2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The FIU Offense
Turnovers … don’t do that. The FIU offense was balanced and effective last season, and there’s more than enough talent returning to do even more. The skill players are the best in the conference, James Morgan is an efficient quarterback, and the line will be fine with a little time to work in fall camp.
As long as the O doesn’t give the ball away, all will be okay.
FIU only gave it up 13 times last season, and it was fantastic in the middle of the season, going turnover-free in a run of six games in seven. That one game it gave it up, though, was a problem, turning it over three times in a blowout loss to FIU.
In the nine wins, the Golden Panthers turned it over four times. In the four losses, it gave it up nine times. So far under Butch Davis, FIU is 4-7 when giving it up twice or more.
Biggest Key To The FIU Defense
The line has to be better. It has to do far more to get behind the line, and it has to be a whole lot better at hitting the quarterback. Do that, and everything changes, but the front four has to be nastier against the run, too.
The FIU D was hit-or-miss against the better ground games, getting it for close to five yards per carry overall and allowing 199 yards or more five times. There was less fluctuation than in 2017, but with more experience returning now, the run D needs to give up around 160ish yards per game rather than the 192 of last year.
Key Player To A Successful Season
DT Teair Tart, Sr.
The defensive tackles have to be better. The hope was for 6-5, 350-pound Tayland Humphrey to rise up and become an anchor on the nose, but he was just okay, and then he left the program.
The 6-3, 290-pound Tart entered in as a solid JUCO transfer and did a great job of getting into the backfield from time to time, but now he has to do a whole lot more. The tackles should be among the team’s biggest question marks, but if Tart – or any of the DTs – are great, the whole defense changes.
Key Game To The FIU Season
at Florida Atlantic, Nov. 9
There are three key Conference USA East games for FIU, and they’re all on the road, going to Middle Tennessee, Marshall and FAU. Beating the Owls is the one the program needs.
FIU was rolling right along with a solid four-game winning streak, and then it picked a horrible time to come up with its worst performance of the year. The Owls ripped through the Golden Panthers for the second year in a row, making it Lane Kiffin 101, Butch Davis 38.
– FIU Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 FIU Fun Stats
– FIU 1st Quarter Scoring: 61 – FIU 2nd Quarter Scoring: 127
– Sacks: FIU 22 for 120 yards – Opponents 8 for 54 yards
– Onside Kicks: FIU 2-for 4 – Opponents 1-for-3