Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the FIU Golden Panthers season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 9-4 overall, 6-2 in Conference USA
Head Coach: Butch Davis, 3rd year, 17-9
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FIU OFFENSE
– The offense that scored more than 100 points than the 2017 version has the talent to do a whole lot more. Nine starters are back from an attack that average 422 yards and a Conference USA high 32 points per game, putting up 28 or more in nine of the 13 games, winning eight of them.
– The passing game started to take off when Bowling Green transfer James Morgan transferred in, and now he’s back along with the main parts. The passing game that was among the nation’s most efficient lost CJ Worton early to the next level, but Austin Maloney is among the most explosive targets in the conference, Maurice Alexander is even more dangerous, and Tony Gaiter and Bryce Singleton are factors. Getting back 25-catch TE Sterling Palmer helps, too.
– The offensive line was fantastic, finishing fourth in the nation in fewest tackles for loss and third in sacks allowed. It wasn’t dominant for the ground game, but it was good enough. Three starters are back around all-star talents Dallas Connell at center and Shane McGough at one guard spot.
– The Golden Panthers are loaded at running back. Leading rusher Napoleon Maxwell is back, but Anthony Jones – who survived being shot before last season – is the star of the backfield after being healthy again. Jones ran for 338 yards and six scores in his six games of work, and D’Vonte Price returns after averaging over six yards per carry with five scores.