Head coach Butch Davis has repeatedly emphasized that the only way his young team can grow is through consistent practices and playing games weekly — a feat that’s been virtually impossible in a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the third time in 2020, FIU has a game canceled. This time, the move comes from Conference USA.
“Western Kentucky versus Charlotte, which had previously been scheduled for a Dec. 1, 10:30 AM kickoff, has been rescheduled for Dec. 6 at Noon at Jerry Richardson Stadium. As a result, FIU’s Dec. 5 game in Charlotte was canceled,” as stated in a league press release. The conference also announced that a final determination on the final weekend of play will be made no later than Sunday.
Charlotte was forced to postpone the Tuesday meeting due to “COVID-19 testing within the 49ers’ program.”
As for the Panthers, they’ve only been able to play in consecutive weeks once this season — the Shula Bowl loss to FAU, followed by FIU’s last outing at Western Kentucky. The team turns its attention to a scheduled matchup on Dec. 11 at Riccardo Silva Stadium against Marshall. However, the Panthers’ coaching staff are dealing with their own COVID-19 issues.
First reported by Brett McMurphy of Stadium, members of the staff have been unavailable throughout the week due to positive Coronavirus tests and contact tracing.
A source with knowledge of the situation informed me that Butch Davis has not tested positive, but is contact traced.
Of FIU’s 11 full-time coaches, 6 are unavailable until next week, including coach Butch Davis, because of COVID issues & contract tracing, sources told @Stadium— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 2, 2020
News & Notes
- Redshirt sophomore defensive back Jamal Anderson was injured in an off-campus shooting early last week.
Sources: FIU DB Jamal Anderson was injured in an off-campus shooting early last week. The redshirt sophomore has appeared in all 5 games this season and leads the team in pass breakups.— Eric Henry (@EricCHenry_) December 2, 2020
The Homestead native was visiting family members when an intruder injured Anderson and two others. The injuries to Anderson are believed to be non-serious and he’ll make a full recovery. On the field, he leads the Panthers in pass breakups with six.
- Pro Football Focus released its quarterback and offensive line rankings through week 14, with FIU’s quarterback trio of Stone Norton, Kaylan Wiggins and Max Bortenschlager being rated 125th of 127 teams, while the Panthers’ offensive line was ranked 29th.
- Defensive tackle Davon Strickland is tied for the conference lead in tackles for loss (4) among players who have played five games or less.