email@example.com -- Here’s an indication of how the first half went for FIU:
Akron went for it on fourth-and-1 from the FIU 40 in the second quarter. The Zips lined up quarterback Dalton Williams in the shotgun with two running backs flanking him and running back Broderick Alexander behind Williams. Alexander went in motion to the left a second before the snap and handoff to Jawon Chisholm.
FIU stopped Chisholm and would’ve gotten the ball at the 40 or 41. But Alexander got called for illegal procedure, a penalty that negates the play. Faced with a fourth-and-6, Akron punted … and downed the ball at the FIU 3.
Later, on a third-and-goal from the FIU 5, with Akron going into a suddenly raucous student section, communication problems caused the Zips to take a delay-of-game penalty. But just as the flag fell, FIU called a timeout. Akron scored on the next play.
At halftime, 30 players from FIU’s first football team were recognized on the field and greeted by FIU president Mark Rosenberg. FIU won its first game 27-3 against Saint Peter’s on Aug. 29, 2002.
FIU defensive end Paul Crawford got the first sack of the season for the Panthers defense, bringing down Williams for a 4-yard loss in the second quarter.
Akron’s Imani Davis, a freshman out of Miami Belen, had a spectacular first half returning punts, averaging 26.0 yards per return. Other than a 2-yard return when another freshman, Southridge product Jeremiah McKinnon, collared him quickly, Davis ripped off returns of 26, 24 and 52 yards. That’s the second consecutive week a Miami product hurt FIU — Gulliver High graduate and Duke wide receiver Conner Vernon scorched FIU for 180 receiving yards and a touchdown last week.
The best NFL player to come out of Akron, former Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, attended the game. Meanwhile, former Dolphins and Florida State cornerback Terrell Buckley, Taylor’s teammate for a few years in Miami, coaches Akron’s cornerbacks.
The game started 10 minutes late when pregame warm-ups were delayed. Lightning forced a clearing of the stadium an hour before the 6 p.m. kickoff.