UM vs FIU: The Battle For Miami

Richard Gibson/Staff Writer 

  With the stage set for the next matchup between the FIU Panthers and Miami Hurricanes, this game matters more than ever for the Panthers. FIU’s record is at 5-5, and they only need one more win to become bowl eligible, but they’re running out of time. 

   The game is set for Saturday, Nov. 23rd at 7 p.m. To make the game more special, it will be played at Marlins Park, a baseball field turned football stadium for the occasion. What’s interesting about the location is that Marlins Park was built on the grounds of the Orange Bowl, which housed the Hurricanes for decades. 

   In football, the two teams have only played each other three times, and the Hurricanes have won every matchup. In 2006, the two teams met up in the Orange Bowl, in which UM won 35-0. What was notable about the game was the infamous brawl between both schools that cleared the benches. 

   After a couple minutes of heated exchanges in the third quarter, thirteen players from both sides were ejected from the game. After the game, 31 players from both sides were given one-game suspensions for their involvement. 

   The two teams would play again the following year, in which UM would win by a score of 23-9. There was no brawl, however, both teams wouldn’t play each other for the next decade.

   The rivalry was renewed between the two schools in 2018. Played at Hard Rock Stadium, the Hurricanes would win by a score of 31-17. 

  For the Panthers, quarterback James Morgan threw for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Napoleon Maxwell would rush for 25 yards off of 10 carries. Wide receiver CJ Worton would get 123 yards off of five catches.

   UM is coming into this game with a record of 6-4, already claiming bowl eligibility. The team has beaten the likes of Virginia, Florida State, and Louisville. They have also lost to Florida, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech. 

   The defense of UM has been their specialty for the past few years. Totaling 18 turnovers and 38 sacks this year, the defense will be a difficult challenge for the Panthers. Be on the lookout for players like Cornerback DJ Ivey, who leads the defense with three interceptions. Defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau leads the team with 12 sacks.

   Offensively, UM has been inconsistent. At the quarterback position, both Jarren Williams and N’Kosi Perry have seen time on the field. Combined, they have thrown for 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. Their rushing core has been solid, thanks in part to running back Deejay Dallas, who has rushed for 668 yards and 8 touchdowns. UM’s receiving core is even with talent, but be on the lookout for wide receivers Brevin Jordan and Mike Harley. Both players have over 900 receiving yards in total. 

   Overall, UM seems to have the advantage on both sides of the ball. Their defense is stellar, and their offense has managed to put up points. However, UM has had a habit of playing down to their competition. This explains losses to teams like North Carolina and Georgia Tech. 

   The Panthers will have to play perfectly on both sides of the ball. The offense needs to be able to score points off minimal amounts of plays, because that’s the specialty of UM’s defense. FIU’s defense will have to take advantage of any mistake that UM’s offense makes. 

   FIU students who have gone to at least three home games are eligible for a free ticket. In order to claim them, head to the Riccardo Silva Stadium’s box office with your One Card in hand. This takes place from Wednesday, November 20th to Friday, November 22nd from 9 am to 5 pm.

   After this, the final game for FIU will be against the Marshall Thundering Herd on November 30th, at Huntington, Virginia. If FIU doesn’t win either the UM or Marshall game, their season will be over. Winning one will make them bowl eligible for the third straight season. 

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