Bahamas Bowl – Dec 21

Florida International Panthers (8-4)  vs  Toledo Rockets (7-5)

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FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL  |  CONFERENCE USA

Coach:  Butch Davis

Florida International Players to watch:

*Junior LB  Sage Lewis  (6-1/240)

Sage Lewis amassed 214 career tackles so far in his FIU career.
Photo: panthernow.com

Middle linebacker Sage Lewis smoothly made the transition inside from his outside backer spot where he wracked up a school-record 126 tackles in 2018, and entrenched himself as the leader of the defense.

*Junior WR Maurice Alexander  (5-11/180)

The former quarterback, turned WR, didn’t miss a beat in the transition.  A seemingly natural receiver, Alexander showed off his speed, his hands, his ability to make plays. He stretched the field and played special teams to boot.  He averaged 13.6 yards per return — best in the conference.

Senior OG Jordan Budwig  (6-4/311)

“That’s not something to play around with,” Budwig said, referencing the health of the quarterback he protects, “That’s something we take seriously.”  A physical run blocker, Budwig anchored the Panthers’ offensive line by starting in all 13 games.  The Bahamas Bowl with be Budwig’s 50th FIU contest.

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TOLEDO  |  MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE

Coach:  John Candle

Toledo Players to watch:

*Junior WR  Diontae Johnson  (5-11/181)

Toledo Junior WR & RS Diontae Johnson
Photo:  Toledo Blade

Johnson leads the team with 43 receptions and 663 receiving yards. Has seven TD receptions, one punt return TD, and one TD off a kickoff return.  His 23 career TD receptions ranks fifth all-time at UT.

Senior WR Cody Thompson  (6-2/205)

Thompson holds the Toledo record with 30 career touchdown receptions; ranks second on UT’s career receiving list with 3,257 yards; and trails Eric Page as UT’s all-time leader by 189 yards.  This year he has 43 receptions for 592 yards.

*Junior OC Bryce Harris  (6-3/285)

Last year, Harris displayed his versatility by playing three different positions: right guard, center, and left guard.  This year, he started every game at center — that decision by HC Candle payed big dividends with Harris earning 2nd Team All-Mac.

*Junior TE Reggie Gilliam  (6-0/235)

Gilliam played in all 12 games, starting 11 at tight end  He is fourth on the team with three touchdown receptions; and leads the country with four blocked kicks.

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Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
FIU 35, Toledo 32

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