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No. 21 Miami and FIU to play for first time since 2007

September 20, 2018

FIU (2-1) at No. 21 Miami (2-1), 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Line: Miami by 27.

Series record: Miami leads 2-0

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

It’s the Battle for Miami — sort of. The Hurricanes’ campus is in Coral Gables, most of Panthers’ campus is considered to be within the city of Sweetwater (eight miles from UM’s home), and Hard Rock Stadium is in Miami Gardens. FIU is looking for what would be the most significant win in its history, and Miami is looking to take a three-game winning streak into the start of Atlantic Coast Conference play next week.

KEY MATCHUP

Miami defensive line vs. FIU offensive line. This could be the key matchup for every game, every week, every team, but in this case there’s nothing more important to either side. FIU’s line has looked great at times this season, and it’ll need to find ways to thwart the Hurricanes’ front seven that has piled up 35 tackles for loss already.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FIU: RB Shawndarrius Phillips has taken the lead role in the backfield in the Panthers’ last two games, rushing 34 times for 211 yards. He’s reached the end zone in all three FIU contests this season.

Miami: DB Trajan Bandy, who was ejected early in the LSU game for targeting, has donned the Hurricanes “Turnover Chain” in each of the last two games and is fast becoming a key part of a stout defense.

FACTS & FIGURES

Miami QB Malik Rosier has rushed for five touchdowns already, matching his total from last season. The only other Miami quarterback since 1973 with a five-rush-TD season was Ryan Collins in 1993. ... FIU is fantastic in the red zone. Since the start of the 2017 season, the Panthers have scored 52 out of 55 times when they get inside the opposing 20 — and 43 of those scores have been touchdowns. ... FIU coach Butch Davis was at Miami from 1995-2000. He coached against the Hurricanes four times when he was at North Carolina, going 3-1. ... Miami has 126 points in its last two games, matching the school record for such a span. ... The teams played (and brawled) in 2006, played again in 2007 and haven’t played since. They will meet again in November 2019.

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