FIU made their first bowl game experience count. Despite being down 24-7 at one point in the third quarter and trailing by two with just seconds left in the game, the Golden Panthers rallied again and again to win the Little Caesars Bowl 34-32 over Toledo.
The highlight of the day, besides Jack Griffin’s 34-yard field goal as time expired, happened when the Panthers faced fourth-and-17 on their final drive. In true mi-major fashion, the time was right to break out the old hook-and-lateral for a first down.
That was T.Y. Hilton who ran for the first down. Hilton practically put the Panthers on his back every time they needed him to. He ran back a kick for a touchdown midway through the third quarter to spark the Panthers’ comeback. He caught the go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and finally made that clutch fourth-down conversion. Not bad for a guy with only 37 receiving yards on the night.
Toledo had taken the lead with 1:14 remaining on a touchdown run by Terrance Owens. Adding some flair of their own they went for two and converted it for a two-point lead. One point too little to hold on.