By Joel Delgado ’12 MS ’17
The Don Shula Bowl Trophy will be staying in Miami for the next year.
FIU football came from behind and rushed to a 33-31 victory over Florida Atlantic Owls in Shula Bowl XV on Saturday.
Quarterback Alex McGough was back under center for the Panthers and torched the Owls defense, rushing for two touchdowns and passing for another in the win. McGough finished the game with 199 passing yards and 61 rushing yards.
The Panthers’ 270 rushing yards was the most in a game for FIU since 2010, with Shula Bowl XV MVP Alex Gardner leading the way with 116 yards and Anthony Jones adding 90 yards and a rushing touchdown.
The Owls took a 24-14 lead early in the third quarter, the largest lead of the game by either team, before the Panthers roared back with back-to-back touchdowns – a three-yard rushing score by Jones and a 26-yard touchdown pass from McGough to wide receiver Thomas Owens – to take 27-24 lead.
After Florida Atlantic retook the lead with another touchdown, FIU kicker Austin Taylor made two field goals – including the game-winning 32-yard field goal with 12:14 left in the fourth quarter – to help lift the Panthers to victory.
It was the first win under interim Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Ron Cooper.
The Panthers (1-4, 1-0 C-USA) will play the next two weeks on the road before returning to FIU Stadium for the Homecoming Game against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 22.
For more information on FIU football, go to FIUSports.com.
FIU WOMEN’S SOCCER
Freshman Isabella de Almagro scored her first career goal at just the right time.
Her double overtime game-winner on the road against Middle Tennessee helped the Panthers earn a 3-2 victory and their first Conference USA win of the season.
The Panthers had jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Blue Raiders rallied with two second-half goals by Haley Nishimoto to tie the game.
FIU improves to 2-7-2 overall and 1-2-1 in C-USA and will return to FIU Soccer Stadium next weekend with another conference match against Old Dominion on Oct. 9 at 1 p.m.
For more information on FIU women’s soccer, go to FIUSports.com.
FIU volleyball also picked up its first conference win of the season over the weekend, sweeping UAB 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-22) on Sunday afternoon at FIU Arena.
Junior Tia Clay and senior Katie Hogan led the Panthers with 12 kills each in the victory while freshman Sophia Sires tallied a career-high 40 assists for FIU.
The Panthers will be back at FIU Arena on Oct. 9 for a conference match against Rice at 1 p.m.
For more information on FIU volleyball, go to FIUSports.com.
The FIU women’s tennis team won all five of its singles matches during the first day of the 2016 Bedford Cup in Tampa and finished the three-day tournament with 20 total victories – 12 singles victories and eight doubles wins.
Next up for the Panthers are the 2016 ITA Southeast Regionals in Gainesville, Florida. The tournament will begin on Oct. 20 and run through Oct. 24.
For more information on FIU tennis, go to FIUSports.com.
The FIU men’s soccer team dropped a 4-1 decision to New Mexico on the road on Sept. 30.
Freshman Joris Ahlinvi recorded his first career goal in the loss in the 85th minute, but it was too little too late for the Panthers.
The Panthers (3-5-1, 1-2 C-USA) return to FIU Soccer Stadium for a pair of games this week, first on Oct. 4 against Florida Gulf Coast University at 7 p.m. and then on Oct. 8 against South Carolina. Both games kickoff at 7 p.m.
For more information on FIU men’s soccer, go to FIUSports.com.