A caravan of cars decked in Panther Pride moving to the sounds of honking as they make a loop around campus. A drive-in talent show in a campus parking lot complete with a large screen featuring prerecorded performances by FIU students, faculty and staff. This year's Homecoming week looks a lot different than ever before. But it ends with a familiar sight: a big football game for the Panthers.
FIU (0-1) is set to take on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (0-4) at Riccardo Silva Stadium on Oct. 10. The Panthers will be playing their first game on campus since Nov. 2, 2019.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. The game will be carried on TV by ESPNU. It is FIU's first Conference USA matchup of the year.
"I'm excited, man. The fact that FIU is able to get on national television is great," says Jacob Covas, a senior studying history. "It makes it more accessible not just to your average Panther fan, but anyone watching television. And honestly, I'm pumped for this year. We have a young team coming in with a lot of talent and potential."
The Panthers are coming off of an electric game at Liberty University that resulted in a narrow loss. Sophomore running back Lexington Joseph returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, earning him a designation as Conference USA's Special Teams Player of the Week. Senior running back D'Vonte Price rushed for 148 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Attendence at this Saturday's game will be limited to ensure social distancing. Students and family members of players were given the first priority to claim tickets, followed by last year's season ticket holders.
Even if you can't get into "The Cage" on game day, Panthers can still party with one another beginning at 11:30 a.m. on campus the day of the game.
FIU will be hosting its first-ever Homecoming caravan on Saturday in lieu of the traditional tailgate and parade. Members of the university community are invited to decorate their vehicles and join their FIU family for a spirited drive through campus.
President Rosenberg will personally be judging vehicles to see who has the most Panther Pride. Those who reflect the most blue and gold spirit will be entered into a social media competition and have a chance to win a RepFIU box with assorted gear.