The same team that began the season 0-4, scoring no more than 14 points in any of those games, then fired their head coach, has finally won a game.
The Florida International University Golden Panthers led by Alex McGough who ran for two touchdowns and passed for another, beat their rival Florida Atlantic 33-31.
The 15th annual Don Shula bowl featured five lead changes.
It almost appeared as if the Panthers were setting themselves up for another loss when Azeez Al-Shaair intercepted McGough’s pass on the first play of the second half and returned it 30 yards for a score.
“Coach Coop came up to me and said amnesia. Don’t worry about it. We are going to drive down the field and score a touchdown. That is what we did,” McGough stated.
McGough was 15 of 30 for 199 yards passing for the Golden Panthers.
FIU retained the Shula Bowl Trophy, which goes to the winner of this annual rivalry. Florida Atlantic still leads the all-time series 10-5.
FIU is now 1-4 overall and undefeated in conference play at 1-0. FAU has lost four in a row, after winning their season opener and is still seeking their first conference win.
Next up for the Golden Panthers is a road game at UTEP, the Owls will host Charlotte at home.