Louisiana Tech vs. FIU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Bulldogs and Golden Panthers on Saturday in Miami, FL.
Louisiana Tech vs. FIU Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 22 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: FIU Stadium, Miami, FL
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
The Bulldogs (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA) received a huge game from wide receiver Carlos Henderson, who caught 12 passes for 326 yards and five touchdowns, in a 56-28 road win over UMass last Saturday in the first-ever meeting between the schools. It was the second-most receiving yards for a single game in program history, trailing Troy Edwards’ 405-yard effort 18 years ago.
Meanwhile, the Golden Panthers (3-4, 3-0) are enjoying a three-game win streak since Ron Turner was dismissed and Ron Cooper was named the interim head coach. Last week in a 27-26 road win over Charlotte, quarterback Alex McGough accounted for three touchdowns—including a 9-yard scoring pass to Jonnu Smith with 1:05 to play—to help the Golden Panthers to victory.
In last year’s meeting in Ruston, Kenneth Dixon rushed for two touchdowns and caught a pass for another to lead the Bulldogs to a 27-17 win. McGough threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
What To Know About Louisiana Tech
In the win over the Minutemen, quarterback Ryan Higgins went 26-of-33 passing for 484 yards and five touchdowns for his fourth 400-plus game this season. However, he did throw his first interception since Sept. 10 against South Carolina State. That was about the only thing that went wrong for the Bulldogs last week. The offense remains on fire, particularly in the last two games. Over that span, Higgins is 59-of-78 passing for 938 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Henderson has 20 catches for 558 yards and eight scores. Ridiculous numbers.
What to Know About FIU
McGough completed 26 of 42 passes for 315 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and added a 19-yard scoring run in the win over the 49ers. Despite the three-game win streak, the quarterback has tossed five interceptions over that span. So turnovers remain an issue. However, he has been more efficient and productive through the air, giving this team a passing attack that was missing during its 0-4 start. Alex Gardner has been productive on the ground, too, although he was held to just 29 yards last week after combining for 260 the previous two contests.
Offense: Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are No. 4 in the FBS in total offense, averaging 550.0 yards per game.
Defense: Even. Neither one of these units stand out, which essentially gives the Bulldogs the advantage because of their overwhelming offense.
Special Teams: Louisiana Tech. Bulldogs kicker Jonathan Barnes is 5 of 5 on field goals from 40-49 yards out, and he has a 54-yarder to his credit as well.
Coaching: Louisiana Tech. Cooper has done a real nice job on an interim basis, because this team was in turmoil while sitting at 0-4. But Skip Holtz has back-to-back nine-win seasons in Ruston.
Intangibles: Even. FIU has a three-game win streak, while the Bulldogs are scorching hot on offense.
Matchup To Watch
Henderson vs. FIU secondary
First-year Golden Panthers secondary coach Bobby Babich inherited an athletic unit that features nice-sized cornerbacks. It’s a defense that ranks No. 35 in the FBS at 205.0 yards per game, but it will have its hands full going up against an offense that features Higgins throwing to Henderson. This has been a lethal combination all season long. Henderson is averaging 21.0 yards per catch and has reached the end zone 10 times already, and he is on pace to shatter several of his previous season highs. He will be a real matchup nightmare for the Golden Panthers this week.
Spread: Louisiana Tech -16
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)
Louisiana Tech vs. FIU Prediction
The Golden Panthers have found a way to salvage their season after the 0-4 start. Being unbeaten in league play is quite the accomplishment, and Cooper deserves credit for making sure the team stuck together during its tumultuous start. But the Bulldogs have too potent of an offense, and FIU is not built to win a shootout. Holtz’s squad cruises in the second half to a fairly easy win.
Louisiana Tech vs. FIU Score Prediction: Louisiana Tech 38, FIU 23