LOUISVILLE (CBSMiami) – Scoreboard operators across the college football world got quite a workout last Saturday. Nowhere was that more evident than at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.
On that field just two years ago, Florida International University reached arguably its pinnacle in the program’s young history with an upset victory over the Louisville Cardinals on prime time television.
What a difference just two years makes.
Saturday, FIU hit its worst point since going winless in 2006 and pulling in only one win in 2007. The Panthers went into the game against Louisville looking not to get embarrassed. The Panthers were coming off a blowout loss to Football Championship Subdivision member Bethune-Cookman. Then the Panthers took the field against Louisville.
The Cardinals dismantled FIU in every way possible. The Cardinals outgained the Panthers 464-27 in the game. FIU ran 43 plays to get 27 yards or roughly 0.6 yards per game. Louisville ran 56 plays to gain 464 yards, or 8.3 yards per play.
Louisville ran the football 29 times in the game, while FIU gained a total of 27 yards in the game. FIU ran the ball 34 times and gained zero yards, thanks in large part to sack yardage being taken away from the running game numbers.
The final score of 72-0 was staggering and the biggest loss in FIU Panthers history, but this is not the same FIU Mario Cristobal took to two straight bowl games just a few seasons ago.
FIU is ranked 125th out of 125 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring offense, averaging just 5.8 points per game. The Panthers are dead last in the country in rushing averaging just 49.5 yards per game on 1.46 yards per carry.
FIU’s passing game ranks 122nd out of 125 teams beating out Miami (Ohio), Army, and New Mexico, the latter two who run a triple-option run based attack. In total offense, FIU ranks 124th out of 125 teams averaging 150.8 yards per game of total offense, or 2.8 yards per play.
Defensively, the Panthers are not much better.
FIU ranks 124th out of 125 FBS teams in scoring defense, allowing 46.8 points per game, besting only New Mexico State. FIU’s rushing defense is ranked 114th allowing 234.3 yards per game and 14 rushing touchdowns through four games.
FIU’s pass defense is the best unit on the team, ranking 53rd in the country giving up just 211.3 yards per game, but have given up nine touchdowns to just one interception on the season.
FIU has fallen on hard times, but at this point, there’s literally only one way for the Panthers to go and that’s up.