McGough’s 3 TDs help FIU rally to beat Charlotte 27-26

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Alex McGough accounted for three touchdowns, including a 9-yard scoring pass to Jonnu Smith with 1:05 to play, and Florida International beat Charlotte 27-26 on Saturday night for its third win in a row.

McGough completed 26 of 42 passes for 315 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and added a 19-yard scoring run in the first quarter.

Stephen Muscarello kicked a 32-yard field goal with 7:12 left to give Charlotte (2-5, 1-2 Conference USA) a 26-13 lead. But FIU responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive — capped by McGough’s 15-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Branisel fewer than 3 minutes later.

The Golden Panthers (3-4, 3-0) forced a punt, and a personal foul on the return gave them the ball at the Charlotte 45. After McGough hit Thomas Owens for 21 yards on first down, the 49ers were called for pass interference, setting up Smith’s go-ahead TD grab.

Charlotte drove to the FIU 32, but Blake Brewer’s 49-yard field goal attempt fell short with five seconds remaining.

After Robert Washington’s 3-yard touchdown run gave the 49ers a 23-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, FIU blocked the PAT.

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