Indiana Hoosiers (0-0) at FIU Golden Panthers (0-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 1, 2018, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: FIU Golden Panthers +10.5 -- Over/Under: 57
CBS Sports Network
The Indiana Hoosiers and Florida Intl Golden Panthers meet Saturday in college football action at FIU Stadium.
The Indiana Hoosiers won just five games last season, but there’s momentum with this program that’s made a bowl appearance two of the last three years. Indiana probably has its starting quarterback in Arizona transfer Brandon Dawkins, who has 15 career passing touchdowns and nearly 1,600 rushing yards. You take that dual threat ability and combine it with a healthy running back in Nick Westbrook, and Indiana has a deadly 1-2 punch on offense. Of course, it would also help if offensive coordinator Mike DeBord decided to speed up the tempo this season, the thing that helped this side of the ball be so effective in years past. Defensively, Indiana is replacing a ton of production from a year ago and eight starters. Jonathan Crawford brings some stability to the defensive backfield and Marcelino Ball will prove to be one of the better defenders in the Big Ten now that he’s healthy. The Indiana Hoosiers have won five of their last six season openers.
The Florida Intl Golden Panthers won eight games under Butch Davis and have a chance to make back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 2010-11. James Morgan comes over from Bowling Green and brings 25 career touchdown passes and 3,300 yards with him. Morgan has a strong offensive line to work behind and a talented backfield led by Napoleon Maxwell and Shawndarrius Phillips. If Morgan takes care of the football and can be the needed difference maker at the QB position, FIU could be a surprise offense that keeps this team in games. Defensively, FIU has some major holes, particularly at linebacker with their top two tacklers no longer on the team. Georgia Tech transfer Jordan Wood should add a boost to the pass rush and Isaiah Brown, a playmaker with the ball in the air, is healthy again at cornerback. Florida International has some questions, but this could be the surprise team in the CUSA if everything goes well. The Florida Intl Golden Panthers have lost their season opener in five of the last six years.
The Hoosiers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games on fieldturf, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Golden Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on fieldturf, 2-8 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten. The under is 9-3 in Hoosiers last 12 road games and the over is 4-1 in Golden Panthers last 5 games overall.
The Indiana Hoosiers are likely going to struggle out of the gate defensively, so this could be like past years were games that feature them are back and forth and close scoring. I also like Indiana with Dawkins at QB and not Peyton Ramsey. Indiana is 4-7-1 ATS in its last 12 games when a double-digit favorite. FIU has a solid quarterback in Morgan, and this is a team overall under Butch Davis that plays with a new level of confidence. Gone are the days were you can just beat up on the Golden Panthers and take an easy victory. FIU could very well win this game outright if Morgan is a difference at quarterback from the jump. I'm taking the points here.