November 24, 2019 / 4:09 AM / 22 days ago

FIU holds off Miami, gets first win vs. 'Canes

James Morgan tossed two touchdown passes and Jose Borregales made three field goals — including two from 50-plus yards — as the Florida International Panthers shocked the Miami Hurricanes 30-24 at Marlins Park in Miami on Saturday night.

Nov 23, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; A general view of Marlins Park before a game between the Miami Hurricanes and FIU Golden Panthers. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

FIU (6-5) became bowl eligible and beat Miami (6-5) for the first time in school history. FIU had lost the three previous times the teams — separated by just eight miles — had met, including a 31-17 Miami win in Miami Gardens last season.

Morgan completed 16 of 30 passes for 160 yards with scoring passes to Shemar Thornton and Tony Gaiter.

Miami quarterback Jarren Williams, who set a school record in his previous game with six touchdown passes against Louisville, was picked off three times in this contest. He did throw two touchdown passes, both in the final three-plus minutes as the Hurricanes tried to mount a late rally.

Panthers middle linebacker Sage Lewis was sensational with an interception and a fourth-and-goal stop. Panthers cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver and outside linebacker Jamal Gates also had interceptions.

FIU opened the scoring in the first quarter on Borregales’ 29-yard field goal. That was set up when Thomas-Oliver intercepted Williams at the Miami 41 thanks to a busted route and returned it 23 yards.

The Panthers made it 10-0 with 3:59 left in the first quarter as they caught Miami in a blitz and hit them with the perfect play — a screen pass to Thornton that went 29 yards for a touchdown.

FIU stretched its lead to 13-0 with just two seconds before halftime as Borregales made a 50-yard field goal that knuckled and just barely got over the crossbar. FIU was aided by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on Miami defensive lineman Trevon Hill.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter — including a 53-yarder by Borregales — and FIU went up 23-3 on Morgan’s 13-yard touchdown pass to a diving Gaiter with 11:04 left in the fourth quarter.

Miami cut its deficit to 23-10 on Cam’Ron Harris’ 14-yard touchdown run with 8:07 left. Miami converted on a fourth-and-10 from the FIU 30 with a 16-yard pass to Will Mallory to keep that drive alive.

Williams’ 35-yard TD pass to Mark Pope cut FIU’s lead to 23-17 with 3:10 left in the fourth, but Miami was out of timeouts.

FIU recovered the onside kick, and Anthony Jones popped a 37-yard TD run two plays later.

Miami countered with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Dee Wiggins with 31 seconds left, but FIU recovered the final onside kick.

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