Opponent Preview: FIU

 

Sept. 20, 2013

Louisville vs. FIU
      
  Saturday, September 14 - Noon ET
  Papa John's Cardinal Stadium | Louisville, Ky.
  Game Day Information: Click Here | Media Center
Coverage
   TV: WHAS-TV (Ch. 11 in Louisville) | WatchESPN
   Radio: WHAS 84 AM | Listen Live
   Twitter Updates: UofLFootball
UofL 2013 Team Stats FIU
120 Total Points 23
23.0 First Downs/Game 9.3
173.0 Rushing Yards/Game 65.0
4.8 Yards/Rush 1.9
354.3 Passing Yards/Game 126.0
527.3 Total Offense/Game 191.0
62% Third-Down Pct. 23%
23-1,458 Kickoffs-Yards 7-426
9-425 Punts-Yards 26-951
7-119 Kick Returns-Yards 13-305
8-45 Punt Returns-Yards 6-100
33:42 Time of Possession/Game 26:55
19-175 Penalties-Yards 14-105
Florida International comes into Saturday with an 0-3 record on the year. FIU hosted Bethune-Cookman last week and fell 34-13. FIU receiver T.J. Lowder had six catches and broke the century mark with 125 yards and one touchdown.

In the second game of the season, FIU took on a future Louisville opponent in UCF, with the Panthers falling to the Knights 38-0.

FIU opened up the year against Maryland in College Park, where the Panthers lost by a score of 43-10. Starting running back Lamarq Caldwell led the team in rushing with 79 yards and one touchdown.

Ron Turner is in his first year as head coach at Florida International. He has been on the sidelines for over 36 years. Included in that tenure, Turner took Illinois to a Sugar Bowl appearance and won a Big Ten title in 2001.

He has spent his last eight season in the NFL, serving as the offensive coordinator for the Bears, wide receivers and quarterbacks coach for the Colts, and quarterbacks coach for the Buccaneers.

Louisville-Florida International Series History
This is only the third meeting between the two schools. The series is tied 1-1, with Louisville winning the last meeting in 2012.

The first meeting between the two teams was in 2011, when the Panthers pulled off the upset 24-17 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. T.Y. Hilton had a big game for FIU with 268 all-purpose yards, while having seven catches for 201 yards, two touchdowns, and a long of 83 yards. Hilton's 201 yards accounted for over 68 percent of the total offense (293 total yards) on the day for FIU.

The Cardinals were able to tie up the series last year as they won in Miami, 28-21. Teddy Bridgewater threw for two scores and Senorise Perry had 11 carries for 74 yards, helping Louisville get its fourth-straight win of the year.

Familiar Faces
Florida International has 81 players on its roster from the state of Florida, 28 of which come from the Miami area. Louisville has 38 players on its roster that are from Florida, 17 of which come from the Miami area.

Offense
Florida International is a run-first offense, with 60 percent of its plays coming from the ground attack. It has been outscored 115-23 in their first three games of the year.

E.J. Hilliard is expected to start at quarterback for FIU since returning starter Jake Medlock is nursing a concussion he suffered against Bethune-Cookman. Hilliard started three games in 2012, passing for 563 yards, four touchdowns, three interceptions, and had a completion percentage of 66.6 percent.

Sophomore Lamarq Caldwell will see most of the touches for the Panthers at running back. On the year, he has 44 carries for 144 yards, one touchdown, and an average of 3.3 per attempt. T.J. Lowder is the leading receiver for FIU with 12 catchers on the year for 169 yards and a score.

The offensive line for the Panthers is young, with junior David Delsoin owning the most experience after he earned the starting nod four times a season ago.

Defense
The Panthers run a base 4-3 defense and are led by senior middle linebacker Markeith Russell, who sat out last year and has the team lead in tackles with 24 on the year. Up front, returning starters Greg Hickman and Isame Facaine help anchor the defense. Hickman has 16 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack and two forced fumbles on the year. Facaine, has 13 tackles, including five for a loss, half a sack and a blocked kick.

Captain and cornerback Sam Miller leads the secondary. Miller is an aggressive corner, who has 13 tackles, one interception, two pass breakups and three pass deflections on the year. Free safety Justin Halley, who started four games in 2012, has 15 tackles, one pass deflection and one pass breakup on the year.

Special Teams
The Panthers' special teams unit is quite young, with all freshmen handling the special team duties. Sergio Sroka is a walk on who was redshirted in 2012 and handles the kicking duties. On the year, he is 1-for-2 on field goals, only converting on a 32-yard opportunity.

Chris Ayers handles the punting, and he has a 36.9-yard average, 11 fair catches and four punts inside the 20. Quarterback Jake Medlock also has served on the special teams unit, registering five punts for a 35.4 yard average.

Sroka and Austin Taylor will spilt the kickoff duties. Sroka has four kickoffs and an average of 61 yards, while Taylor has three kickoffs for 60.7-yard average.


 

 

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