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FIU football preview

Florida International

Where: Miami

Enrollment: 38,000

Nickname: Golden Panthers

Coach: Mario Cristobal (1-11, second season)

Conference: Sun Belt

Last season: 1-11, 1-6 Sun Belt

Area players: WR Greg Ellingson (Robinson), OL Andy Leavine (Springstead), DB Kreg Brown (Admiral Farragut), DB Chuck Grace (Hillsborough), K Eric Karcinski (River Ridge), RB Jerrell Lamb (Northeast)

Stadium: FIU Stadium (18,000)

Outlook: The Panthers become the latest program with an on-campus stadium — FIU Stadium opens Sept. 20 against USF. The Panthers were winless in 2006 and won once in '07 to end the nation's longest losing streak at 23. FIU averaged 269.67 yards of offense (118th among 119 in Division I-A) and 15.08 points (last). That prompted Cristobal to bring in former Purdue offensive coordinator Bill Legg, who installed a spread offense. Cristobal believes he has the top recruiting class in the program's six-year history. The biggest question is quarterback. Sophomore Wayne Younger led the Panthers for 11 games before he broke his collarbone, which kept him out through spring practice. Junior Paul McCall came in and led FIU to a 38-19 win against North Texas with 228 yards and three touchdowns.

Web site: fiusports.com

Schedule

Saturdayat Kansas7 p.m.

Sept. 6at Iowanoon

Sept. 20USF7 p.m.

Sept. 27at Toledo7 p.m.

Oct. 4at North Texas7 p.m.

Oct. 11Middle Tennessee7 p.m.

Oct. 18at Troy7 p.m.

Nov. 1at Louisiana-Lafayette5 p.m.

Nov. 8Arkansas State7 p.m.

Nov. 22Louisiana-Monroe7 p.m.

Nov. 29at Florida Atlantic4 p.m.

Dec. 6Western Kentucky7 p.m.

FIU football preview 08/27/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:41am]
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