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.
Down Goes No. 5
The FIU football program was just two years old and in Division I-AA when the Panthers descended upon Nacogdoches, Texas to face No. 5-ranked Division I-AA Stephen F. Austin.
FIU had gone 0-7 against Top 25 Division I-AA teams before taking on the Lumberjacks. The Panthers would notch their first win against a Top 25 team behind the legs of running back Rashod Smith. FIU's stout running back would churn out 199 yards on the ground and score three touchdowns to lead the 31-24 upset win. FIU safety John Haritan recorded 13 tackles to lead the defense.
Smith fell 63 yards shy of his own program single-game rushing record. Smith ran for 262 yards against Jacksonville in FIU's inaugural season. The Panthers built a 31-10 lead on the Lumberjacks before withstanding a furious rally. SFA closed to within 31-24 with 5:50 to play. However, the FIU defense would stop two final drives by SFA and seal the historical victory.
Next on the Top 15 countdown: Prime Time Friday
FIU FOOTBALL'S TOP 15 MOMENTS
10. Hilton Heave