September 27, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Richard Leonard and Demarkus Perkins returned interceptions for touchdowns as big plays and turnovers helped FIU climb out of an early hole to beat UAB 34-20 in a Conference USA opener on Saturday.

The Panthers (2-3, 1-0) tied a school record, forcing six turnovers, including two pick-sixes. UAB (2-2, 0-1) needed just 84 seconds to take a quick, opening lead and were driving in the second quarter when Leonard picked Jeremiah Briscoe and raced 25 yards to tie, 7-7. Demarkus Perkins also intercepted Briscoe for a 31-yard TD. Briscoe and Cody Clements were each picked off twice.

FIU's Alex McGough completed only 9 of 24 passes for 204 yards - most of those on scoring tosses of 75 and 85 yards to Jonnu Smith and Glenn Coleman.

Smith caught a screen to the left flat and raced 75 yards to give FIU the lead for good at 14-13.

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