Conference – Sun Belt
2010 Record – 0-2 (0-0)
2009 Record – 3-9 (3-5)
Best Win (2009) – A 20-17 overtime win over Louisiana Lafayette.
Worst Loss (2009) – They were blown out a few times, but most embarrassingly by Middle Tennessee State, 48-21.
Three Word Sum-Up – A trap game.
Offense – FIU's offense has been...lacking this year. They rank 73rd in rushing offense with 141 yards per game, 99th in passing offense with 160.5 yards per game, and 108th in scoring offense with 17 points per game. Redshirt sophomore Jeremiah Harden, a transfer from Syracuse, is the Golden Panthers' starting running back, and has rushed 37 times for 145 yards this season. Wesley Carroll, a transfer from Mississippi State (where he started 13 games in two years), is the starting quarterback, and has thrown for 283 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions this season. T.Y. Hilton is Carroll's top target, and has nine receptions for 96 yards this year, after 57 catches for 632 yards and 5 touchdowns last season.
Defense – The Golden Panthers' defense, especially against the pass, has kept them in games. They rank 57th in rushing defense, 6th in pass efficiency defense, and 20th in pass defense. Their numbers have improved drastically from last year (albeit in a small sample size), against two quality opponents in Rutgers and Texas A&M. FIU is allowing over 100 less yards per game through the air this season. That's astronomical improvement from Mario Cristobal and the rest of the staff.
Overall – FIU does not have a great offense statistically, but Carroll is very talented and could cause trouble against the Terps. The defense is obviously the Golden Panthers' strength, but luckily for Maryland fans, the Terrapins run much better than they pass.
Impact Players – Pete DeSouza and Adrian Moten. DeSouza is making his first collegiate start and needs to help protect Jamarr Robinson and open holes for the Terps' running game. Moten needs to be able to get in Carroll's head and be an effective blitzer.
Prediction – 15-10 FIU. This Golden Panthers team is much better than it looks on paper. I think a lot of the Maryland players see this as a guaranteed win, but there is no such thing in college football.