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, from now until FIU opens camp in early August 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. 13, happy returns for the first FIU player-turned-FIU coach:
ROLLING MOSS GATHER TDS
During its second season in 2003 FIU didn't have much go right. With five Division I-AA ranked teams on the '03 schedule the Panthers' second football season was expected to be more of a challenge than the inaugural season. It certainly turned out that way with FIU going 2-10 in '03. The Panthers only defeated non-scholarship teams Holy Cross and Jacksonville. However, FIU did hang with four of the five ranked teams that season. Losing by two points to No. 13 Georgia Southern (37-35), by nine to No. 14 Florida Atlantic (32-23), and by 10 to both No. 7 Bethune-Cookman (24-14) and to No. 18 Maine (24-14).
Still, there were some bright spots in the 2003 season and two of those came against No. 3 Carson-Newman despite FIU losing 55-33.
The Eagles took control of the game in the first half building a 31-6 halftime lead. But in the fourth quarter FIU defensive back/kick returner Greg Moss did something that no other Panther has done in the 14-plus year history of the program -- return a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in the same game. Moss returned a kickoff for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Later in the final period Moss returned a punt for a touchdown.
Until Richard Leonard returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score against Florida Atlantic in 2012, Moss had the longest return in FIU history. Moss went 99 yards on the kickoff return touchdown. Moss then returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown with four minutes left in the game.
To this day Moss is still among the kickoff and punt return leaders in the FIU football record book, including having the highest career kickoff return yard average of 27.44.
In 2015, Moss (right) became the first former FIU football player to become an FIU assistant coach when he was put in charge of the Panthers cornerbacks.
Next on the Top 15 countdown: T.Y. goes out with a bang
FIU FOOTBALL'S TOP 15 MOMENTS