It was a triumphant way to end the season.
Running back A’mod Ned scampered into the end zone with just over a minute left to give Florida International a 35-31 win over Middle Tennessee.
That game was in December of 2005. The Panthers have not won since.
While CSU wades through its own 13-game losing streak, it remains second in the nation in college football misery behind FIU’s 18-game streak.
The Panthers went winless in 2006, their closest game coming against – no surprise – Middle Tennessee in a 7-6 loss to open the season.
This year, the struggles continue. Like the Rams, the Panthers are off to an 0-6 start and have been outscored a remarkable 244-44 in those games.
Head coach Mario Cristobal took over in December for Don Strock, who resigned after guiding the program through its first five years of existence with a 15-41 record.
“You don’t think, ‘I have to go out and get that first win,'” Cristobal said during Wednesday’s press conference. “If you start focusing on the end result instead of the process, you throw yourself off course. Take care of the process, tweak it and make it better along the way and the wins will come.”
The Panthers look to end their woes tomorrow against Sun Belt Conference opponent Louisiana-Monroe, who is off to a 1-5 start.
Louisisana-Monroe owns the conference’s second-worst scoring offense but the third-best rushing offense with 208 yards per game.
The Panthers rank last place in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring offense, turnover margin and third-down conversions.
Cristobal said at this point every game is a huge game.
“While the conference is the most important thing, we treat every game as if it was a conference game, as if it were the Super Bowl,” said Cristobal. “That’s the only approach we have here-prepare to win each and every time, every single detail is taken into account.”
If the Panthers’ preparation pays off this week, and CSU fails to get a victory in Las Vegas, the Rams will take over for a streak neither team wants any part of.
Location: Miami, FL
Conference: Sun Belt
Losing streak: 18 games
Last win: December 3, 2005
Closest game this season: A 23-9 loss at Miami Sept. 15
By the numbers:
1 – number of games lost by less than three points during streak
6 – years FIU has had a football program
11 – Sun Belt statistical categories (out of 32) FIU ranks last in