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Indiana football week 3 preview: Florida International’s biggest departures

Florida International gave a game to Indiana in the first 3 quarters last year and we take a look at the key players who played a factor in that.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Florida International Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Last season Indiana defeated Florida International, 34-13. However, after 3 quarters the scoreboard read 13-12 in favor of the Panthers. Indiana then remembered that they were actually supposed to be good last season and scored 22 points in the 4th quarter to win by 3 touchdowns.

The Panthers were competing for most of the game due to their key players who have departed. We highlight those players and how their departures may factor into this season’s game.

First, the Panthers fired former head coach Ron Turner. Turner got the boot after four games into his fourth season with Florida International. In a little over three seasons, he had a combined record of 10-30 and failed to reach a bowl game. New coach, Butch Davis will look to bring a winning record to the Panthers in his first season with the squad.

Two Panthers made the next step into the NFL this offseason. Dieugot Joseph signed with the Bears, and Jonnu Smith was drafted by the Titans.

Joseph, an offensive tackle, was a key part of the offensive line that produced just over 4500 yards of total offense this past season. He also helped block for Alex Gardner and Alex McGough, the two firepowers on offense. Gardner rushed for 2,272 yards which was good for the most ever in Florida International history. McGough tossed 48 TDs behind the block of Joseph which was also good for best all time in Florida International history. Both Gardner and McGough will be back this season for their senior seasons.

Jonnu Smith was the 100th pick in the draft by the Tennessee Titans. Smith, a tight end for the Panthers, caught 42 passes for 500+ yards and 4 TDs last season. He recorded just over 2,000 career receiving yards and caught a pass in every game he played in with Florida International.

All in all, however, the Panthers have not lost much. Which is great for Butch Davis taking the reigns for the first year.

The Hoosiers will host the Panthers on September 16th.