FIU, FAU picked to finish second, third in C-USA

Regional rivals receive first-place votes in media poll

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
Bryan Hursh

Florida International running back D'Vonte Price rushes for yardage against the Florida Atlantic Owls, Nov. 3, 2018 at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami. The Owls beat the Panthers 49-14.

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida International and Florida Atlantic are projected to finish second and third, respectively, in the Conference USA East Division.

Marshall is the preseason pick to win the C-USA East, while North Texas is the favorite in the West Division, according to a poll conducted by members of the media.

The Panthers received nine first-place votes, while the Owls received three.

FIU returns 16 starters from last year's 9-4 season, including quarterback James Morgan, reigning C-USA newcomer of the year, and linebacker Sage Lewis, who was named C-USA preseason defensive player of the year. 

The Panthers were 6-2 in C-USA play, falling to rival FAU and Marshall after a 4-0 start.

FAU stumbled to a 5-7 finish in Lane Kiffin's second season after winning a school-record 11 games, capturing the C-USA crown and crushing Akron 50-3 in the Boca Raton Bowl to cap the 2017 season. 

The Owls finished 3-5 in C-USA play. 

FIU and FAU join projected division winners Marshall and North Texas as the only teams to receive first-place votes.

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