By Brett Shweky/Sports Director
Hurricanes’ backup N’Kosi Perry fueled a 31-17 victory over the FIU Panthers as the two teams squared off in the battle for Miami on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Hard Rock Stadium.
With the loss, FIU (2-2) falls to 0-9 against AP Top 25 opponents, losing by an average of 36.7 points.
The Hurricanes now post a 3-1 record as they remain undefeated in the series against the Panthers.
The last time these two programs faced off against one another was eleven seasons ago when the Hurricanes won 23-9 at the infamous Orange Bowl.
The two teams are also remembered for having a bench-clearing brawl in the 2006 season which led to 31 players becoming suspended.
After failing to score on their first two drives, the Hurricanes got their offense moving with two straight scoring drives.
Running back Travis Homer got the Hurricanes on the board with a 35-yard touchdown run before the end of the first quarter.
Homer was the leading rusher for Miami as he finished the game with 114 yards and one touchdown on just 13 carries.
Starting quarterback Malik Rosier was benched following the first two drives and back up N’Kosi Perry entered the game for the Hurricanes.
Perry increased the lead for Miami as he connected on a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lawrence Cager.
With two minutes and thirty seconds remaining in the first half, the Hurricanes tacked on an additional 10-points by scoring on a field goal and touchdown.
After Bubba Baxa’s 31-yard field goal, N’Kosi Perry threw for his second touchdown as he found tight end Brevin Jordan on a 12-yard pass.
Miami’s defense shutout the Panthers in the first half as they forced FIU to punt five times and turnover the ball on a James Morgan interception.
To start the second half, the Hurricanes continued to dominate the battle of Miami matchup.
Wide receiver Lawrence Cager hauled in his second touchdown of the game as Perry zipped in a 17-yard pass.
Perry concluded the game going 17 of 25 for 224 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
In the fourth quarter, Panther wide receiver CJ Worton finally got FIU in the end zone as he caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Morgan.
Following a 29-yard field goal from Jose Borregales, Worton cut the Hurricanes lead to 31-17 as he brought in his second touchdown of the matchup on a five-yard pass from Morgan.
Morgan finished the game going 12 of 24 for 168 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Quarterback Christian Alexander also saw playing time, however, was limited to just four passing attempts.
The Panthers failed to generate offense in the rushing game as the team ended with just 17 yards total. Napoleon Maxwell was the leading rusher with 25 yards on 10 carries.
Heading into the game against Miami, the Panthers felt this was a chance for them to show the nation that the program is evolving.
“We have an opportunity to showcase this program,” said running back Shawndarrius Phillips following the team’s win against UMass during the previous week. “To show them that this program is changing and it’s a new type of program.”
Next up, for the Panthers, the team will return to Riccardo Silva Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 29, as they host the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. Kickoff time is set for 7:30 p.m.