FIU football turns 15 years old when the 2016 season kicks off against Indiana on September 1. In their short
history the Panthers have had some memorable moments -- most of them in wins but some in losses as well. To commemorate the 15 years of FIU football as we get closer to the season opener, I'll count down the Top 15 moments in FIU football history
Having covered FIU football since its first game in August 2002 when I worked for the local newspaper, the following countdown is what I believe are the Top 15 moments. Of course, you may disagree so feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section. At No. 12, what a way for T.Y. Hilton to go out in his final FIU home game:
WHAT A WAY TO SAY GOODBYE
During his four-year career at FIU, T.Y. Hilton had a knack for rising to the occasion as you will see when we run through these top 15 moments of FIU football. The first instance where Hilton showed he was a difference maker on the gridiron was in his FIU debut at Kansas in 2008. Not shy about his abilities, Hilton told former FIU coach Mario Cristobal that he would score a touchdown the first time he touched a football in a college game. Sure enough, Hilton returned a punt for a touchdown against the Jayhawks the first time he appeared in a game for FIU.
So it would come as no surprise that in Hilton's final FIU home game he would do something special. In 2011, FIU led rival Florida Atlantic 24-0 in the second quarter in Don Shula Bowl X. Three minutes before halftime Hilton lined up at the FIU 10 to field a punt from Mickey Groody. The punt by Groody drove Hilton inside the 5 -- an area punt returners are taught to let the kick roll into the end zone for a touchback. However, with the Panthers comfortably ahead and this being his final home game, Hilton caught the punt at the 3 and raced past the FAU coverage unit 97 yards for a touchdown. You can see in the photo above the Owls hopelessly chasing Hilton.
FIU defeated FAU 41-7 that night and Hilton gave FIU football fans another unforgettable moment in his final home game in an FIU uniform.
Next on the Top 15 countdown: A dominant defense
FIU FOOTBALL'S TOP 15 MOMENTS