(Saturday, September 17th)
Final Score: FIU 17, UCF 10
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The FIU Panthers stayed perfect on the season as they hung on to beat in-state foe UCF, 17-10, in the first-ever meeting between the schools on the gridiron.
The Panthers (3-0) were led by Kedrick Rhodes as he rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries in the defensive battle that took place on Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
FIU quarterback Wes Carroll completed 15-of-29 passes for 127 yards. Standout receiver T.Y. Hilton caught three passes for 30 yards but missed most of the game due to a hamstring injury sidelined him in the first quarter. Wayne Times stepped up with six receptions for 68 yards.
Jeff Godfrey managed the UCF (2-1) offense as he completed 17-of-27 passes for 181 yards. Godfrey also rushed for 41 yards and the only Knights touchdown. Quincy McDuffie contributed with a career-high six catches for 70 yards.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Godfrey made his way into the end zone on a one-yard run to cap a 94-yard drive for UCF and give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
The Panther defense made a game-changing play near the end of the half as Tevin Blanchard sacked Godfrey and jarred the ball loose. The fumble was recovered by Isame Faciane and returned 51 yards for a score to put FIU on the board and even the contest at 7-7 heading into halftime.
After UCF return man Josh Robinson muffed a punt return inside his own 10-yard line, FIU found itself with a very short field. Darriet Perry took advantage of the situation with a four-yard rushing touchdown to give the Panthers their first offensive score of the day. A 27-yard field goal by FIU kicker Jack Griffin late in the third quarter pushed the lead to double digits for the hosts.
Despite having more than a quarter to respond, UCF managed to post just three more points, a 31-yard field goal by Nick Cattoi, as the squad watched a six- game win streak come to an end.
UCF, which entered the game ranked first in the nation in scoring defense (1.5 ppg) and second in yards allowed (130.0 ypg), surrendered 238 yards to the Panthers.
09/17 22:59:00 ET