The Miners (1-5, 0-2 C-USA) fell to Florida International 32-17 for their fifth straight loss, but the defense took a major step forward following their uninspiring performance against UTSA two weeks ago.

Defensive Report Card:

Defensive Line: C+

Praise Amaewhule, Denzel Chukwukelu, Josh Ortega and Chris Richardson each had good games for the Miners on the defensive front. They didn't get a sack on the night, but Ortega was credited with a hurry and Richardson deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage. Chukwukelu had a tackle for loss and Amaewhule had a pair of nice tackles. Once this front starts sacking the quarterback, they have the potential to be great.

Linebackers: B

Big step forward for the linebackers, who were seemingly everywhere on Saturday night. No Joe Jay Smith, as Dylan Parsee stepped in for the Miners and added four tackles. SIone Tupou led the linebackers with six total tackles, while Jayson VanHook added a pair of tackles and a tackle for loss.

Secondary: C+

Aside to a few big plays that FIU created, where the secondary could have stopped it, the secondary played acceptable for the Miners against the Panthers. They allowed 150 passing yards for a skilled quarterback in James Morgan. Josh Caldwell led all Miners defenders with seven total tackles.

Defense: C+

Major step forward for the defense, coming off allowing 320 rushing yards to UTSA to allowing 335 total yards of offense. The defense looked very much improved tonight, seeing some new faces join the mix and step up big for injured linebackers.