Louisville, Ky. (September 9, 2011) - Behind an electrifying performance from Heisman hopeful T.Y. Hilton, the FIU football team beat Louisville 24-17 in front of a national audience on ESPN, Friday night in Louisville, Ky. Hilton racked up an FIU-record 201 receiving yards to lead FIU to its first-ever victory over a BCS automatic qualifying opponent.
FIU senior quarterback Wesley Carroll completed 14-of-21 passes for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Defensively, FIU was led by Jonathan Cyprien's 11 tackles, and Winston Fraser's eight to go along with an interception that he returned for a score.
For Louisville, quarterback Will Stein threw for 349 yards on 30-of-43 passing to go along with two scores and one interception.
After the FIU offense had to punt on its first drive, linebacker Winston Fraser got FIU on the board with a 71-yard interception return for touchdown at the 7:27 mark of the first quarter. With Louisville driving down the field and into FIU territory, Fraser jumped in front of a Stein pass and got several blocks to spring him down the sideline for his first-career interception return for touchdown.
At the 13:35 mark of the second quarter, Louisville got on the board with a 30-yard field goal by Chris Philpott.
On FIU's next drive, the Panthers were faced with a 3rd-and-4 situation deep in their own territory, when Carroll found Hilton on a slant and Hilton turned the short reception into a 74-yard touchdown to put FIU up 14-3. The 74-yard touchdown reception, which came at the 12:06 mark of the second quarter, was at the time the third longest in FIU history.
After forcing a Louisville punt, Hilton again struck on third down, this time for an 83-yard touchdown to push FIU's lead to 21-3 with 9:28 to play in the second quarter. The 83-yarder is now the third longest in FIU history.
With 41 seconds to go in the first half, Louisville put up a touchdown on a six-yard pass from Will Stein to Michaelee Harris to cap off a 12-play 89-yard drive. The score sent the game into halftime with FIU leading 21-10.
At the start of the second half, FIU forced a Louisville punt and on the ensuing possession drove 39 yards and capped the drive off with a 29-yard field goal by Jack Griffin to push the lead to 24-10 with 8:37 to play in the third.
In the fourth quarter, with FIU up 24-10 and Louisville driving deep in FIU territory, the FIU defense stopped UL's Jeremy Wright on a 4th-and-2 to force a turnover on downs at the FIU 11 with 9:54 left in the ballgame.
Louisville got seven points back with 1:49 left in the contest when Stein connected with DeVante Parker on a 26-yard completion.
The ensuing onside kick was recovered by FIU's Glenn Coleman, giving the Panthers the football near midfield. The Panthers, however, went 3-and-out, and were forced to punt with 49 seconds to play.
Louisville took over with 38 seconds left backed up on their own three-yard line. However, on fourth down, an attempted hook and ladder turned into a fumble that FIU recovered to seal the victory.
Up next for the Panthers is a home showdown with in-state foe UCF. That game is slated for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17.
For ticket information, call the FIU Ticket Office at 305-FIU-GAME or log onto www.FIUSports.com. Fans can follow @FIUFootball and @Hilton4Heisman on Twitter.
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 17 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
- Louisville won the toss and deferred to the second half. FIU received to open the contest.
- This marked the second time ever that FIU played on ESPN's main network. The previous time was FIU's victory in the 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (12/26/10). FIU is now 2-0 when playing on ESPN's main network.
- This marked FIU's first-ever victory over a team from a BCS automatic qualifying conference (previously 0-22).
- T.Y. Hilton's 201 receiving yards are an FIU single-game record
- Winston Fraser's interception return for touchdown was his first-career interception for touchdown.
- The 71-yard interception return for touchdown is tied for the fourth longest in FIU history.
- Sam Miller's first quarter sack was the first of his career.
- T.Y. Hilton's 74-yard touchdown reception was the third longest in FIU history at the time. His 83-yard touchdown is now the third longest in FIU history (84 - Hilton, 89 - Samuel Smith).
- After his second touchdown catch, T.Y. Hilton became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
- Senior safety Chuck Grace missed the first quarter while serving a conference-mandated suspension after being ejected from FIU's season opener vs. North Texas (9/1).
- After two games, T.Y. Hilton has 520 all-purpose yards.
- This is the first time FIU has started a season 2-0.