FIU’s Olin Cushion III gets his Senior Day moment

Senior Day is a special day in college football. It’s the last home game of the season and for the senior class, that means the last home game ever.

Makes the game even more special when the seniors are the main contributors to the home team’s victory. Senior quarterback James “Captain” Morgan and running back Napoleon Maxwell scored a rushing touchdown but senior defensive back Olin Cushion III put the finishing touches on FIU’s 24-17 win against Old Dominion with a last minute interception.

It was Cushion’s first interception of the season. He now has a pick in the last three seasons.

Cushion had been eyeing ODU quarterback Hayden Wolff like an eagle throughout the Monarchs last offensive drive of the game. He dove at a low pass from the freshman and scraped his arm on the turf field, causing him to bleed.

That didn’t stop Cushion from trying to distract Wolff by saying,  ‘Come on. Come on.’

“I was wiping blood everywhere,” Cushion said. [Fellow FIU safety] Dorian Hall tried to take my side of the field, but I said, ‘Nah, you can’t get this side. I need this side so the ref won’t see the blood and take me out.’

“The next thing I know, the ball was coming to me, and I ran up under it and slid on my knees.”

With the win, FIU is now a game away from bowl eligibility. The Panthers have made it to a bowl game in each season since Butch Davis took over as head coach starting in 2017. This senior class has the opportunity to be the first class to play in three bowl games, much less three straight.

The path to that sixth win will be hard. Their next opponent is the Shula Bowl at rival Florida Atlantic. Owls head coach Lane Kiffin has had the upper hand on Davis lately with two wins by a combined score of 101-38.

Then comes the game that Panthers fans have been waiting for, a local slugfest with the Miami Hurricanes at Marlins Park, the spot of the old Orange Bowl where the two programs infamously clashed a little over a decade ago. Even at Miami’s weaken state, nobody truly expects the Hurricanes to lose to FIU, or any non-power 5 team for that matter.

Finally Marshall, which currently shares the C-USA East Division lead with FAU at 4-1. FIU is 0-3 on the road this season, which is a streak that will have to end if the Panthers are going to go bowling. 

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