Schedule and Odds
Florida International was just 4-8 last year, but with a solid defense and improved offense, is expected to boost that win total. The Golden Panthers have an over/under of 6 wins, although the under was sitting at -195 in July.
FIU scored 23 points per Game last year, but should improve that total with starting quarterback Alex McGough in his second season. McGough was okay as a freshman, completing 50.4% of his passes for 14 TDs and 10 INTs, and they’re hoping for some improvement this year. The Golden Panthers pounded the ground Game in 2014, but averaged just 3.1 yards per carry, although that number increased as the season went on and it was hurt by McGough and his 97 carries for 92 yards (sacks included).
The running Game gets Anthon Samuel (582 yards, 5 TDs) back for his senior season and he really came on towards the end of 2014. Alex Gardner (582 yards) and Napoleon Maxwell (55 carries) also return to the mix, so expect a lot of running yet again. The receiving Game doesn’t have much outside of stud tight end Jonnu Smith (61 receptions, 710 yards, 8 TDs). Clinton Taylor (9 receptions) and sophomore Thomas Owens are expected to be starters. The offensive line returns three starters and look ready for another busy season.
FIU had good numbers on the defensive side in 2014, and that’s a bit surprising considering how aggressive they are. They return eight starters, so not much of a drop-off is to be expected. The line gets back sackers Michael Wakefield (eight sacks) and Denzell Perine (6.5 sacks), who once again should have solid seasons. The linebacker core is also set with three returning starters including senior Davison Colimon. And then in the secondary, especially at corner, the Golden Panthers have plenty to work with including Richard Leonard, who had six interceptions last year.
The hope for FIU is for a bowl Game this year after one win in 2013 and Four last year. Reaching that will require more consistency from the offense, in both phases of the Game.
FIU’s Schedule is manageable, but probably a bit tougher than a season ago, especially in C-USA play. They open with two road Games at UCF and Indiana, which won’t go well, especially after FIU lost to an FCS school in their 2014 opener. Conference road Games include Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee and Marshall, three of the best teams in the C-USA. The Golden Panthers also get Western Kentucky in the season finale. Due to that Schedule, it’s hard to see this team surpassing six wins, even if there is improvement. To make matters worse, they don’t get a bye week, with their final Game coming early on Nov. 21.
2015 Florida International Football Schedule
Sept. 3 at UCF
Sept. 12 at Indiana
Sept. 19 vs. NC Central
Sept. 26 at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 3 at Massachusetts
Oct. 10 vs. UTEP
Oct. 17 at Middle Tennessee
Oct. 24 vs. Old Dominion
Oct. 31 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 7 vs. Charlotte
Nov. 14 at Marshall
Nov. 21 vs. Western Kentucky