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College Football: Florida International University Golden Panthers 2016 Preview
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30 May 2016 01:59 PM EST

-by Sammy Jacobs, Contributing Writers; Image: FIU quarterback Alex McGough. (Image Source: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Florida International Golden Panthers at a glance:

HEAD COACH: RON TURNER

-    12th year as a head coach, 4th at FIU
-    Overall Record (52-87)
-    At FIU (10-26)
-    Last Year: 5-7

GOLDEN PANTHERS RETURNING LEADERS

Passing: Alex McGough  (64.0 Comp pct. 2,722 Yards, 21 TDs, 8 Int)
Rushing: Alex Gardner (186 Att. 760 Yards, 9 TD, 4.1 YPC)
Receiving: Thomas Owens (51 Rec. 638 Yards, 8 TDs)
Defender: Anthony Wint (LB 64.5 Tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1 Int, 2 PBUs)

PRE-SEASON PREDICTIONS

  • Athlon Sports: 6th in C-USA East
  • Lindy's: TBD
  • Phil Steele: TBD
  • Sporting News: TBD

WHY THE GOLDEN PANTHERS WILL Be GOOD

The Golden Panthers will bring back their top passer, rusher, and receiver on offense in Alex McGough, Alex Gardner and Thomas Owens

McGough, now a junior threw for three touchdowns and 249 yards against the Indiana Hoosiers last year. It’s reasonable to think that he can improve upon his passing game.

The biggest concern for opposing defenses may come in the form of junior wide out Thomas Owens who had a career night in Bloomington in 2015, torching a young secondary for 166 yards on nine catches with two scores. Owens is the third head in what could become a three-headed monster.

Defensively, the Golden Panthers lose a lot of talent and depth, but returns its top tackler in linebacker Anthony Wint. Add in the fact that the rest of their linebacking corps will be juniors or seniors and they could throw a wrench into many offensive game plans.

WHY THEY WON’T BE

McGough, while accurate, only averaged 5.7 yards per pass attempt last season, and Gardner is not an explosive running back, so FIU will probably not be able to score enough points to be involved in many shootouts this season. The defense is missing big play ability as well, and replaces their three best defensive line pass rushers, so slowing down opposing offenses will probably be too tall of a task for the Golden Panthers.

To Read More From Sammy Jacobs, TJ Inman, Nick Holmes & Alex Compton of HoosierHuddle.com, click here

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