MIAMI (AP) — Grayson James came on to throw three fourth-quarter touchdowns then added another in overtime plus a 2-point conversion to give FIU a 38-37 win over Bryant on Thursday night.
After Bryant scored on the first possession of overtime on Zevi Eckhaus’ pass to Anthony Frederick, James connected with Tyrese Chambers on a 5-yard score. New FIU coach Mike MacIntyre decided to go for two and James found EJ Wilson Jr. for the win.
Bryant took a 30-27 lead on Ishod Byarm’s 1-yarder with 43 seconds left in regulation and it looked as if the Bulldogs would get their first win over an FBS opponent. But a targeting call on fourth down kept the Panthers alive and James covered 48 yards on three passes to set up Chase Gabriel’s 29-yard field goal as time ran out.
FIU won after losing its final 11 games last season.
Gunnar Holmberg, Duke’s starter last year, threw for a touchdown before James took over in the third quarter. James finished 16-of-31 for 207 yards and Holmberg 14-of-20 for 103. Chambers and Kris Mitchell each had two TD catches.
Eckhaus was 18-of-22 passing for 243 yards. Gage Moloney added 106 yards passing with a score. Byarm had two touchdowns. Anthony Frederick had 101 yards receiving with a score.
It was Bryant’s first game in Florida where fourth-year Bryant’s Chris Merritt was head coach at Christopher Columbus High School for 18 years, just a few miles from FIU, before being hired by the Bulldogs.
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