T.Y. Hilton returned a punt 97 yards for a score as Florida International routed Florida Atlantic 41-7 on Saturday night.
Hilton's return, among the 31 unanswered points scored by FIU (6-4, 3-3 Sun Belt) in the first half, helped the Panthers defeat the Owls for the first time since 2005 and become bowl eligible for the second year in a row. The win was only their second against Florida Atlantic (0-9, 0-6).
Quarterback Jake Medlock started in place of Wesley Carroll and threw for 135 yards on 18-of-24 passing. He gave the Panthers a 10-0 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run and later threw a 9-yard TD pass to Willis Wright.
Kedrick Rhodes rushed for 122 yards on 16 carries and scored on a 12-yard run with 11:36 left in the second quarter to make the score 17-0.
Alfred Morris led FAU with 110 yards on 21 carries.
FLORIDA A&M 31,
N.C. CENTRAL 10
Eddie Rocker carried 17 times for 128 yards and Damien Fleming passed for 186 yards and two touchdowns as Florida A&M (7-3, 5-2 MEAC) defeated North Carolina Central.
The Rattlers took a 28-0 halftime lead with touchdowns on three consecutive possessions in the second quarter, aided by two turnovers by the Eagles (2-8, 1-6).
SAVANNAH STATE 3
David Blackwell rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two more as Bethune-Cookman's ground game was too much for Savannah State.
Blackwell ran for 203 yards on six carries as the Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 MEAC) amassed 431 yards rushing on 41 carries. Blackwell scored on runs of 80, 37 and 59 yards. He also completed 8 of 10 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
Bethune-Cookman has won five games in a row. Savannah State (1-9, 1-6) has lost six games in a row, the past four by a combined total of 173-18.
Josh McGregor threw for a career-high 422 yards to help Jacksonville (7-3, 6-1 Pioneer) rally to defeat Butler.