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FIU Football: Lightning Cuts the Panthers Spring Game Short

The Panthers spring session come to a close as they turn towards summer workouts.

Michael Berlfein/FIU Athletics

MIAMI, FL — At 8:56 Saturday morning, FIU head coach Mike MacIntyre sent out a tweet that read “Great weather tonight, come out and support these men!”

Now entering his second season at the helm of the Panthers, the case can be made that MacIntyre has the program ready to compete for a bowl berth in 2023. However, he still has a bit to learn about the South Florida weather pattern.

At 6:50 PM roughly 20 minutes into the team’s Spring Showcase that saw the players get through special teams and position-specific drills, lightning strikes were recorded within an eight-mile radius of the stadium — forcing fans and players alike to vacate the outdoor area.

At 7:40, there was an effort to have the players retake the field — only to have another lightning strike hit eight minutes later. Despite the team’s final session coming to a close early, MacIntyre feels strong about his program entering the summer.

“The infrastructure of the program is much better and our core group of guys are much improved than we were this time last year,” said MacIntyre. “I feel really good about most of our roster, now the key is to get depth behind it so now the good thing is we have a month to hopefully find a couple of guys who can improve our roster.”

A year ago, FIU’s roster was in the midst of a massive overhaul, MacIntyre had been on the job for just over four months and there were infinitely more questions than answers to who would be on the field for the upcoming season.

While transfers and injuries leave several spots for the taking, this year’s team is admittedly more player-led than the season prior, with MacIntyre taking note of the veterans who have been preaching the message from the coaches.

“As a program, we can only go so far with us talking to them,” said MacIntyre. “It’s a like parenting, you can tell them the same thing a 100 times and they won’t get it, but a peer comes up and shows them how to do it and it sinks in, it’s the same concept with our football team, you want the players to tell each other because there’s more pressure to do the right things.”

With the spring now in the rearview, the Panthers will look to address the quarterback and offensive line spots that have been affected by injury and transfer, in addition to the aforementioned depth.

“We’re looking at all of that and discussing it, we have some walk-on guys that we had come in at the quarterback spot, so it’s a touchy situation, especially since we played three last year, said MacIntyre. “On the line, we are looking diligently at bringing in some more guys and as a team it’s full speed ahead into summer workouts now.”