MIAMI -- 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 Conference) 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.