A little about the UMass football program, which FIU faces for the first time Saturday in Amherst:
The program began in 1879. The Minutemen’s on-campus stadium, Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium, opened in September 1965, the same year FIU began as a school. The Minutemen later played in the first Division 1-AA National Championship game, losing to Florida A&M 42-28, in 1978.
The team transitioned to the FBS level in 2014 and opened a 55,000-suare foot, $34.5 million “Football Performance Center” with coaches offices, locker room, weight room and training room.
▪ FIU’s turnover-free game in Saturday’s Conference USA opener at Louisiana Tech was the Panthers’ first turnover-free game since the 2014 conference opener at Alabama-Birmingham