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NCAA

FIU Struggling To Remain Relevant

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MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Jake Medlock #12 of the Florida International Golden Panthers throws the ball against the Louisville Cardinals on September 22, 2012 at FIU Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Cardinals defeated the Panthers 28-21. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 22: Jake Medlock #12 of the Florida International Golden Panthers throws the ball against the Louisville Cardinals on September 22, 2012 at FIU Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Cardinals defeated the Panthers 28-21. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A few years ago, Florida International University was the whipping boy of the Football Bowl Subdivision. They were scheduled for a guaranteed win.

Head coach Mario Cristobal changed that, but he was fired after one subpar season.

Now, FIU has once again sunk to the bottom of the FBS.

It’s gotten so bad at FIU this season that the Panthers are three-point underdogs to Football Championship Subdivision school Bethune-Cookman, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

After only two games of the Ron Turner era at FIU, the football program is quickly plummeting back to irrelevance, even as it makes the step-up to Conference USA.

FIU has been blown off the field in the first two games of the season by Maryland and the University of Central Florida, neither of which is a major power in their respective conferences.

Looking at the numbers FIU has put up in the first two games of the season are enough to make any fan depressed. The school is dead last in the nation in scoring offense, averaging just 5 points per game. FIU’s offense ranks 122nd in the nation in rushing offense, averaging just 61 yards per game on the ground.

The Panthers are just slightly better throwing the football, averaging 111 yards per game, or 116th in the nation out of 125 FBS teams. Overall, FIU’s offense is also dead last in the country in total offense, averaging just 172 total yards per game.

“You can’t look at the offensive line because we are not getting yards,” Turner told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “We have to make some plays. We are not making plays down the field. The offensive line got better [Friday]. They battled. They made some mistakes, but we have to have guys making plays.”

On the flip side, FIU’s defense is ranked 110th in the country in total defense, allowing 483 yards per game. FIU’s defense allows 206.5 yards per game on the ground, 97th in the nation, and 275 yards per game through the air, also 97th in the nation.

The Panthers also give up 40.5 points per game, which ranks them 114th in the nation in scoring defense.

The Panthers bottomed out in 2006 and 2007, going a combined 1-23 over those two seasons before Cristobal built the team into a squad that went to two straight bowl games in 2010 and 2011. His team fell off last season to 3-9 and he was fired.

Turner has the Panthers going the wrong way and if they don’t get a win on Saturday against Bethune Cookman, the team will open 0-4 this year because number seven Louisville awaits FIU a week from this Saturday.

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