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Miami Hurricanes News and Notes: The “Battle for Dade County” won’t end well for the Panthers

Miami and FIU will meet for the first time since 2007

NCAA Football: Miami at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Miami will face off against the FIU Panthers for the first time since 2007.

**The Panthers quarterback is Bowling Green transfer James Morgan. Morgan has 3,890 career passing yards and 31 touchdowns to 25 interceptions. His 62.9% completion percentage is the best of his career.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Florida International Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

**The FIU offense is averaging 39.7 points per game which is tied for 34th nationally.

**The Panthers convert on just 42.9% of their third downs, 58th nationally.

**Florida transfer CJ Worton leads the Panthers wide receivers group with nine catches and 171 yards. Worton went to South Dade Senior High.

**Shawndarrius Phillips, the Panthers leading rusher, went to Atlantic High in Broward. Phillips currently averages 5.5 yards a carry and has four touchdowns on the year.

**Defensively, the Panthers have yet to hold an opponent under 20 points and are ranked 99th in the country in total defense. Miami has a realistic opportunity to improve on their 47.7 points per game.

**The Panthers allow opponents to convert on third down 35.7% of the time, 58th nationally.

**FIU is tied for 103rd in the nation in first down defense.

Despite losing RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton Miami has put together one of their most dominant defensive lines in years

**Defensive end Jonathan Garvin ranks 10th in all of college football with six tackles for loss. Gerald Willis III ranks fourth nationally and FIRST in the ACC with seven tackles for loss. Those two together have been an absolute force for offensive lines. I can’t imagine FIU having anyone capable of slowing them down.

**Miami opponents are converting on just 16.3% of third down opportunities against the Hurricanes defense.

**Miami is not getting the spark that turnovers generate as much as they would like. Miami has forced just one turnover against FBS opponents in two matchups. That should change on Saturday. Panthers quarterback James Morgan has thrown an interception in each of the three games he's played this season.

ProCanes News

** Miami Dolphins running back Frank Gore passed Curtis Martin as the fourth all-time leading rusher in NFL History. Congratulations to the Miami Hurricanes and Dade County legend.

** New York Jets TE Chris Herndon IV almost scored his first career touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday. He was stopped just short of the goal line.

Rant of the Day

** I am an FIU student. I drive from my home in Kendall to FIU almost every day of the week to further my education and make myself a well-rounded individual. I love the journalism program that FIU provides that allows me to pursue my dreams and the great opportunities the university has provided for me. I am extremely grateful for Florida International University.

With that being said, I am a Cane at heart. I was raised in the Orange Bowl. I have had season tickets for Miami Hurricanes games for as long as I can remember and I will always be Hurricane.

What people outside of this fan base fail to understand is that the University of Miami is unlike any other school. 95 percent of their fans did not attend the university. A large majority of their fans are FIU alumni.

An even larger portion support Miami Hurricanes football because of the community it brings among fans from all around. It is not about “school pride.” It is about the unification that University of Miami football has brought to this massively diverse city.

The Miami Hurricanes are this city’s team.

I don't want to hear the slander about Miami fans not being University of Miami students or alums. Leave all that energy in The Cage.