Florida International U

Middle Tennessee routs FIU right from the start

Shane Tucker rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns, including a 48-yard breakaway sprint, to help drive Middle Tennessee to a 48-0 rout over Florida International on Saturday.

The Blue Raiders (6-4, 4-2 Conference USA) hit hard and fast, reaching the end zone in their first two possessions and piling up all of their points in the first three quarters. Logan Kilgore passed for 269 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for a second. Corey Carmichael had 65 yards on 13 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown.

Florida International (1-8, 1-4) had four turnovers, which the Blue Raiders converted into 17 points, including a 51-yard interception return by Kevin Byard.

The Golden Panthers were held to just 91 yards rushing and 233 total yards, while Middle Tennessee racked up 556 total yards.

Middle Tennessee scored on the opening possession going 81 yards on eight plays, ending with a Shane Tucker 48-yard rushing touchdown.

On the opening play, Middle Tennessee was flagged for offensive pass interference to have first-and-19 from its 10-yard-line. Two plays later on third-and-9, Logan Kilgore darted for a 12-yard rush to keep the drive going.

On the ensuing FIU drive, E.J. Hilliard found Clinton Taylor streaking down the sideline for a 40-yard completion, but a Middle Tennessee cornerback forced a fumble at the Blue Raider 19-yard-line that went through the end zone for a touchback. FIU was able to get the ball back on a turnover when Justin Halley forced a fumble on Tucker, however, four plays later the FIU drive ended with Austin Taylor missing right on a 40-yard field goal attempt.

The Blue Raiders added a 22-yard field goal just after the start of the second quarter on a 72-yard drive which included pass plays of 17 and 31 yards.

Down 17-0, the Panthers drove 13 plays and 61 yards deep into Middle Tennessee territory, but lost the ball when Kevin Byard forced a fumble on Panthers running back Silas Spearman on what would have given FIU a first down at the Blue Raiders 13. Middle Tennessee responded with a nine-play, 73-yard drive ending with a Kilgore 4-yard touchdown rush and a 24-0 lead going into halftime.

On the opening drive of the second half, Hilliard threw an interception to Byard, who returned it yards for a score and a 31-0 lead. The Blue Raiders added two additional touchdowns and a field goal in the third quarter to increase their lead to 48-0.

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