MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — N’Kosi Perry came off the bench to throw three touchdown passes, and Miami’s defense was airtight for most of the day in the 21st-ranked Hurricanes’ 31-17 victory over FIU on Saturday.
Travis Homer rushed 13 times for 114 yards and a touchdown, Lawrence Cager caught two scoring passes, and Miami held FIU to 31 yards on its first 10 possessions.
Brevin Jordan also had a TD catch for the Hurricanes (3-1), who lost top receiver and returner Jeff Thomas in the first quarter for what was believed to be a cramping-related issue.
CJ Worton caught a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from James Morgan for FIU (2-2), which outscored Miami 17-0 and gained 139 of its 187 yards in the final 15 minutes.
Perry came in on Miami’s third series, replacing starter Malik Rosier after two scoreless possessions. He completed his first 10 passes, some into very tight windows, finished 17 of 25 for 224 yards with the three scores and one interception — and his performance will surely lead to questions about who the Hurricanes’ starter should be going forward.
It was the first time Miami and FIU — campuses separated by 8 miles — met in football since 2007, and it didn’t take long for any Panthers’ upset hopes to be quashed. The Hurricanes scored on four of their final five drives of the first half and took a 24-0 lead into halftime.
FIU tied a school record with 63 points last week in a win over UMass. The Panthers managed only 17 rushing yards on 24 carries this week.
Miami had 20 of the game’s first 21 first downs and led the total-yards battle 397-10 at one point. The Hurricanes improved to 3-0 against their neighbors, winning those games by a combined 89-26.
FIU: The Panthers are 0-9 against AP Top 25 opponents, losing by an average of 36.7 points. They’re also 1-31 against current Power 5 schools and 0-27 when facing a team that at the time was a member of the ACC (0-8), Big Ten (0-10), Big 12 (0-5) or SEC (0-4). FIU — then coached by Miami alum and current Oregon coach Mario Cristobal — beat current ACC member Louisville in 2011, when the Cardinals were in the Big East.
Miami: Thomas had an 80-yard punt return for a score called back in the opening minutes because of a hold, and he left the field for treatment not long afterward. The Hurricanes are 33-2 in non-conference games against other Florida schools since the start of the 2000 season. In its last 11 regular-season home games, Miami is 11-0 with an average victory margin of 23.5 points.
Miami should stay in the AP Top 25 for the 22nd consecutive balloting, the Hurricanes’ longest such streak since a 107-poll run ended in 2006.
Neither starting quarterback was in the game for long. Rosier spent most of the day wearing a headset, and Morgan — FIU’s starter — was subbed out early for Christian Alexander. Morgan came back and finished 12 of 24 for 168 yards with the two touchdowns and an interception.
FIU: Hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sept. 29.
Miami: Hosts North Carolina on Thursday.
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