Mobile, AL (Sports Network) - Behind 149 rushing yards and a touchdown from Kedrick Rhodes, the FIU Panthers won their first Sun Belt Conference game of the season, defeating South Alabama, 28-20, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
The win for FIU (2-8, 1-5 Sun Belt) snapped a seven-game losing streak and it was its first conference win since Nov. 26, 2011. Jake Metlock completed just 9-of-19 passes for 153 yards, but he tossed a pair of touchdowns and added another score rushing. Jacob Younger caught two passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.
For South Alabama (2-7, 1-4), Ross Metheny completed 19-of-37 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown but he was also picked off twice. Wes Saxton (six receptions, 92 yards) and Corey Besteda (three receptions, 96 yards, TD) had big days receiving for the Jaguars, who have now lost six of their last seven games.
South Alabama got off to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 15- yard touchdown run from T.J. Glover. The Panthers responded with a pair of Medlock scoring strikes, one to Willis Wright for 26 yards and the other to Younger for 27 yards, as they took a 14-7 advantage into the second quarter.
Medlock struck again midway through the second quarter, this time with his legs, as he scored on a 19-yard run. FIU scored its fourth unanswered touchdown with 1:07 remaining in the first half on a two-yard run from Rhodes, and it took a convincing 28-7 lead into halftime.
The Jaguars came out with a much-needed big play to start the second half, as Metheny connected on a 75-yard touchdown pass to Besteda in the opening seconds of the third quarter to bring them to within two scores, 28-14. Michel Chapuseaux added a 39-yard field goal just a few minutes later to get South Alabama even closer.
Another Chapuseaux field goal (23 yards) early in the fourth quarter brought the score to 28-20, making it just a one possession game for South Alabama.
The Jaguars left several opportunities on the field late in the game. Demetre Baker lost a fumble on one possession, Chapuseaux missed a 23-yard field goal on another, and Metheny was intercepted in the game's final minute as FIU held on for the win.
FIU won despite being outgained, 458 yards to 334. The Panthers also went just 2-of-11 on third down attempts.