The Florida International University Panthers opened the season versus two Big Ten opponents. First the Indiana Hoosiers resulting in a loss, the second the Maryland Terrapins with the same result.
Terrapins quarterback Perry Hills threw three touchdowns; two to wide receiver DJ Moore, to lead Maryland to a 41-14 win over Florida International.
Hills completed 13-of-18 passes for 210 yards in three quarters. He connected with Moore for a 45-yard touchdown pass and Derrick Hayward for a 9-yard score in the second quarter to give Maryland a 31-7 advantage at halftime. Moore finished with six receptions and 147 yards. Lorenzo Harrison scored on a 40-yard run for the Terrapins’ fourth touchdown of the first half.
“I’m proud of this football team; I love this football team,” FIU head coach Ron Turner said. “I’m disappointed for them more because we battled and we did a lot of good things defensively and I think they wore our defense down.”
Panthers quarterback Alex McGough limped off the field after attempting to tackle Jermaine Carter during his interception. Redshirt freshman Maurice Alexander replaced McGough for the next three series. Although McGough returned with 56 seconds remaining in the first half, Alexander played the entire second half. Turner said McGough experienced stiffness in his lower back and he sat him out the rest of the game as a precaution.
“We had Maurice in camp before his senior year. We watched him on tape. You can see his athleticism, he has leadership qualities and accuracy with the ball. He is going to be a good player for us,” Turner stated. “He only played once before today, he has great leadership qualities”.
The beat goes on for both teams. Maryland enjoys the Sunshine State next weekend as they play at Central Florida before opening their Big Ten schedule at home against Purdue. Florida International travels to UMass for a second consecutive year.