On Friday, November 16th, Don Shula Bowl XI will be played between FIU and Florida Atlantic at FAU Stadium. With both teams' 2013 non-conference schedules set, it will be the final meeting, for the foreseeable future, between the intrastate rivals separated by less than 60 miles.
The Panthers and Owls should play the Shula Bowl every season and hopefully one day it will be renewed. Before Shula Bowl XI kicks off, Marcus Nelson and I will look back at each Shula Bowl giving you an FAU and an FIU perspective, respectively. Marcus, like myself, has covered every Shula Bowl. As the FAU beat writer for the Palm Beach Post, Marcus covered the first six Shula Bowls for the newspaper before starting FAUOwlAccess.com and covering the last four Shula Bowls on that site.
Here is a look back at the first five Don Shula Bowls. We'll have the last five Shula Bowls on here tomorrow.
DON SHULA BOWL I thru V
Shula Bowl I (Nov. 23, 2002, Pro Player Stadium) -- FAU 31, FIU 21 (Game MVPs: FIU -- Jerrid Lunstedt 122 rushing yards, TD; FAU – Jared Allen 33 rushing yards, TD, 109 passing yards)
PP: At the end of its inaugural season of football, FIU entered its first meeting against natural rival FAU with a 5-5 record and looking to finish above .500 in its first season. The Panthers had won their previous two games and had momentum going into the season finale. Alas, it took just six plays for the first Shula Bowl to turn. Owls defensive lineman Yrvens Guerrier sacked FIU quarterback Jamie Burke and separated the quarterback's shoulder. FAU built a 24-2 lead and never looked back en route to the victory.
MN: FAU had a head start on FIU, having started in 2001, before facing its rival to the south for the first time in 2002. Earlier that week it was announced the winner would win the Don Shula Trophy and the Shula Bowl was born. The FAU practice field was vandalized that week with some disparaging remarks, but later it was determined the likely culprit was an Owls assistant coach trying to give the fledgling rivalry some needed spice. The game was close until FAU scored a touchdown on a 6-yard run by fullback Eric Harper, before Owls defensive back Lee Pasick scooped up a fumble and returned it 14 yards for another touchdown 10 seconds later to give FAU a 21-0 lead. Miami native Aaron Sanchez led FAU offensively with 93 rushing yards and current Owls tight ends coach Jared Allen threw for 109 yards and had a 1-yard run early in the game for the first score in Shula Bowl history.
Shula Bowl II (Nov. 22, 2003, FIU Community Stadium) -- FAU 32, FIU 23 (Game MVPs: FAU – Jared Allen 281 passing yards, TD; FIU – Adam Gorman [below] 92 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 28 receiving yards)
MN: FAU ran its record versus FIU to 2-0, but it wasn’t easy. The Owls had to rally from an early 17-0 deficit, but got on the board on a trick play when halfback Daveon Barron threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Matt Prudenti. FIU re-took the lead but the Owls went ahead for good when FAU defensive lineman Quentin Swain returned a fumble for a touchdown on an FIU reverse. With the victory, the Owls were invited to the Division I-AA playoffs the next day, eventually making it to the semifinals that season.
PP: Like most of the games in this series, Shula Bowl II proved to be a back and forth game at FIU Community Stadium. The Panthers led for most of the game, but two late FIU turnovers set up FAU for its only points of the second half that erased a 23-21 FIU lead. The decisive play came when the Panthers ran a reverse with Cory McKinney from their own 26, the handoff was bobbled and FAU linebacker Quentin Swain recovered at the 3 and rumbled in for the go-ahead TD.
Shula Bowl III (Dec. 4, 2004, Pro Player Stadium) - FAU 17, FIU 10 (Game MVPs: FIU – Cory McKinney [below] 139 receiving yards; FAU – Jared Allen 311 passing yards, 2 TDs)
PP: Throughout the years, Shula Bowls have been offensive shootouts. Shula Bowl III was one of the few defensive struggles. Until the frantic final three minutes of the game there was very little offense by either team. The score was 3-3 at halftime and 10-3 FAU with less than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. FIU finally got something going after the second touchdown pass by FAU quarterback Jared Allen made it 17-3 with 3:32 left in the game. FIU quarterback Josh Padrick found Chandler Williams for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left. FIU recovered the ensuing on-side kickoff at the FAU 48. Padrick took two shots at Hail Marys, but neither connected.
MN: FAU capped a 9-3 season with a 17-10 victory over FIU that featured some late fireworks. The Owls held a 10-3 lead until late in the game before a 51-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jared Allen to receiver Roosevelt Bynes with 3:32 remaining gave them some breathing room. Still, FIU scored a late touchdown and recovered the on-side kick delaying any celebration until the game’s final play.
Shula Bowl IV (Nov. 26, 2005, FIU Community Stadium) - FIU 52, FAU 6 (Game MVPs: FAU – Thomas Parker 110 receiving yards, TD; FIU – Ben West [below, left] 140 rushing yards, 3 TDs)
MN: FAU graduated its first recruiting class the year before while FIU’s first players were seniors – and the game showed the disparity. The Owls were dominated in every phase of the game, narrowly avoiding a shutout when backup quarterback McKinson Souverian threw a late 65-yard touchdown pass to receiver Thomas Parker.
PP: There was an extra edge to FIU’s practices in the week leading up to the fourth time FIU and FAU would meet. The Panthers kept in mind the three close call losses in the first three Shula Bowls and exuded a quiet confidence during the four days of preparation for Shula Bowl IV. With former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula (above, right) in attendance at FIU, FIU won its first Shula Bowl with a resounding 46-point victory and tied an NCAA record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns. Keyonvis Bouie, Lionell Singleton, Nick Turnbull and Marshall McDuffie got their names in the NCAA record book with each recording an interception return for a touchdown. The only suspense in this game was which FIU offensive lineman would be the first to reach the Shula Bowl Trophy that was sitting on the FAU sideline at FIU Community Stadium. Tim Dierks and Victor Cernius were both the first to pounce on the trophy.
Shula Bowl V (Nov. 25, 2006, Dolphin Stadium) - FAU 31, FIU 0 (Game MVPs: FIU Chandler Williams [below] 60 receiving yards; FAU – Rusty Smith 178 passing yards, 2 TDs)
PP: The final score in this one could have been a lot worse with the Panthers missing 18 suspended players (11 starters) due to the brawl earlier in the season with the crosstown school. FIU fell behind 21-0 early and never had a shot, mustering just 203 total yards of offense. The rain poured at Dolphin Stadium this night. Two weeks before Shula Bowl V after a 38-3 loss at Alabama, then FIU coach Don Strock announced his resignation. After a fourth loss in five games to the Owls, FIU ended the 2006 season with a 26-13 setback to Troy and then hit the market for a new coach.
MN: The Owls got revenge for the 2005 Shula Bowl this season when redshirt freshman quarterback Rusty Smith threw for two touchdowns and the FAU defense held FIU to 203 yards in total offense.