Sun, Dec 15, 2019

Miami (FL) and Dade County rival FIU met on Saturday night at Marlins Park, current home of the Miami Marlins and the site of the old Orange Bowl. It went about as well as Miami’s final game in its old stadium Orange Bowl — a 48-0 loss to Virginia. The Panthers stunned the Hurricanes 30-24, handing the Miami one of its worst losses since the program became a national power in the 1980s.

It’s the first loss for Miami to a team outside of a Power Five conference since Nov. 27, 2010 — a 23-20 to South Florida. It’s the most improbable loss for the program since then-No. 12 Miami lost 31-6 to East Carolina on Oct. 19, 1996. Miami also lost to the same ECU program 27-23 in 1999 when the Canes were ranked No. 9 in the nation. If you want to dig even deeper into sad Miami football history, it lost to Florida A&M and San Diego State in back-to-back games in October 1979.

Considering this FIU team was 5-5 and not expected to be bowl-eligible, an honor it has now achieved with the victory, you could go back four decades to the last time Miami — a 21-point favorite — was upset by this magnitude in a game.

To put it more simply, it was the most embarrassing loss in decades for Miami. Perhaps even more embarrassing is that It came in Manny Diaz’ first year as coach and against Miami’s former coach, Butch Davis.

Miami this season became the first team in the last 40 years to lose three times in a single season as a favorite of 14 points or more, according to ESPN’s Chris Fallica. The Canes previously lost to Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.

“One of the darkest nights in this program’s history,” Diaz said after the game. “That’s on me. I’ve got to take the responsibility for that.”

It’s also the biggest win in FIU history as it’s the first time since the program’s inception in 2002 that it has won a game against a Power Five opponent. The Panthers were 0-24 previously against Power Five teams. FIU’s best prior win came in September 2011 when it won at Louisville — then in the Big East — 24-17. 

Anthony Jones, the same running back who was shot in a drive-by shooting in Sept. 2018 and missed half of the season, iced the game with a 37-yard touchdown run with 2:17 left for the final score. He finished the night with 112 yards on 16 carries, and helped the Panthers become bowl eligible.

Canes quarterback Jarren Williams was 19-of-36 passing for 249 yards with two touchdowns and threw three interceptions in the loss.

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