In FIU’s 34-13 loss Saturday to Bethune-Cookman, the Panthers allowed 311 yards rushing to the Wildcats. Junior running back Anthony Jordan led the way for B-CU, piling up 150 yards on 21 carries, including a 58-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Despite facing a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent, Jordan wasn’t surprised the Football Championship Subdivision Wildcats had success running the ball.
“Yeah, we knew,” Jordan said. “We just had to block, and the offensive line did a good job with their keys, and we just made it happen.”
B-CU coach Brian Jenkins thought the battle in the trenches was pivotal.
“We preached that all week, that we had to win the battle in the trenches,” Jenkins said. “Our guys were up for it. I thought [FIU] had a very good defensive line — we thought that was the strength of their defense — and we knew it was going to be a heavyweight fight with those guys.”
In Jordan’s shadow, fellow running backs Cary White and Drexler Dixon combined for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
“All of our backs performed [Saturday night], whoever was in there,” Jenkins said. “And that just goes to show how well our offensive line is playing. … My hat goes off to all those running backs because they got in and did their job. It just so happened that Anthony Jordan was the lead guy, and it very easily could have been [Dixon] or [White].”
Piloting the Wildcats’ option attack was junior quarterback Quentin Williams, who ran for 69 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. B-CU has used three quarterbacks already this season, but Williams went the distance Saturday.
Fast first down
In FIU’s first two games of the season, the Panthers offense failed to record a first-quarter first down. On Saturday against B-CU, FIU ended that streak immediately with a 42-yard Jake Medlock pass on the game’s first play from scrimmage. The pass, caught by sophomore receiver T.J. Lowder, was the longest play of the Panthers’ season until Medlock and Lowder connected for a 48-yard strike in the second quarter.
RB makes debut
True freshman Silas Spearman III carried the ball for the first time in his collegiate career. The third-quarter carry yielded 3 yards, and he finished with 21 yards on six carries. Spearman was the Palm Beach County Player of the Year in 2012 when he attended Seminole Ridge High School.
Austin Taylor became the first true freshman kicker to start for FIU in the program’s 12-year history. In his Panthers debut, Taylor handled the kickoff duties and converted on one of his two extra point attempts. His fourth-quarter attempt after an E.J. Hilliard touchdown pass was blocked.
In each of Bethune-Cookman’s first two games, the Wildcats had an extra point blocked. FIU continued the streak when senior defensive tackle Isame Faciane blocked a PAT in the third quarter.