NCAA

Struggling FIU Doesn’t Get A Break Against East Carolina

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida International University Panthers have won only one game this season and things don’t look any easier this weekend when the East Carolina Pirates come to South Florida to play at FIU.

The Panthers’ woes have been ongoing throughout the season. FIU has struggled both offensively and defensively under first-year head coach Ron Turner.

FIU is ranked 123rd out of 125 teams in scoring offense, averaging just 11.1 points per game in 2013. FIU’s running game is no better, averaging 74 yards per game, also 123rd in the nation.

The Panthers’ passing game improves a little with the Panthers averaging 145.1 yards per game, which ranks 116th in the nation. Still, overall, the FIU offense is ranked dead last in the country, gaining just 219.1 yards per game.

Defensively, FIU ranks 112th in scoring defense, allowing 37.1 points per game. The Panthers rush defense allows just 195 yards per game, 95th best in the country and ahead of teams like Texas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Colorado, and Florida Atlantic University.

If there is one area that FIU can hang its hat on this year, it’s the passing defense. Opponents are managing just 209.3 yards per game against the Panthers in 2013, which ranks FIU 27th best in the country.

Still, opponents are completing 67.7 percent of passes for 7.5 yards and posting quarterback ratings of 148.34 per game.

FIU has been shut out twice this season and in the team’s home games this year has scored more than 13 points just once, a 24 point outburst in a loss to the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Against that backdrop, an East Carolina team averaging 37.1 points per game and has scored more than 50 points in three of its five victories this season including a 55-14 thumping of Southern Mississippi University last weekend.

FIU has struggled mightily in trying to stop opponents before the fourth quarter. In 2013, FIU has been outscored in the first quarter 57-10, second quarter 105-45, third quarter 61-7, and in the fourth quarter 37-16.

However, the fourth quarter numbers may be skewed because teams are so far ahead by the time the final quarter rolls around that they take their foot off the gas. FIU’s game against East Carolina is not slated for television on Saturday.

Kickoff between FIU and East Carolina is set for 6 p.m.

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