Florida International (2-0) will host Central Florida (2-0) this Saturday night in the first meeting between the two schools. This is the only FBS matchup in Florida featuring conference winners from 2010. Florida International won the Sun Belt and Central Florida was champion of Conference USA. Both teams also won their bowl games as FIU defeated Toledo and Central Florida defeated Georgia. In addition to these similarities, both schools were victorious in week 2 games against members from BCS automatic qualifying schools.
Needless to say, this is not the same FIU team from past seasons. FIU has the chance to continue a march into the history books with a 3-0 start to the season. The golden panthers are led on offense by all-purpose wideout T.Y. Hilton. After two games this season, Hilton is second in the nation in individual total yardage. In both games this season, he has receptions of 60 yards or more. Wesley Carroll is getting it done in the passing game with a completion rate of 69.8, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Kedrick Rhodes and Darriet Perry are capable backs in this offense, but are overshadowed by the explosive plays from Hilton.
On defense, Sun Belt defensive player of the week Winston Fraser leads the team with 14 solo tackles, 19 in total. His best play on the season is a 71-yard interception returned for a touchdown. According to College Football Statistics, the defense is fourth in the nation with 20 tackles for loss. The defense is fifth in the nation in pass break ups with 11 and 13th in passes defensed with 12.
Central Florida is getting it done with defense. According to ESPN, they are first in the nation, holding their opponents to 1.5 points per game. They have only given up a field goal this season. In addition to this, Central Florida has the 14th ranked offense in total yards per game. George O’Leary is in his eighth season at UCF and brings experience from coaching at Georgia Tech in the ACC. The knights use a mobile quarterback who is second on the team in rushing. After beating Georgia in a bowl game and Boston College last week, the knights are looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 1988. They average 491 yards per game, number 19 in the country.
FIU conducted a poll on its sports website to discover which home game the fans are anticipating. The Central Florida matchup garnered over 50 percent of the vote. To get tickets for this game, please visit FIUSports.com. The game will air on ESPN 3 at 6 p.m. this Saturday.