FIU quarterback Jake Medlock had his best game statistically as a Panther last week, throwing for 380 yards against Middle Tennessee State. All those yards, however, couldn’t take away the hurt of a 34-30 loss.
“I would have settled for 1 yard passing, even a half-yard, if that would have gotten us the win,” Medlock said. “I just want a ‘W.’ That’s all I want, and it doesn’t matter how we get it.”
Wins have been a rarity for FIU this season; the Panthers are 1-6 with an 0-3 Sun Belt Conference record.
In the fourth game of this season, Medlock broke his foot against Louisville and sat out the next two contests against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State — both losses.
“He’s a tough guy,” FIU coach Mario Cristobal said of Medlock. “You’re not going to find guys tougher than him, and you’re not going to find guys that are more committed than him. He’s the kind of guy you want at that quarterback position.
“He’s a leader, he’s smart, he’s tough, and he’s a worker.”
Against Middle Tennessee, he was also efficient, completing 24 of 38 passes with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The 380 yards are the second-highest by an FIU quarterback in the school’s brief 10-year football history, only behind Paul McCall’s 400 yards in a 57-50 overtime loss to Florida Atlantic in 2008.
“He’s throwing the ball well,” Cristobal said. “He’s throwing the ball on time, and he has become a real strong team leader. His best football is ahead of him, and we expect him to have a great career here at FIU.
“He knows he can do even better, and he’s hungry to do better.”
As for the broken foot, which has been heavily wrapped, Cristobal said, “He’s still banged up. He’s not even close to 100 percent.”
Even so, Medlock, a 6-3, 225-pounder from Jacksonville Fletcher High, will be trying to lead the Golden Panthers to their second win of the season Saturday at 1 p.m. when they travel to Troy (3-3, 2-2).
Medlock is determined to not let a little pain hobble him or his performance. He desperately wants to play.
“It was pretty tough sitting out those two games,” he said. “I really wanted to be out there with the team.”
So, he dismisses the injury and whatever pain there might be.
“I’m feeling good,” he said with a smile. “My feet feel good. I’m almost 100 percent. I just have to keep going and keep pushing and be the leader this team needs. It’s not bothering me. I don’t let it bother me.”
The only thing that is bothering him is the lack of wins this season, and he’ll try to ease some of that pain Saturday afternoon.