“The Battle for Dade County” between UM and FIU has no athletic history. The schools have competed in football only twice before, with the first meeting in 2006 producing the infamous brawl that ended in a multitude of players from each school earning suspensions. Despite playing again the following year in an uneventful 23-9 victory for the ‘Canes, this year’s game features more interesting storylines
When the FIU football program was elevated to the Division I level in 2004, plans had been made to begin an annual cross-town rivalry with UM that was then referred as the “Battle for Dade County.”
But when the teams faced off on October 14, 2006, at the long-since-retired Miami Orange Bowl, there was an incident that would end the rivalry before it began. When UM lined up for an extra point early in the third quarter, a full-scale brawl ensued. The benches cleared, police ran to the field, and former UM defensive back Anthony Reddick famously swung his helmet in what can only be described as a mosh pit. For those wanting to relive one of the weirder moments in sports history, here’s the video.
The aftermath featured 33 total players suspended, and both coaches being let go at the end of the season.
With the Hurricanes and Panthers facing each other for the first time in over a decade in “The Battle for Dade County” (which could probably use a name change), we can only hope that this across-town matchup can finally become an annual matchup. With FIU’s current head coach, Butch Davis, coaching the ‘Canes during the 90’s, I’m sure he’d enjoy playing his former team every year, even if it isn’t in the Orange Bowl (RIP).
With plenty of local talent on both sides, and only nine miles separating the two campuses, there’s no reason for these programs not to face each other. So, we look forward to the return of a great rivalry this Saturday!