Morgan’s growth behind Panthers stellar start

Quarterback James Morgan prepares to pass the ball down field in the home opener against the Indiana Hoosiers at Riccardo Silva Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (Gerard Albert III/PantherNow)

By Brett Shweky/Sports Director



Panthers quarterback James Morgan has fueled the Panthers to a first-place lead in the Conference USA East division and has been the catalyst to the team’s 4-2 start.

Before transferring to FIU, however, Morgan played for Bowling Green State University and struggled with inconsistency issues. The former Falcon ended his time with the program with 25 passing touchdowns, 22 interceptions and a 51.9 completion percentage.

“I think he’s becoming a lot more familiar not only with the offense but with his teammates,” said head coach Butch Davis on Morgan’s growth within the offense. “There’s not very many things that he can’t throw. I mean this kid has a great arm. He can throw deep. He can throw the touch throws, the underneath, the short throws. We’re very fortunate to have him.”

Coming into this year’s quarterback competition, the graduate transfer possessed the most experience on the roster, but was in a position battle with fellow signal-caller Christian Alexander.

Not soon after, Morgan began separating himself from Alexander and started gaining command of the FIU offense.

The transfer solidified himself as the starter in the Panthers’ second game of the season against Old Dominion where he led the team to 28-20 come from behind victory.

Midway through the second quarter against the Monarchs, FIU trailed by 17 points and needed either Morgan or Alexander to rally the team.

Morgan did just this as he ended the game completing 17 of his 27 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns.

In their game against Middle Tennessee, the Green Bay, Wi. native orchestrated yet another comeback performance except this time for the Conference USA East division lead.

With 3:55 remaining in the fourth, FIU trailed the Blue Raiders 21-17.

Morgan recaptured the lead for the Panthers as he connected with wide receiver CJ Worton on a 23-yard touchdown pass to make the score 24-21.

“I’m getting more comfortable every week with it [the offense],” said the Panthers’ starting quarterback “You know I have all these accolades and whatever, but how about the plays that these guys are making.”

“I can’t tell you how nice it is as a quarterback when you get back there, and CJ Worton just burned this guy. Has like a five-yard lead on him and I can just put it in his general area, and he can come down with it.”

The redshirt junior concluded his performance with 311 passing yards, two touchdowns and broke the program record for the most passing touchdowns in the first six games of a career with 14.

Through the first six games of the season, Morgan has thrown for 1,368 yards, 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions with a 63.9 completion percentage.

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