tackles for loss, which is an increase from last season where the team had 27.

Defensive line coach Kenny Holmes explained that the team’s impressive victory over Tulane was important for the defense and the win reflects the team’s hard work and preparation.

“It was big for the defense and the team, as we held Tulane to tens points after they previously put up 60 plus points the week before,” said Holmes. “The approach the defense and the defensive line takes is we’re blue collar workers and our works is never done.”

Junior defensive end Fermin Silva was recognized by Conference USA as the Defensive Player of the Week, following the team’s win over Tulane. Silva turned in a big game with eight solo tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks.

Silva explained that without his teammates he wouldn’t have been able to have such an outstanding game and achieve the weekly award.

The Miami native also had a crucial play on fourth-and-eighth at the Panthers’ 17-yard line with 2:24 remaining left in the game, forcing Tulane to turn the ball over on downs.

Silva explained that with it being such a critical play, him and the rest of the defensive unit gave it their all to stop Tulane’s driving offense.

“It was the last down, they were going to score if we didn’t stop them and they would’ve been back in the game. So you know I just gave it my all,” Silva said.

When asked about the game against Marshall and the rest of their opponents going forward, Silva discussed that the team will remained focused and take each game one-week at a time.

“We’re going to continue to take it one week at a time and work on things to get better as individuals and a team,” said the Miami Central alumni.

Coach Holmes explained that the defense and the team have improved significantly since the beginning of the year and discussed how the team will continue to be opportunistic with their opportunities.

“Time flies and the kids understand that we have to take advantage of the moment,” said Holmes. “The growth from the beginning of the year to now is exponential. They have embraced and embodied that each opportunity is a chance for us to get better.”

The Panthers will host the UTSA Road Runners on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Riccardo Silva Stadium, as the team will look to defend their home turf during homecoming. Kickoff will begin at 7:00 p.m.

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