FIU defensive coordinator Brent Guy leaving Panthers
MIAMI (AP) — FIU defensive coordinator Brent Guy is leaving the Panthers after two seasons on coach Butch Davis' staff.
Guy ran the defenses in the best two-year run in FIU history — 8-5 in 2017, and a school-record 9-4 with a win in the Bahamas Bowl last season. He says he's stepping away to tend to personal family responsibilities.
Bahamas Bowl Matchup
Florida International (8-4, Conference USA) vs. Toledo (7-5, Mid-American Conference), Dec. 21, 12:30 p.m. EST.
LOCATION: Nassau, Bahamas.
Florida International: QB James Morgan, 2,764 yards passing, 26 TDs.
Toledo: RB Bryant Koback, 875 yards rushing, 13 TDs.
Florida International: Butch Davis' squad could have been Conference USA East division champions but lost 28-25 to Marshall in the regular-season finale.
Texas State fires coach Everett Withers
SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) — Texas State has fired coach Everett Withers after he guided the Bobcats to just seven victories in three seasons.
The Bobcats fell to 3-8 on Saturday with a 12-7 loss to Troy. They were 2-10 in each of Withers' first two seasons at the Sun Belt Conference school that has been playing at the FBS level since 2012.
Police: 2 FIU football players shot, assailant at large
MIAMI (AP) — Two FIU football players were shot Thursday afternoon, and police said they were looking for who was responsible for what they called a drive-by attack.
Opa-locka (Florida) police chief James Dobson identified the players as running back Anthony Jones and offensive lineman Mershawn Miller. Jones was shot in the face and back, while Miller was shot in the arm. Both players were taken to Ryder Trauma Center, Jones getting airlifted there and Miller taken by ambulance.
FIU sees opener against Indiana as measuring stick for 2018
MIAMI (AP) — When FIU coach Butch Davis looks at Indiana, he doesn't see a team that struggled in the Big Ten last season or one that might be in some disarray following the suspension of leading rusher Morgan Ellison.
He sees a team that might be on the brink of breaking out.
FIU looking for a QB, as Year 2 under Butch Davis looms
MIAMI (AP) — Butch Davis wasted no time in his quest to turn Florida International into a winner.
He's now trying to see if FIU can win consistently.
Davis went 8-5 a year ago in his first season at FIU, guiding the Panthers to their first bowl game since 2011 and leading them to their first winning record in Conference USA play since joining the league five years ago. There's some clear momentum going into 2018, though there's also some significant holes to fill — quarterback being among them.
FAU favored to repeat at C-USA champ after change under Lane
Lane Kiffin knew very little about Conference USA before he became Florida Atlantic's head coach. Same for Butch Davis at Florida International.
The high-profile coaches made immediate impacts in their new league, and at their new schools not all that far apart.
Tar Heels hire former UNC LB Thigpen as assistant coach
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has hired former Tar Heels linebacker Tommy Thigpen as an assistant coach.
The school announced the move on Tuesday. Thigpen had previously served as a linebackers coach for four seasons under former UNC coaches John Bunting and Butch Davis. He also had been at Auburn for four seasons coaching safeties and linebackers, and then spent five seasons at Tennessee coaching linebackers and serving as defensive run game coordinator starting in 2016.
Temple will be playing football in the postseason. The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will have Temple facing Florida International University on Thursday, Dec. 21. The Owls (6-6 overall, 4-4 American Athletic Conference) and the Panthers (8-4 overall, 5-3 Conference USA) will play in St. Petersburg, Fla. The kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Gasparilla Bowl Matchup
Florida International (8-4, Conference USA) vs. Temple (6-6, American Athletic Conference), Dec. 21, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
LOCATION: St. Petersburg, Florida
Florida International: QB Alex McGough, 2,791 yards passing, 17 touchdowns, eight interceptions
Temple: S Delvon Randall, 76 tackles, 6 ½ tackles for loss, four interceptions
We're getting ready to play an FIU team that has 15 starters who are seniors, so you have a veteran team. They have a lot of guys coming back. They have two really good linebackers. (Alex) McGough has been a four-year starter (at quarterback) and (Alex) Gardner is the leading rusher in the history of the program. They have a lot of players back who have played a lot of football and are extremely talented. They are off to a great start.
HUNTINGTON — As Marshall University's football team watched film of FIU this week, there were some noticeable similarities between last year's Panthers and this year.
The Panthers have a new coach, Butch Davis, which has interjected plenty of energy, but the nucleus of the team is the same as what has been around for the last couple years.
That means a lot of familiar faces and plenty of knowledge on the personnel the Thundering Herd was getting set to face.
When is the last time Marshall faced former NFL head coaches in back-to-back football games?
Yet, that will be the case during the next eight days.
The Herd will host Butch Davis' FIU Panthers at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Edwards Stadium. Then, Marshall will battle Lane Kiffin's Florida Atlantic squad at 6 p.m. Nov. 3, in Boca Raton, Florida.
After facing two under-center, triple-option teams in Navy and Army, Tulane (3-2) is preparing for something almost as unusual this week.
Florida International (3-2) runs a pro set under former Miami Hurricanes and Cleveland Browns coach Butch Davis, a style that has become increasingly rare in a spread-dominated sport.
FIU tops Alcorn State 17-10 for Butch Davis’ 1st program win
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alex McGough threw for 328 yards and had a go-ahead touchdown run with 1:12 remaining to help Florida International beat FCS Alcorn State 17-10 on Friday night for coach Butch Davis' first victory at the school.
Admission was free for the crowd of 5,017 at the game relocated from Miami to the historic Legion Field due to Hurricane Irma.
Butch Davis returns to coaching; FIU struggles in his debut
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — On the night before his first game as FIU's coach, his first game as a sideline boss in nearly seven years, Butch Davis compared his level of anticipation to what Christmas Eve is like for a kid.
UCF routs FIU 61-17, spoiling Butch Davis’ return
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — McKenzie Milton threw for four touchdowns and 360 yards, and Central Florida routed Florida International 61-17 in Thursday night's season opener to spoil coach Butch Davis' return to the field for the first time since 2010.
Milton capped the opening drive with a 22-yard scoring pass to Jordan Atkins, and the Knights capitalized on an interception and a safety to lead 40-10 at halftime.
With NCAA shadow looming over UNC, Butch Davis returns to sidelines in sunny Florida
In North Carolina’s parallel football universe, the 2017 season won’t open in Chapel Hill with a 12:10 p.m. game against California on Sept. 2.
Instead, an orbiting Tar Heel season will start on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. in Orlando, Fla., where Butch Davis’ first Florida International team will play Central Florida. The game will mark Davis’ first as a head coach since he was fired at UNC in July 2011.
Conference USA even again while adding high-profile coaches
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Butch Davis is back on the sideline, and Lane Kiffin is again leading his own program.
While those high-profile coaches get ready for their Conference USA debuts — Davis at FIU and Kiffin at Florida Atlantic — coach Bill Clark stayed in place for UAB's football revival.
Tennessee hires Kevin Beard as wide receivers coach
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has hired Kevin Beard as its wide receivers coach and Tony Sorrentino as an offensive quality control assistant.
Beard's arrival reunites him with Tennessee offensive coordinator Larry Scott, as they previously worked together at Miami. Beard coached receivers at Miami in 2015, when Scott served as the Hurricanes' interim head coach for the final six games of the season.
Butch Davis gets some recruiting help at FIU _ from his boss
MIAMI (AP) — When Butch Davis started putting together a staff of assistant coaches for his new job at FIU a couple of months ago, he was facing a bit of a conundrum.
He needed recruiting help quickly, yet didn't want to make hasty hires.
Luckily for Davis, his boss was willing to essentially start working for him.
Elon coach resigns to take job on Butch Davis’ FIU’s staff
ELON, N.C. (AP) — Elon says head coach Rich Skrosky has resigned to take a job on Butch Davis' staff at Florida International.
Elon athletic director Dave Blank announced Skrosky's decision Tuesday night, calling it "an unexpected development."
Skrosky was 7-27 in three seasons with the Phoenix, who were 2-9 this season and 1-7 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
‘Why not us?’: Butch Davis tells FIU to start thinking big
MIAMI (AP) — Butch Davis kept the message simple when he met with his new FIU football team for the first time Tuesday.
He rattled off a list of schools who aren't in major conferences and still found a way to get into major bowls in recent years, the likes of Boise State and Northern Illinois and Central Florida and Houston.
"If they can get into Jan. 1 bowl games, why not us?" Davis said. "Why not us?"
And with that, Davis' next rebuilding project began.
FIU hires Butch Davis as its coach, gives him 5-year deal
MIAMI (AP) — Butch Davis wanted to return to Miami last year, when the Hurricanes needed a new coach.
FIU is bringing him back instead.
Davis was hired Monday as the new coach at FIU, agreeing to a five-year contract. FIU executive director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia said Davis will be introduced Tuesday afternoon.
"We'll tell you how it happened then," Garcia said.