(Saturday, December 4th)
Final Score: Middle Tennessee 28, F-I-U 27
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Dwight Dasher threw for 244 yards and one touchdown to lead the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders to a 28-27 victory over the FIU Golden Panthers in a Sun Belt Conference battle at FIU Stadium.
Tavarres Jefferson caught three passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in the win for Middle Tennessee (6-6, 5-3 SBC), while Phillip Tanner gained 62 yards on the ground to go with a pair of scores.
Wesley Carroll completed 15-of-19 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown to lead the way for FIU (6-6, 6-2), while Darian Mallary ran for 104 yards. Darriet Perry added 53 yards on the ground while scoring two touchdowns as well for the Golden Panthers, who failed in their attempt to clinch the outright Sun Belt title.
The Golden Panthers struck first in this one, as Carroll found Greg Ellingson with a seven-yard strike early in the opening period of play. The squad then extended its advantage to 14-0 late in the frame following a two-yard Perry scamper.
But the Blue Raiders responded minutes later, cutting the lead in half with a two-yard Benjamin Cunningham run.
Tanner then tied the contest at 14 apiece midway through the second period after a six-yard run.
The Golden Panthers reclaimed the lead as time expired in the half with a 50- yard Jack Griffin field goal.
Dasher completed a 14-yard toss to Jefferson early in the third stanza to once again reclaim the lead for Middle Tennessee, but the Golden Panthers managed a 23-yard Griffin kick late in the frame to pull to within 21-20.
The Golden Panthers then took a 27-21 lead early in the final period of play following a six-yard Perry run.
Then, the Blue Raiders earned a 28-27 advantage less than three minutes later with a three-yard run from Tanner, which accounted for the final score of the contest after a seemingly FIU game-winning drive was thwarted on a forced fumble by linebacker Corey Carmichael.
The win puts Middle Tennessee in a bowl game for the third time in five years.
12/04 22:52:28 ET