MIAMI -

Defensive tackle Greg Hickman is one of only five senior starters for Florida International, so it's no surprise freshman teammate Treyvon Williams calls him grandpa.

The young Panthers play their home opener Friday night when they face another young team, Central Florida. The Knights have eight seniors on the roster, second-fewest in the nation behind only South Carolina with five.

Youthful mistakes weren't a problem for the Knights in their first game. They beat Akron 38-7 and have a chance to start the season 2-0 for only the second time since 1999.

Meanwhile, inexperience doomed the Panthers in their opener. Of the 55 players who took the field at Maryland, 22 were suiting up for FIU for the first time, and it showed in a 43-10 loss.