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Courtesy: Rick Voight

Get to Know the 2014 Football Opponents: FIU Panthers

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: March 11, 2014
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During the next several weeks, ODUSports.com will introduce you to the opponents for the 2014 Monarchs. The Monarchs return home after a two-straight on the road to take on FIU.

Game Day
November 8, 2014 – Norfolk, Va. – Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium

The Quick Facts - FIU
Location: Miami, Fla.
Nickname: Panthers
First Year of Football: 2002
Conference: Conference USA
Head Coach: Ron Turner
2013 Record: 1-11, 1-7 (C-USA)

About the Panthers
Ron Turner begins his second season as head coach of the Panthers.  Prior to joining the Panthers, Turner previously had head coaching stints at San Jose State and Illinois.

FIU returns all of its key returners on the offensive side of the ball, starting with leading rushers Lamarq Caldwell and Silas Spearman.  Caldwell carried the ball 144 times for 504 yards and one touchdown in 2013 while Spearman had 132 rushes for 368 yards and four scores.

Quarterbacks Jake Medlock and E.J. Hilliard split duties last season, while the pair put up similar numbers.  Medlock completed 75-of-159 passes for 922 yards, with four TD’s and six interceptions.  Hilliard was 77-of-139 for 775 yards, throwing three touchdowns and four INT’s. 

Tight end Jonnu Smith was the leading receiver a year ago with 39 receptions for 388 yards and two touchdowns while T.J. Lowder was second on the team with 24 catches for 307 yards and three touchdowns.

The Panthers graduated three of its top four leading tacklers, but Justin Halley returns as the leader with 53 tackles and a team-best three interceptions.

NFL
Johnathan Cyprien became the Panthers’ highest ever NFL Draft choice when he was selected with the first pick of the second round in the 2013 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Game
A relatively new program, FIU started in 2002 and joined FBS and the Sun Belt in 2005.  The Panthers played their first season in C-USA in 2013.  This will be the first meeting between ODU and FIU.

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