The FIU Golden Panthers answered UAB's second score of the day with a 75-yard touchdown to Jonnu Smith and never looked back. A pair of defensive touchdowns helped FIU improve to 2-2 on the year and double their win total from last season. The Golden Panthers caused 6 (!) turnovers on Saturday en route to a 34-20 victory in Birmingham.
UAB looked to be in control in the second quarter after Cody Clements found Gerald Everett for a 29 score to take the lead, 13-7. The ensuing extra point was blocked by FIU and the dominoes began to fall. The Blazers would not score again until 1:21 left in the game. Two fumbles and four interceptions between Clements and Jeremiah Briscoe helped bring UAB to 2-2 on the season.
Richard Leonard intercepted two passes and brought one back for a touchdown for the Golden Panthers. Demarkus Perkins and Wilkenson Myrtil added interceptions of their own for FIU and Ron Turner's team is experiencing their best start since 2011. Alex McGough only completed nine passes on the day, but ended the game with over 200 yards through the air and two touchdowns.
FIU is beginning to establish themselves as a defensive team with a knack for causing turnovers. The Golden Panthers now head back to West Miami to prepare for in-state rival, Florida Atlantic. The 13th annual Shula Bowl is set for Thursday, October 2nd at 7:00 PM at FIU Stadium.