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Golden Panthers fans. . ."I'm listening"

Although I am not a trained psychologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn in Happy Valley, I had to let everyone vent for a few days after the season opener at Penn State. And did you folks ever vent. Wine_2 Whoa! Get off that ledge and get yourself a glass of red wine.

So now here with the help of Dr. Frasier Crane, I'll try and put the Golden Panthers FIRST game in Frasier_2 perspective for the Golden Panthers faithful and anyone else who reads the GPP who may need help understanding the state of FIU football right now.

Couch Golden Panthers fans: "I'm listening...."

OK, so the score wasn't pretty, but let's start with the positives of the season opener. Yes, there were positives.

On offense, there was actually some imagination and guts in the play calling. The little flip screen in the middle of the field from Wayne Younger to Daunte Owens that went for 13 yards was something not seen on this team before. How about the creativity of using one of your fastest players, Lionell Singleton, on offense. LS caught a 22-yard pass from Younger. Freshman receiver Greg Ellingson looked good too and wait until he gets bigger and faster with some time in a college weight room.

After Younger got the ball stripped from him early on, the redshirt freshman kept his poise and did a decent job in his first college start.

Sticking with the positives, the FIU D-line did a great job stuffing the Penn State run in the first half. FIU was just as fast as Penn State. They only surrendered 35 yards rushing and this without some key players (more on that later). Punter Chris Cook also had a pretty good game showing improvement from last season. But you know it's all not rosy when the punter makes the highlights. No offense, Chris.

Now to what FIU needs to work on. The offense's inability to sustain a drive, outside of the late first half possession, may have been what turned this game. This led to the defense getting worn down in the second half and 35 2nd half points by Penn State. The offensive line did not show much improvement from last season. There were no holes for the backs to run through and Younger was pressured too much.

The D-line showed up against the run, but was non-existent with the pass rush. Boy, was El Monstruo Ab ever missed. This was just a two touchdown game against the No. 17 team with less than 3 minutes left before halftime. But the result of those touchdowns was another concern. Both scores were the result of blown coverages and missing defensive backs (more on that later). STeams and offense need to hold on to that football. Although it was given only one shot, the kicking game was not good either.

So Dr. Holiday Inn, what's the diagnosis of FIU, you ask?

It's a VERY young team (67 of the 91 players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores). That's more than 2/3 of the team if my math is correct. FIU lost a lot of talented seniors (C. Williams, congrats on the Dolphins signing). Now these freshmen and sophs have to step in and they are going to make underclassmen mistakes.

Not only that, the cupboard was not left completely full by the previous staff. This is a transition year. MC has brought in about 20+ of his players and will need to continue stockpiling talent.

Patience is needed here folks. The program was not left in the best state. This is not a 1-year turnaround. These young players have to develop at the college football level and in the weight room. There will be growing pains, but the program now seems headed in the right direction.

For the critics, of T.D.A.O.S., you folks just don't seem to grasp the concept. Go back and read some blogs from March and April. FIU folks, let's quote the philosopher Reginald Martinez Jackson for those Reggie that have jumped on FIU after one game: "They don't boo nobodies."

Cliff_2 Here are some cliff notes on TDAOS.

The days of the head coach leaving before the beat reporter after practice are over. No more gotta beat that Turnpike traffic. The new head coach actually burns the midnight oil now.

One former FIU assistant recently told me nearly 2/3 of Florida high schools had never had FIU recruiting on their campus until this season. It doesn't cost much to rent a car and drive.

The practices have intensity and there's no fear of trying different things, like the shotgun on offense. There is discipline and it was much needed.

These are just some examples and these things needed to happen. The W's will come. In SFla, it is a mountain to ask, but patience is needed with this program. Until then pour a glass of merlot, breathe and watch this program grow.

PANTHER PAWSE

Here's our WinaBlog leaderboard after Week 1: (send in your Maryland predictions before Friday at 11:59 pm)

1-0: Fomentor (27 points), FIU Fanatic (28), NY Josh (31), 24/7-11 (32), FIUJfer (38), FIUPantherFan (38), Messod (38), GPP (41), Crazy Cane (41), MRedArmy (42), Hay (44), FIU rulez (45), WOrta1128 (45), FIUmom (46), yippee (47), CJ (48), FIU0406 (49), JMFIU (51), Baltimorepanther (55), Roman (55), YouGotGold (55).

0-1: alt7787 (60), SouthPaw (61), FIUandME (62), FIU4Ever (62), FIU-GO-PAWZz (62), FIU300 (62), NYCFIUFan (62), Quijote (62), fiugrad (65), TheInsider (71).

SouthPaw: Here are your answers: Penerton (suspended 1 game team rules, will play Sat.) R. Jones (suspended 1 game team rules will play Sat.), Weatherspoon (academically ineligible out for season), M. Jones (2nd team), Flood (2nd team), Parrish (sprained ankle, should play Sat.), C. Bryant (foot fracture, out for now), J. Hill (2nd team, but should play Sat.), Rucker (stress foot fracture out for a while), Henderson (acad. ineligible), Frye (not ready to play - MC's words), Ned (suspended 1 game team rules, will play Sat.), Wiggins (not ready to play). Marshall McDuffie was kicked off the team with Chris Smith last season. Murrell is suspended for this season, but is expected back for next year.

alt7787: It looks like it's Wayne Younger's job for now. MC said this morning that Paul McCall and Colt Anderson may get into the Maryland game.

CJ: Yes, that would be a good idea if fans wore blue and/or gold to games.

UMCane, Howard S., Andy D, Reality Check, FIUDejection: Welcome to the GPP!

Howard S., Andy D, Reality Check: Troy was the Sun Belt champion last year. Although Middle Tennessee tied for first, Troy was the SBC champ due to tiebreaker.

24/7-11: And I thought you only visited the GPP for the FIU witches. Now, it shows that you really do care about the writings of yours truly. You're even wondering, praying and counting down the days until the next GPP blog. Thanks for the support! Here are the girls anyway.............................Chrm_3 

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Thanks PP for the new blog, I am more of a Jessica Biel fan myself, bu the witches will do. Look, I appreciate that there were positives in the FIU/PSU game, but if you put whip cream on top of a pile of $#@!, that's all you got, ya know what I am saying. I thought that MC would have tried more trickery, I remember that is what Rutgers used to do against the U when both were in the Big East and rutgers didn't have the athletes to keep up. maybe MC shuld try some of that. PP, great blog, but we can all read b/tw the lines and realize that this team is still a godd 3 or 4 years away from even competing in the Sunbelt, much less Nationally.

Thanks for the words, Pete. Nice to see someone hasn't gone completely loony after that butt-kicking. I mean, seriously... some of you REALLY thought FIU would pull off the upset? I get being a homer and all, but come on. Last I checked, we're not Appalachian State or something. ;)

(Seriously... I gotta thank Appy for that win over Michigan. I've always felt the best I-AA (or FCS) teams would be better than at least 50% of teams in Division I. Hell, a team like Appy could probably win the Sun Belt. Nice to see I've got evidence now!)

Anyway... for next week's score... before last week, I thought FIU's best chance for an upset outside the Belt was the Terps. I still think that, but I'm not so confident we'll see a win. This team is real green... greener than I thought. But fortunately, Maryland's lost players, too, so that will balance out somewhat.

If MC's the kind of guy I think he is, he's going to take a beating like that VERY personally, and I wouldn't be surprised to see FIU come out with a real fire under their butts on Saturday. Maryland's just not a very good team, ACC nonwithstanding.

If any game's winnable outside the conference, this one's it, and because I'm a homer at heart...

FIU 17, Maryland 10

Prove me right, GP's!

Hey, I like this GPP. You seem like a nice guy Pete. I expected you to rip into the UM and FAU guys but you welcomed us instead. Now thats cool. Like I said in your last post, I really do want you guys to do well, and maybe one day the FAU/FIU rivalry will be on the big stage. But until then, we own you! haha :)

We both have tough games this weekend. I would wish you guys luck, but my head would explode! lol keep the good stuff coming Pete.

Hmm...seems my 34-10 Penn State prediction wasn't counted.


k, well let's go with 31-7 Terps.

Great points, Pete. I am glad to see that I am not the only one looking at the silver lining of the cloud.

Now....my prediction:FIU-14, Maryland-21

Thanks Pete for the encouraging words on the FIU program. I hope my trip to the 305 is a good one.

FIU - 16 Maryland - 12

Go FIU!!!!!!!!

Good points, PP, as usual. Your demeanor, along with the blogs, will gain adepts even among our (FIU) most heated rivals, so long as they possess a minimun level of common sense, intelligence, and decency.

Now, I feel like I'm not ready to make an objective and informed decision. For some reason, I am thinking for this game more with my heart than with my mind, and tempted to either pick FIU to win, or lose close...I will wait a couple of days, I think....

Go FIU! Now score some gd points!!!

FIU 14 Maryland 13

Pete, I enjoyed reading your blog as always. The game was depressing but its these types of games that will make us prouder when our guys turn things around. I went to Hooligans and saw the game with the Penn State alumni. Wow, those people are fans. Very gracious as well. It is something you didn't see in Sfla until FIU started playing football. Anyway, I'll be at the Maryland game with my new FIU jersey!
Maryland over FIU 28 to 10

I saw other positive thing for our program, there were twice as many FIU fans on the stands as there were at the Maryland game last year.
Changing to another subject, I hope our stadium looks better and Beaver Stadium, that place looks like the old FIU stadium a la Barry Bonds. Yes, I know the place is huge but it looks like a bunch of bleachers rather than a sports coliseum. The fans and the atmosphere was great and I hope we can learn something from that.
I agree with 24/7 we are about 3 to 4 years away, but we are on our way.
I am tired to see the red turtles all over here, but I know they will be ready this time and they will try to embarrass us at home. so I predict
MD 24 FIU 7

Good stuff
No more Entourage on Sundays Pete

I wouldn't be surprised if we saw quite a bit of improvement from the O-line, mostly because Maryland's front 7 does not come even close to Penn State's

I just read that FIU came to a partnership with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, allowing all public school students to go to FIU's home games for free.

Does anyone have any info on the shuttles to the OB on Sat? Thanks

FIU 14 x Maryland 10
Yes, it's a payback from last year's game

Alright here is my prediction for this weeks game. But before I enter it, allow me a moment to point out that my prediction for last weeks gamje (100-0) was not that far off after all, was it FIUMom?

That being said, I will give FIU some credit this week since Maryland is not as good as PSU and FIU is at "home." My prediction:

Maryland 50 - FIU 3

It seems like the offense is going to be a problem again this year. I'm going to go with FIU 13 UMD 24

Thanks for the information Pete. Obviously you understand that this is not a 1 year deal. All I ask of the team is to work hard and compete every Saturday. I believe MC will make it happen.

I'm hoping FIU can pull this game out. Hopefully some adjustments are made on offensive side of the football and with secondary.

Here's my prediction:

FIU 20 Maryland 17

you got gold i dont know if there are goin to be shuttles i havent heard anything but would be nice to not have to park in the OB. but i did hear that they will let fiu students actually park in the OB for 10 $ so it would be nice and that way we dont have to pay 20$ for close parking and stuff lol as to my prediction ill hold off till friday to post.

My Predictions for this week:

Maryland 38 FIU 13

Oklahoma State 24 FAU 10

Miami 24 Oklahoma 17 (upset special)

Maryland 38
FIU 13

Oklahoma State 48 FAU 3

Oklahoma 70 scUM 5

MRedArmy, apologies for missing your Penn State score. I have adjusted the leaderboard. You are among the leaders with your 42 points. Actually your prediction was Penn State 31-14, not 34-10.

What is Mancunias Red Army, anyway? Is that a soccer team?

Everyone, please remember to have your Maryland/FIU scores in before 11:59 pm on Friday.

Thanks, will have another blog previewing the game on Friday.

I take back everything I have said about Mario, his quote today in PP's article made me realize he is still great because he is a Hurricane at heart...."I bought the current apartment I live in so that I could see the Orange Bowl every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to sleep."

If he wants to leave his HS coaching post, I mean FIU coaching post, I welcome him back with open arms.

With that, for Mario's sake, I hope FIU takes out the Terps this week...but my prediction (after all, I want to write the blog)..

Maryland 37 FIU 9

NY Slosh - Slow your roll, he didn't get an apartment overlooking your scUMmy campus. Go dry off those tighty whities now.

#########################################################################
PETE: Your last three posts were right on Q, keep them coming.
1) Golden Panthers fans. . ."I'm listening" 9/05/07
2) Your new FIU QB is.....Colt Paul Wayne 9/1/07
3) Depth Thoughts & This Week's Prediction 8/30/07

Our fellow bloggers are also doing a great job!!!
################
The true GO-PAWZz Nation will continue to support, encourage and believe in our Football TEAM. Our TEAM will learn from their mistakes and grow into a tougher and smarter unit each week.
NEVER GIVE UP, WE WILL SCORE and SCORE OFTEN THIS WEEK.

LETS GO AND DO IT - FIU !!!

My final score is: “FIU - 24 / UMD – 21”
################

SIDE NOTE: It is good to see that, La. Monroe 2007 schedule, was finally added on the Team by Team schedule page, in Thursdays (8/30/07) NCAA / Football Season Preview, keep it up, Miami Herald.
#########################################################################

Anyone watching the Lousiville vs Middle game, it is halftime and Middle is giving Louisville all it can handle. They will be a tough opponent for FIU, I would love to see Middle beat Louisville...keep it up boys, Go SunBelt!

Owldroppings, you have us confused with you. Our defense will NEVER allow 48 to Oak State, we arnt the same team we were at the start of last season, and if you knew anything about our program you would know that. I will happily take your prediction and ill see you back on this board saturday after the game pal, be here.

Wow they sure are, nice to know FAU BEAT THEM LAST WEEK :) FAU TO THE TOP 25!!!

haha have fun with that one panther fans.

Maryland 31 FIU 16


Yeah!! MTSU just scored another TD. They are down...listen to this 51-42....Crazy, crazy scoring game....Let's go Raiders!

MTSU scored to make the score 51-42 b/c of a mistackle from Lousiville's Willie Williams... yes, I think that Willie Williams.

Mary 27 - FIU 3

This is a building year, I look foward to 08' and especially 09'.

Panther Fan,

Something FAU and FIU fans can agree on for a change:

I found this article at sportsline.com, talking about how I-AA teams are now eligable for the top 25. I am all for it, as I know I-AA teams can be very, very solid. However, in the article one observer says that the top I-AA teams could beat most of the entire Sun Belt!! Im sick of people ripping on the Sun Belt!

In our 3rd year at FAU we made the final four in the I-AA tourney, we are obviously a lot better now then we were in those days. To say a I-AA team could beat us now is insane. Maybe on a lucky day, but lets be real, the top teams in the Sun Belt can take those I-AA teams 9 times out of 10. FIU could take most of those I-AA teams! They are good, but people are going overboard with credit and are picking on our dam conference!!

again i think with the way our defense played last week (1st half) and the way that MC will feel after a horrid loss... (ala UM culture that is in him... yes he does have UM culture in him) will make this a close game... ill say.... 17-14 and i will go w/ the heart on this 1 and say FIU over maryland

andy i fully agree w/ you the sunbelt is better than most people think and give it a few years it will be strong. i think since appalachian state pulled the upset people are goin alil crazy

PREDICTIONS:

FIU 13
MARYLAND 28

MIAMI 17
OKLAHOMA 10

Maryland 31 FIU 16

However, my heart gives me strong signals otherwise.....

Well, I think FIU will be much improved this game on offense, and will have a couple scores. I'm thinking two TD's and 1 FG. However, I don't think our defense is going to be improved enough to stop MD from scoring 4 TD's on us.

Score:
FIU 17
MD 28

you got gold if your out there there will be shuttles that are goin out to the game from campus

Andy D, no offense, but until FIU actually beats a team, you really can't claim that you've improved any. No I don't think EVERY AA team will beat you, but I'm pretty sure the top 30 or so could.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt07.htm

Good luck to you guys this season.

Whoops. Andy I thought you were an FIU fan. FAU has definitely improved, and should beat out a majority of 1AA teams.

Oh God Canester, please dont say my name and FIU in the same sentence ever ever again!! haha

But on a serious note, those rankings are garbage, although interesting. FAU #113, below OHIO??? THEY DONT THINK WE CAN BEAT THE FREAKING OHIO BOBCATS?? MCNESSE ST. IS BETTER THEN US??? THEY ARE IDIOTS!!

I hate to say it, even FIU is ranked way, way too low... im SURE they could beat grambling, and Sam House freakin State... they love to insult us Sun Belt teams

Sam Houston St. What do you think Pete? Does FIU beat most of those I-AA teams?

Agreed Andy. But before we get into the theoretical matchups between FIU and 1AA teams, I think FIU needs to actually score an offensive TD and play as one unit before they increase in those rankings. Until that happens, they could very well be that pitiful.

I think mario cristobal was a bad choice. He needs to learn to play chess, think strategically, think ahead of the other coaches. He is a player, not a coach.

when he leads FIU to a victory as a leader, then we'll see. I know it's difficult, but come on man. Get us a victory!!!!! we are 0-14!

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