There's a new quarterback under center this Saturday when FIU plays the final game at the Orange Bowl against North Texas.
The Golden Panthers centers were shown by USF's brick wall center Kentrell Gransberry what it takes to dominate in the paint on Monday and now FIU gets a chance to rebound tonight at 7 p.m. at home against Robert Morris and his four brothers: Cat, Jack, Day and Garrett.
While you guys ponder that, let's get to the FIU business at hand. After Tuesday's practice, Paul McCall was named the starting quarterback for Saturday's game against the Mean Green. With PM at the helm, it gives the Golden Panthers the best chance to win, nothing against Colt Anderson - he will be a very good quarterback before his FIU career is over - and erase that doggone 23-game skid. Nice performance by PM against FAU.
Offensive coordinator James Coley does not expect to change the offense much. I know there are a few GPP readers who have always said McCall is a statue in the pocket. Not true at all. PM is very mobile and athletic. In spring drills, he was constantly one of the first to finish in drills such as the shuttle run, tire push, etc. Now is he lightning quick like Wayne Younger? No he is not, but I think he'll do just fine on Saturday. You can tell he was prepared when he was called into last Saturday's game against FAU. PM completed 3 of 3 passes on his first series and finished 23 of 35 for 181 yards and 2 TDs.
PM mentioned in yesterday's press conference that former FIU quarterback David Tabor, another QB who was prepared each time he entered a game, was one of the bigger influences on him when it came to learning the QB position. Tabor was FIU's first-ever recruit in 2001 and led a two-touchdown comeback win at Youngstown State in 2004 to give the Golden Panthers their first-ever road win. Spoke with Tabor yesterday and he is currently in the police academy in Hillsborough.
For the record, the headline in today's Miami Herald story has McCall listed as a senior. Not my error. Writers have nothing to do with headlines. Editors are the ones that write the headlines. I clearly stated in the story that McCall is a sophomore on the field and a senior in the classroom. That's what PM is. Here is the story in case you missed it: McCall to start
FIU missed a good opportunity to knock off USF in hoops on Monday. Is it me or do FIU's hoops centers need to get in the weight room? Gransberry at 270 pounds did as he pleased around the basket on Monday. The Golden Panthers were outscored 48-30 in the paint. That's not good. But not as bad as the non-existent defense in the paint. They'll need to remedy that against Robert and his bros. tonight.
Be back on here tommorrow afternoon for a preview of Saturday's Orange Bowl finale and possibly the finale of the losing streak.
Yes, I know FIU's game against North Texas in the Orange Bowl is free admission. Still, who is Cat, Jack, Day and Garrett?
Yandro: We'll have your baseball blog fixing soon when the GPP sits down with baseball coach Turtle Thomas for a Q & A with questions coming from you good people. I will put on here when you can start sending questions. I'm not a big fan of breaking down recruits in a blog, because we don't know who will actually play at FIU and who will get drafted by Major League Baseball. Plus, there is still more time for TT to get more players before the final signing day for baseball in April. But since it's the Christmas season, here's a recruiting gift note: Right-handed pitcher Stosh Wawrzasek has agreed to sign with FIU. He is a pitcher on the Canadian National team who throws 94-95 mph. But here's what I'm talking about above: Stosh is also projected to be a high draft pick by MLB in June. So we may never see him in an FIU uniform. Still, kudos to TT for landing Stosh.
FIUJM: After 11 weeks and all of spring and fall practice, I don't think the game plan is going to change just because McCall is starting. There will probably be a little bit more passing on Saturday, but don't be surprised to see McCall tuck the ball and run like Younger has done most of this season.
NY Josh: Saturday's game spread (-2.5) for FIU is the smallest of the season for the Golden Panthers. FIU has not been favored in any game this season. If I'm not mistaken, the closest spread before this Saturday was when FIU was a 6.5 underdog to Arkansas State on Nov. 3. Since you're 24/7's lawyer, if he was on my Sunday morning softball team, he would probably bat 8th or 9th with that .277 batting average.