Scores

Final

W Kentucky 3

(2-10, 0-0 C-USA)

FIU 27

(5-7, 3-4 C-USA)

7:00 PM ET, December 6, 2008

FIU Stadium, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
WKU 3 0 0 03
FIU 0 7 6 1427

Top Performers

Passing: P. McCall (FIU) - 292 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: D. Perry (FIU) - 15 CAR, 58 YDS

Receiving: G. Ellingson (FIU) - 6 REC, 104 YDS

Fla. International 27, W. Kentucky 3

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Paul McCall threw for 292 yards and one touchdown and T.Y. Hilton rushed for a score, as both players set school records and to help the Golden Panthers beat Western Kentucky 27-3 on Saturday night.

Hilton had just two receptions for 44 yards, but he became the first Florida International player to have more than 1,000 yards receiving in a season and finished with a school-record 1,013 yards.

McCall, who completed 20 of 34 passes with no interceptions, also set a school record for most touchdown passes in one season for the Golden Panthers (5-7) with 15.

Florida International, which went 1-23 in 2006 and 2007 combined, finished with a winning record for the first time in coach Mario Cristobal's two-year tenure. Western Kentucky (2-10), in the final year of a two-year transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision level, will join the Sun Belt Conference next season.

After trailing 3-0 in the first quarter, the Golden Panthers scored 27 unanswered points.

Anthony Gaitor tied a school record for most interceptions in a season (5) when he returned an interception 78 yards for a score with 6:08 left in the game to give Florida International a 27-3 lead.

On the drive before the interception, McCall threw his school-record touchdown pass when he hit Jason Frierson on 3-yard connection to give the Golden Panthers a 20-3 lead with 10:33 remaining in the game.

The Hilltoppers took a 3-0 lead by engineering a 12-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 26-yard field goal by Tanner Siewert with 1:44 left in the first quarter.

Hilton put the Golden Panthers ahead for good with a 3-yard run 2:17 before halftime that gave them a 7-3 lead. Dustin Rivest kicked field goals from 40 and 25 yards for Florida International.

David Wolke threw for 138 yards and was 13 of 36 with two interceptions to lead the Hilltoppers.

Florida International held Western Kentucky to just 42 yards rushing and 180 total yards. The Golden Panthers had 435 yards of total offense.

Darriet Perry led Florida International with 60 yards on 15 carries. Greg Ellingston caught six passes for 104 yards.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WKU
FIU
1st Downs1123
Total Yards180435
Passing138292
Rushing42143
Penalties8-909-98
3rd Down Conversions2-168-17
4th Down Conversions2-20-0
Turnovers20
Possession24:3835:22

Passing Leaders

Western KentuckyC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Wolke13/361383.802
Florida InternationalC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
McCall20/342928.610

Rushing Leaders

Western KentuckyCARYDSAVGTDLG
Booker8253.108
Hayden2157.5012
Florida InternationalCARYDSAVGTDLG
Perry15583.9015
Reams15322.1010

Receiving Leaders

Western KentuckyRECYDSAVGTDLG
Graves44912.3021
Gaebler5489.6018
Florida InternationalRECYDSAVGTDLG
Ellingson610417.3029
Mertile46215.5022

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWKUFIU
FG01:44Tanner Siewert 26 Yd 30
SECOND QUARTERWKUFIU
TD02:17T.Y. Hilton 3 Yd Run (Dustin Rivest Kick) 37
THIRD QUARTERWKUFIU
FG11:42Dustin Rivest 40 Yd 310
FG00:13Dustin Rivest 25 Yd 313
FOURTH QUARTERWKUFIU
TD10:33Jason Frierson 3 Yd Pass From Paul McCall (Dustin Rivest Kick) 320
TD06:08Anthony Gaitor 78 Yd Interception Return (Dustin Rivest Kick) 327