For a moment early Friday morning, Kristen Hewitt didn't know if she was in Scotland or FIU.
The Sun Sports reporter in town to do a feature on the Golden Panthers and MC, was greeted with a wake up call of "Those Days Are Over, Son!" before the Golden Panthers took the field for their workout on a hot as Hades morning.
What Hewitt saw was MC rallying the team before the first workout in full pads. Said Hewitt: "He was moving his arms wildly all over the place and yelling and then he sprinted onto the field and the players followed behind him. It was like a scene out of Braveheart."
The feature on FIU head coach William Wallace airs Monday night at 7pm and 10pm on Sun Sports.
Today (Saturday morning), the Golden Panthers scrimmaged for the first time this camp and the offense showed what it can do.
Once again, the receivers looked like the strong suit, more on them later, but the running game got on track behind good blocking by the o-line and power running by Julian Reams and slick cutting by A'mod Ned.
Reams and Ned combined for 135 yards with Ned getting 84 and a touchdown. If these two can put it together, FIU may have a decent running game.
The quarterbacks showed something as well. Not that it might mean anything, but Wayne Younger again got first snaps. He went 6 of 14 for 65 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Paul McCall was 3 of 7 for 26 yards. While they are just one week into college, Colt Anderson and Darold Hughes displayed their talents.
Judging from the first week and AGAIN, it's only 1 week, but for my 2 cents, Anderson seems to have the most natural quarterback skills -- with his throws, footwork and pocket awareness. But again, what can 2 cents buy you these days?
Anderson had a nice 15-yard quarterback draw and connected with Travis Felder for 21 yards on another play. Anderson was 5 of 10 for 64 yards.
Hughes started slow with an incomplete and a pick, but rebounded with a 35-yard pass to Torrelt Solomon, who made an acrobatic catch along the sideline. Then Hughes found freshman James Rucker, who looks like the real deal, in the corner of the end zone for a 16-yard TD. Hughes was 4 of 8 for 55 yards.
MC said he expects to have a decision on the starting quarterback late this upcoming week.
Freshman Greg Ellingson (who -- again 2 cents -- I think will be a starter before the season ends) made another good catch going out of bounds on a deep sideline pass. Besides the 35-yarder, Solomon caught another pass across his body.
Tight end Joey Myers, who along with fullback John Ellis were the most underused talent last season, held on to a pass while getting clocked in traffic and Jeremy Dickens made a leaping grab.
Those warriors from Braveheart looked like they could play D and so did FIU's defense on Saturday. Kent Henderson, who was sorely missed last season, picked off Younger at the 10-yard line and was home free for a 90-yard TD. Freshman Devin Parrish intercepted Hughes. Jarvis Penerton, Audric Adger, Tyler Clawson and James Wiggins all had one sack.
While this was just a scrimmage and the defense really didn't show much as far as schemes go, it was encouraging to see the offense show some life after averaging just 9.5 points per game last season and heck, Kristen got a kick out of it, too!
FIUBlueandGold: Reams has the tools to be that every down back, but Ned is just as good, because of his moves in the open field. They both have the potential to be 1,000-yard backs, but now they got to show it.
FIU Fanatic: Like he said in the Q & A, MC welcomes back all former Golden Panther players. Watching Bostic coach these past few days, gives me the impression that he'll be a good one. During one moment in Friday's practice, Bostic was diving on the ground showing one linebacker how to make a stop on the goal line.
FI-UM Fan: Practices are definitely more entertaining than years past. Here's MC on why he changes the practice routines every day: "The more you can create sudden change, the more you can create the unexpected, the better. What you want to do is prevent your team when a situation comes about that you weren't expecting to start running around like a chicken with its head cut off. We want to make sure by the end of camp, regardless of the situation -- that our guys are up, recognize the situation and go attack it." The "Play It" drill he brought in is going to help this team. In the drill, he stops practice and creates a game situation for the offense and defense. Friday, he lined them up in 1st and Goal from the 3-yard line.
Lok-co: NY Josh did not write Georgia Southern is in Division II. That was my mistake that I did not double check before I pressed save on the last blog. That would be E-W, if you're scoring at home: error on the writer.
CJ: They really hit for the first time today during the scrimmage. More FIU stories will be in the paper and on-line soon. Right now, juggling the Herald's FIU preview (which comes out Aug. 30) and going to practice daily. 20 days until Happy Valley.
FIUJM: Check FIUsports.com daily to see if practices are open to the public.
Before getting back to the preview and practice, the GPP would like to congratulate baseball's true All-time Home Run King: Henry Aaron. Someone may have squeezed a little too much juice for 756, but not the Hammer for his 755.