Incoming head coach Butch Davis stated, “I want to be on a two-game winning streak going into 2017.”
One down. One more to go.
Alex Gardner ran for two touchdowns and Anthony Jones ran for another as Florida International beat Marshall 31-14.
Gardner ran for 119 yards on 14 carries and Jones ran for 121 yards on 17 carries for the Golden Panthers.
In the contest, Gardner broke the previous record of 2,195 yards set by Rashod Smith, who played for FIU from 2002-04.
“Yes it was, but not more than beating Marshall,” Gardner said. “Our school had never beaten Marshall [0 for 4] until [Saturday]. I have a big hatred toward Marshall because they broke my collarbone my freshman year. And last year, they held me to nine yards.”
Maurice Alexander threw for 204 yards on 14-of-20 passing but was intercepted twice. Backup Christian Alexander threw for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Gardner ran for a 14-yard score to cap a four-play, 82-yard drive to open the game. Christian Alexander threw a scoring pass to A.J. Branisel late in the second quarter and the Golden Panthers led 14-7 at the break.
Now win or lose the final game, Butch will have to improve a team next season that won four or five conference games this season moreover do better than interim coach Ron Cooper who took over the team after an 0-4 start. FIU may not have a strong historic following like the Miami Hurricanes who Butch coached locally from 1995 to 2000, where he had a 51-20 record. However expectations will be through the roof.