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Florida International Golden Panthers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

2015 Record 5-7

Florida International Golden Panthers 2016 Preview

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The Florida International Golden Panthers turn to their offense to provide leadership in 2016

Overview: Ron Turner went 5-7 in 2015 despite being hit hard by injuries so it’s reasonable to assume that a healthy FIU club has Bowl potential especially with a doable schedule.

Florida International Golden Panthers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: Quarterback Alex McGough threw for over 2,700 yards on 64% but despite the impressive completion rate most of his throws were short and the Golden Panthers didn’t have a stretch the field threat. WR Thomas Owens and TE Jonnu Smith were Florida International’s top receiving threats with a combined 87 receptions for over 1,000 yards. On the ground, Alex Gardner totaled 760 yards and caught 60 throws for another 442 with McGough and Anthony Jones combining for over 500 yards to give FIU a few options. The Golden Panthers had seven players start at least five games on the O-Line with eight coming back with starting experience which adds depth and hopefully creates more opportunities in the rushing attack.

Defense: The Golden Panthers defensive line graduated their top three which leaves three star tackles Imarjaye Albury and Marques Cheeks as the top lineman back. With Florida International losing so much up front the pressure is on the linebacking crew to produce with Anthony Wint the top guy back while Davison Colimon returns from injury after recording eight TFL and four sacks in 2014. The Florida International secondary loses corners Richard Leonard and Jeremiah McKinnon but gets back safeties Niko Gonzalez and Tyree Johnson but the experience of this unit might be tested if the front seven can’t create pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Special Teams: FIU gets back punter Stone Wilson and placekicker Austin Taylor but Anthony Jones is the only returner back so look for several players to get a look in the return game.

Outlook: A better rushing attack and at least a viable pass rush and the Golden Panthers could reach their first Bowl since 2011 although the injury bug has to be much friendlier as well.

Schedule:

9/1                 Indiana

9/10               Maryland

9/17               @UMass

9/24               Central Florida

10/1               Florida Atlantic

10/8               @ UTEP

10/15             @ Charlotte

10/22             Louisiana Tech

10/29             Middle Tennessee State

11/5               @ Western Kentucky

11/19             Marshall

11/26             @ Old Dominion

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