FIU Notebook

Former FIU standout T.Y. Hilton visits old stomping grounds

With the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts on their bye week, the best player in FIU’s 12-season football history attended his first Panthers game since leaving to run through NFL secondaries under Andrew Luck passes.

“I follow them every week, always check up on their scores,” said former FIU wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, an honorary captain Saturday night. “Sometimes, I text the guys on the team, [redshirt junior quarterback Jake] Medlock, [redshirt sophomore wide receiver] T.J. Lowder, make sure [they’re] keeping their heads up and doing the right things.”

Hilton came to FIU out of Miami Springs High after the Panthers suffered through a 1-11 season in 2007. Though Hilton starred from the first time he touched the ball (a kickoff-return touchdown), it wasn’t until 2010 that FIU managed a .500 regular season.

“You’ve just got to stay the course,” Hilton said he tells his successors. “Don’t get too low. You don’t build a house in one day. It takes time. Just keep stacking your bricks, stacking your bricks. That day’s going to come when things turn around. But you’ve got to stay focused.”

Hilton’s offseason focus, assisted by his mother, Cora Hilton — “My momma made sure she stayed on me for that. ‘Make sure you go back, you’re going back this summer, right?’ ” — was getting the last class necessary for his FIU degree.

“Excited, happy. There’s nothing like when you get that degree. You don’t have to worry about no more school,” he laughed. “That’s the part that got me really hyped. No more papers, no more assignments. I didn’t have to worry about anything except playing the game I love.”

Banged up

Fifth-year senior starting linebacker Markeith Russell was on crutches with his left leg in a splint after the game.

Starting block

Freshman running back Silas Spearman’s start made him the 23rd FIU player to get his first career start this season, tying the record set in 2007.

That season, Mario Cristobal’s first as coach and under scholarship restrictions, FIU lost its first 11 games and won the season finale.

Stingy D

Though Louisiana Tech led 9-0 at halftime, Saturday became the first game since the regular-season finale at Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 26, 2011, that FIU held an opponent without a touchdown in the first half.

All in the family

After one half, No. 99 had two sacks to go with his team-high five tackles.

No surprise there.

The surprise was that the No. 99 wasn’t FIU senior defensive tackle Isame Faciane. Faciane did have four first-half tackles.

But it was his cousin, Louisiana Tech’s Malcom Pinchon, who had those two sacks and five tackles.

Comeback kid

Redshirt junior safety Demarkus Perkins returned to the FIU starting lineup after missing the Alabama-Birmingham game with a knee injury.

Read more FIU stories from the Miami Herald

FIU Panthers’ Alex McGough (12) carries the ball against Pittsburgh during their football game Saturday, September 13, 2014 at FIU Stadium in Miami.

    FIU Football

    FIU Panthers freshman duo find rhythm on offense

    This freshman Alex on whom the FIU football offense relies rooms with that freshman Alex on whom the FIU football offense relies. Both came to FIU knowing they would have a chance to be where they are now.

  • FIU notebook

    FIU Panthers cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon practices

    Junior cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon participated fully in practice Tuesday and Wednesday, although he wore an orange injury jersey both days.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Gang tackle:</span> FIU’s Richard Leonard (3) and Anthony Wint (53) take down Pitt wide receiver Manasseh Garner during the football game last Saturday.

    FIU football

    FIU Panthers linebackers fulfilling early promise

    The game film says Louisville likes to attack the edges in the run and the pass. That’s where FIU football junior Michael Wakefield and redshirt junior Denzell Perine earn their scholarship and unlimited snack money.

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category