2016-17 Football Previews – (C-USA) – Panthers
Looking for 2016 Florida International predictions? FIU took a step in the right direction as they won 5 games last season. The total marked the highest since 2011. As they continue to take very small steps of improvements season by season, the Panthers now are expected to get over that hump with 6 wins and find themselves in a bowl game here in 2016.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Florida International Panthers
Head Coach: Ron Turner
Florida International Panthers Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: OFF
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The Panthers had the unfortunate task of dealing with C-USA powerhouses Western Kentucky and Marshall to end the season when they needed just 1 win. Does the program have enough to continue their season by season improvements and grab that 6th win this season?
2016 Florida International Panthers Predictions: Team Strengths
Turning the Corner
Quarterback Alex McGough will be entering his third year as the playcaller for this FIU offense and if the trend continues, he could be in store for a big season.
McGough finished his sophomore campaign with 2722 yards to go along with 21 touchdowns.
His decision making has been what is most impressive. McGough threw just 8 interceptions last year, never forcing the issue and rarely making mistakes that killed drives.
The QB continues to mature and become smarter on the field with his quick decisions. Look for him to have a giant year.
Every skill position offers at least one returning player for the Panthers.
This was a relatively young bunch over the last couple seasons, but with so many returning key starters, the Panthers will have a lot of options.
TE Jonnu Smith and WR Thomas Owens return out wide for McGough to find while RB Alex Gardner returns after putting up more than 1200 yards from scrimmage last year.
This offense is very talented and will have plenty of playmaking abilities to choose from.
2016 Florida International Panthers Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Getting to the QB
With how good this offense is expected to be, the defense just has to stand their ground and keep the Panthers in games.
One of the major flaws for the Panthers last season was their ability to get to the QB. Things are going to be even tougher on them this season with 3 of their 4 starting linemen now gone.
The struggle to get into the backfield was noticeably a problem last season when they lost back to back games against passing attacks. WKU put up 52, while the Thundering Herd put up 63.
They have to do much better this season at not giving the opposing QB so much time, but that is going to be tough with a lot of inexperienced linemen.
Tough Road to the Finish Line…Again
Last season they needed just the 1 win and couldn’t get it thanks to a tough stretch in the final couple weeks of the season.
They’ll get Western Kentucky and Marshall once again, but also add Old Dominion, a much improved team in the mix in their final 3 games.
With a pair of Big 10 opponents to deal with at the beginning of the season, the middle 5 games are going to be extremely important. The schedule isn’t favorable by any means for the Panthers.
2016 Florida International Panthers Prediction: 7-5
This offense is going to really give them a chance to be a bowl team here in 2016.
They return a lot of playmakers and have a lot of players who continue to mature and trend upward.
The schedule isn’t favorable, but if the Panthers can get hot after the pair of Big 10 opponents, they might be able to ride that momentum to a bowl eligible season.
They’ll likely need a win or two in that final 3 game stretch, but with the right momentum, this offense can pull it off.
2016 Florida International Panthers Schedule
- Sept. 1: INDIANA
- Sept. 10: MARYLAND
- Sept. 17: @UMass
- Sept. 24: CENTRAL FLORIDA
- Oct. 1: FLORIDA ATLANTIC
- Oct. 8: @Texas-El Paso
- Oct. 15: @ Charlotte
- Oct. 22: LOUISIANA TECH
- Oct. 29: MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE
- Nov. 5: @Western Kentucky
- Nov. 19: MARSHALL
- Nov. 26: @Old Dominion
What do you think about our 2016 Florida International Panthers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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