UNIVERSITY PARK, Fla. (AP) — Alex McGough tossed two third-quarter touchdown passes and the Florida International defense did the rest in a 14-7 victory over Texas-San Antonio on Saturday.
After a scoreless first half, McGough led the Golden Panthers (6-2, 4-1 Conference USA) on a 15-play, 93-yard drive that ate up 8:26 of the clock. McGough capped the drive with a 13-yard TD pass to Thomas Owens.
FIU needed just one play to score on its next drive. Shermarke Spence recovered a fumble at the UTSA 18-yard line and McGough connected with Shawndarri Phillips for the score and a 14-0 lead.
But the Roadrunners (5-3, 2-3) made a game of it when Dalton Sturm engineered a 10-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 12-yard scoring pass to Brady Jones with 13:59 left in the game. Sturm put the Roadrunners in position to tie the game when he led them to the FIU 2-yard line, but the Golden Panthers kept UTSA out of the end zone on four straight running plays to preserve the lead. UTSA had one last shot at knotting the score when a short punt gave it the ball at the FIU 40. A pass interference penalty moved the ball to the 25, but Sturm was sacked and then threw three straight incompletions to turn the ball over on downs.
FIU became bowl eligible for the third time in its 16-year history.
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