The Cards are 4-0 after winning at Florida International Saturday by a score of 28-21.
The Cards scored seven points in each of the four quarters and kept FIU out of the end zone in just the third quarter.
It was a back and forth battle and each team really countered the other well. FIU played much faster than the Cards did on defense and came away with a pair of interceptions to win the turnover battle, forcing the two to the Cards one fumble recovery.
The total yardage was even for both teams, with the Cards gaining 323 yards and the Panthers gaining 326. The breakdown was almost identical as well, with each team rushing for close to 130 and passing for about 195 yards.
Last year this wasn’t a game the Cards would have won, and last year they didn’t win this one. However this year they were able to pull it off.
It’s hard to say where they won this one, but they did. Teddy Bridgewater had his worst showing of the year, but still through for almost 200 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly his team got the win.
Andrell Smith looked at moments like a man amongst boys with a one handed catch and a number of broken tackles throughout the night. Smith finished with five catches for 50 yards.
Senorise Perry also showed well running the football, as did Jeremy Wright. Neither dominated in the yardage department, but they each had a number of great runs, keeping their heads up and cutting back into space. When they have room to run they both do a great job of finding it.
Kai Dominguez also deserves a nod for his special teams work on the punt return unit. An area that has yet to really be a weapon for the Cards almost looked like it wanted to be tonight. Dominguez had three returns including a 30 yarder.
The Cards still struggled to get any pressure at all on the quarterback. It is painful to watch the defensive front struggle and even more painful to watch receivers run around until they are open down field.
The Cards defense needs to find an identity. It is easy to see all of the pieces there, but it is hard to see the units working together. The defensive line needs to complement the defensive backs and the linebackers need to bring it all together. Instead of one unit, the defense just looks like three units.
While the Cards defensive front struggled to pressure the QB the protection was less than stellar on both the offensive side of the football and the punt protection.
Every time the Cards punt its as if you can see the ball being blocked before the punt gets off. It’s just a matter of time before the punt block bites the Cards. Again. They did manage to draw a huge roughing the kicker call with just minutes left in the fourth quarter, but will have to shore up the protection.
The Cards are 4-0, but still haven’t quite figured it all out. When they do it will be special. Next week the Cards stay on the road as they travel to Southern Miss and look for their fifth win. Follow StraitCards for more on the win over FIU and notes on the upcoming game with the Golden Eagles.
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