Busy little Monday blog: Los Toros from Tampa visit FIU's hoops team tonight, a former FIU DB looks for a new home, we're down to 5 contestants in the Win a GPP Blog Challenge and time to see what one Golden Panthers quarterback has.
South Florida Tampa (yes, I know Tampa is not part of the name, but they're not located in South Florida) Bulls play the Golden Panthers at 7 tonight at Pharmed Arena. First big test for FIU going against a resurgent USF team that was won 3 straight, among those a 31-point blowout of FAU and a win against Florida State.
Should be interesting to see Bulls 6-10, 270-pound center Kentrell Gransberry go up against FIU's two giants, Russell Hicks and Badara Ndiaye. Gransberry has both players on the muscle. Hicks and NDiaye may have him on the quickness. Chris Fuller (photo, above left), Alex Galindo and the rest of the Golden Panthers need to be on point from the opening tip. The Golden Panthers sure cannot play sloppy like they did last week against Kennesaw State. Los Toros will run over FIU if that's the case again.
Had the chance to speak with former FIU defensive back Nick Turnbull on the sidelines of Saturday's Shula Bowl. NT says he's healed from his abdominal muscle tear and that the Atlanta Falcons took him off the injured list and he became a free agent. The Dolphins and Carolina Panthers have contacted NT. Would be kind of neat to see NT with Chandler Williams on the Dolphins.
Pretty good showing by FIU backup quarterback Paul McCall on Saturday night at the Orange Bowl. The sophomore kept his poise, ran the offense like if he'd been playing all season and displayed a strong arm. If you read today's Miami Herald, then you know starter Wayne Younger is out for this Saturday's season and Orange Bowl finale against North Texas. If you missed the story here it is Younger Out . WY was getting better and more comfortable as the season progressed. You really could tell in his last complete game two weeks ago against Louisiana-Lafayette. He went from a scout team receiver last season that had trouble throwing a spiral to a more than capable QB with nifty footwork and escapability this season. His 2-point conversion at Arkansas State, as of today, is the play of the year, unless something more remarkable happens against North Texas on Saturday.
Credit McCall (photo, left) for knowing the playbook and being prepared when his number was called. PM had gotten into only one game this season at Middle Tennessee. PM showed what he could do in a real offensive scheme and not the 1920's offense that was run the previous 5 seasons at FIU. The former FIU head coach never gave PM a shot to play last season in preparation for this season. Even when FIU was down by a ton at halftime in last year's games, PM still held the clipboard. He saw limited duty handing off late in the 4th quarter of a few games in 2006. While the half-empty glass people will point that PM performed well against FAU's 2nd and 3rd string defense, you still can't take away that PM did help lead FIU to 20 points in the 4th quarter and gave the offense some life.
Watching Colt Anderson in practice all season long, I can tell you he is a heck of an athlete and will eventually be a good quarterback at FIU. But CA struggled Saturday and does not look as comfortable as PM. My two cents: PM gives FIU the best chance to win on Saturday against North Texas and whack the 23-game losing skid off the FIU campus and that's no bull.
With one game to go we're down to really 5 contestants in our Win a GPP Blog, while there are still 8 people on the board, 5 have a realistic chance to write their own blog on the GPP next week. Sorry, 24/7, but your points total (277) is approaching a good batting average for a pinch-hitter. Of course, an FIU win, which none of the leaders have predicted thus far, will throw the whole board off. Any ties with records and points for first place, then we'll have multiple guest bloggers. The more, the merrier.
11-0: NY Josh 210; FIUrulez 220; Fomenter 227; CrazyCane 270.
10-1: FIUPantherFan 215; 24/7 277. 9-2: FIU Fanatic 246. 6-5: Messod 286.
GPP: 9-2, 263.
Andy: Yes, the new FIU football stadium will still host high school football games. I'd say the new place, along the football facilities attached to it will be one heck of a recruiting tool.