You go with what you have, and in week one, Florida International did not look good. One can make the argument that this week the golden panthers face a tougher opponent. Central Florida makes the transition to a new conference this season, just like FIU, but the Knights are putting one of their standards on the field: defense.
The first half began very promising for FIU, and if they can continue some of that fire for a full game, they won't get embarrassed at home this week. The stats on ESPN show UCF put up 476 yards against Akron last week, and the knights held the Zips to only 250 yards of offense. Based on numbers alone, UCF has no problems with the pass. Akron went 116 on 18 of 25 attempts, whereas FIU struggled to 80 yards on only 10 of 22 attempts. The Knights did give up 134 yards on the ground. If FIU wants to keep this game from getting too far out of hand, consider running the ball a lot more this week than in College Park. Not counting sacks, the panthers managed 115 yards on the ground. At the very least, it would keep UCF off the field, and keep the clock running.
On a lot of Maryland's 1st half drives last week, FIU looked very stout on defense, just to have penalties cancel a three-and-out. Maryland converted those second chances into touchdowns. Coach Ron Turner should get this turned around quickly, cause those were much too costly for a young roster.
In 2011, names like Wesley Carroll, Kedrick Rhodes, Wayne Times, and of course T.Y Hilton helped FIU get a 17-10 home-win against the knights. UCF was outscoring opponents 92-3 over the past two weeks, but the knights first road game was against a FIU team that eventually went 8-5. This shows you cannot always go by the previous weeks of competition, but this is not 2011. Hopefully, the new coach and young team consider last week's lessons learned well. Regardless, FIU can't afford for the opponent to get a fast start, as in last year's matchup... or last week's game.
Central Florida @ Florida International 8:00 9/6 CBS Sports Network