The Davis Era at FIU opened Thursday night with a thud, the Panthers giving up 40 unanswered points in one stretch on the way to what became a 61-17 loss at Central Florida.
Davis allowed The Associated Press access to team meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in advance of his first game back on the sideline since 2010, his final season at North Carolina.
And when the night was over — mercifully — the man who helped Jimmy Johnson turn the Dallas Cowboys into a Super Bowl champion and built the team that would win a national title at Miami in 2001 talked about how he's seen growth come from pain before.
Meetings on Wednesday night were energetic, the walkthroughs on Thursday in the parking lot outside the hotel went crisply, and when the team took the field at UCF for warmups everyone had a bounce in his step.
Davis, who was lured away from his job as an ESPN analyst to take over at FIU late last year, put together a good recruiting class and a talented corps of assistant coaches.
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