Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
FIU tied the game in the last minute, but the Panthers weren't able to beat Louisiana-Monroe in the final game of the season.
With just 28 seconds left in Saturday's game, it looked like the Florida International Golden Panthers were heading to a loss in their season finale against the ULM Warhawks. Then, E.J. Hilliard hit Willis Wright for a 58-yard touchdown to send the Golden Panthers into overtime against ULM, and the Panthers got the first crack at scoring in the extra period. But a blocked field goal left FIU's offense scoreless in overtime, leading to a 23-17 Louisiana-Monroe win.
Despite outgaining Louisiana-Monroe (8-4, 6-2 in the Sun Belt Conference), 391 yards to 235, the Golden Panthers (3-9, 2-6) were unable to turn scoring opportunities into points. Three fumbles, two of them lost by Hilliard, didn't help either. FIU's first four drives ended with three punts and a lost fumble, while the Warhawks took their first drive 100 yards to the end zone.
The Golden Panthers got on the board with their first drive of the second quarter, with Hilliard throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to De'Andre Jasper. FIU stayed close, but with a minute left in the third quarter and the game tied at 10, Hilliard lost the ball on a sack, and Louisiana-Monroe took the fumble for a score.
FIU tied the game again with the last-minute touchdown, but after driving to the Warhawks' 7-yard-line in overtime, Hilliard was sacked twice before Louisiana-Monroe blocked the Panthers' field-goal attempt. Three plays later, Kolton Browning threw a 15-yard touchdown pass for the win.
Hilliard finished 22-of-31 for 226 yards and two touchdowns, but was sacked seven times and lost the ball twice. Darian Mallary led the Golden Panthers with 64 yards on eight carries.