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It's Like They Never Left the OB

There's only so much you can look into about the first spring scrimmage. Yes, it was the FIU offense versus the defense with both sides being quite familiar with one another since they go at in every practice. And quite honestly, FIU -- on both sides of the ball -- is not in Kansas's class yet, but there were plenty of encouraging signs from Saturday's scrimmage.

Pm Again, keeping in mind this was the first practice game and we're only in March -- another five months before the season opener at Kansas -- yet both sides of the ball for the Golden Panthers on Saturday at times looked like they were manhandling North Texas last December. Here's the MH story: 1st Spring Scrimmage. Below are the details that could not be included in the print MH.

Starting with what looked like FIU's starting quarterback -- Paul Brady or is it Tom McCall? NOT hyperventilating here and NOT saying he's a Heisman Trophy candidate, but the way Paul McCall (left) ran the FIU offense on Saturday makes you wonder if new offensive coordinator Bill Legg was his coach in Pop Warner football or at Hollywood Hills High.

PM started slow with a three-and-out on the first possession, but took over after there with some help from his offensive friends. The FIU O-line held their blocks to give PM plenty of time and for the most part the receivers were catching everything thrown their way. The most glaring negative mark on the receivers was when they dropped three straight passes inside the 10-yard line. That can be a killer for young team like FIU in the regular season.

For PM's first completion he connected with Jeremy Dickens for 26 yards down the middle of the field. That second possession ended with Anthony Gaitor making an acrobatic interception on a deep pass near the end zone.

On the next series, new H-back Travis Felder caught a 23-yard pass from PM and Greg Ellingson hauled in an 18-yard strike to set up the first of two short TD runs by A'mod Ned.

But the fourth offensive series was the most impressive of the day. PM completed six straight passes -- five of which went for more than 10 yards each. Ned ran in another short TD to finish the drive.Do_2

The running backs also had a nice day, in part because of the improved O-line's blocking. Daunte Owens (right), who is the fastest FIU back, ran for 110 yards and a 38-yard touchdown. What made you think DO could contribute big this season was the way he made cuts in the open field and eluded tacklers.

The "Lookie Here" play of the day may have been the precise execution of the option by PM and Julian Reams. PM -- who was disappointed in himself afterwards, because he could not run all the option plays due to a slight hamstring pull -- took the shotgun snap and ran right with Reams tailing him, right before PM was about to get tackled he pitched it to JR, who took off 72 yards for a TD.

The FIU defense finally got going in the second part of the scrimmage. But before we get to the D's highlights, this caught my attention.

Standing on the sidelines with the chain gang (a.k.a - FIU's injured players) I noticed how some of the seniors were coaching up the youngsters. Tight end Eric Kirchenberg explaining to Felder how to read a blitz. Defensive lineman Jonathan Betancourt encouraging freshman Bryan Frye to keep rushing the passer even though BF was having a tough time getting through some blocks. And linebacker Armond Willis helping sophomore Cody Pellicer with the look the offense was giving.

Rj Besides the early INT by Gaitor, the defense couldn't muster much until Reggie Jones (left) and Quentin Newman started getting in the offensive backfield. RJ got 3 sacks. QN got 2 sacks. Pellicer and linebacker Christopher Edwards each got one sack.

Remember how we always say on here how important the O-line and D-lines are in a football game, well, once the D-line got pressure it helped the linebackers make plays.

LBs Tyler Clawson and Mannie Wellington visited the offensive backfield a few times. DT Curtis Bryant also made a trip there and the 6-3 Pellicer got up and batted down a pass from the 6-3 Darold Hughes.

Michael Dominguez (right), who is capable of a big season, picked off Colt Anderson and returned it 16 yards Md_2 for a touchdown.

Scrimmage No. 2 is scheduled for next Saturday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the FIU Rec Fields. While the rec fields don't have the history of the OB or the urine stench, on Saturday it was like the Golden Panthers never left the OB.

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Thanks for the update PP

Pete, Great stuff like always. I was at the scrimmage on Saturday and was definitely impressed with McCall!!!

As for the RB's, it's great what these guys are doing. Hopefully Darriet Perry comes in and runs as hard as they are doing now.

It was good to see baseball take 2 out of 3 this weekend.

GO FIU!!!

hey pete great stuff. ive been poping in from time to time this weekend but didnt have enough time to write something i was at the scrimmage. i must say i was really impressed w/ mccall every time he took the field the defense couldnt stop him... i donno whether its that our defense isnt there yet or our offense is getting there.. i hope the latter. truely i think the O won sat. but the D did good cant wait for sat.

a one liner from the scrimmage i heard from a player was after a tackle one of the defensive players was showing his D pride and said "i hate the color blue (the offense color for those who didnt go). i wish my No. were white" lol i could help to laugh b/c of how competetive these guys seem which all means better play come fall

Great insight, Pete.....Keep 'em coming...After taking a look at the 'roster', there seems to be a lot of walk ons, transfers, and or try out players....Good to see that coming along as well....

I've been critical of TT since the beginning and he still has a way to go before I'm CONVERTED, however kudos for beating the Ragin Cagins away 2 of 3. Hopefully the team's confidence will strengthen and improve by winning their home games this week.

GO FIU!!!

Paul McCall has got to be the starter.

And using Younger for certain situations is stupid everyone knows he's gonna run becasue he can't pass. Seems like a nice kid and a hard worker but he should not be a college QB at any level.

Mario lost some points with me last year for being so stubborn on starting Younger.

Lets admit mistakes and move forward.

I second what Mr. OC Panther said. i lost a lot of confidence in the coaching staff last season when they continued to start Younger even when we were 0-10.

Pete, on the way to the gym the past few weeks I have noticed a dark blue Chrysler 300 parked outside the rec fields. Is it yours or do the FIU spring practices have a celebrity guest in attendance? Im not sure you may even know what Im talking about. Its just something I noticed because the car is always parked and I cant think of anyone that would drive a chrysler 300 to spring practices..... Thanks for any info you may have.

WOW!!! FIU really needs to stay away from the Atlantic Sun Conference in baseball. I bet TT is sitting at his breakfast table this morning thinking to himself, what the hell have I gotten myself into. Look at it this way - if you win tonight against UM, who is 22-2 on the seaqson - which should be a good game between crosstown rivals who play eachother very hard - you can smile for a moment FIU baseball fans because; thus far, this season has been dreadful and a second loss last night to Florida Gulf Coast just made it that much worse. I will be at the game tonight and I hope it is going to be a good game, and we will get a real sense of what FIU baseball fans are like because if FIU can pull off an upset, which is very possible, see my explanation above, and they start opening their mouths about how they are better than UM - than I will truly lose ALL respect for FIU baseball fans as I already have for their delusional nonsensical football fans.

As always I hope for an FIU victory tonight against THEM, however I have NO HOPE for victory tonight against UM. I've followed FIU baseball since the mid 80's!!! Yes, I'm that old. I have NEVER felt as if we did not have a chance against THEM. This year is the first time I feel this hopeless. I'll be there, just like I've been for the last 24 years, however I expect a UM blowout! Hope & pray that I'm wrong.

GO FIU!!!

Unfortunately, CrazyCane, you're right, the FIU baseball team has been downright dreadful. I'm not expecting a win tonight, and I'm sure you'll be back here tomorrow gloating about your win. That's fine, I guess you can with the great record you have.

Here's hoping on a miracle of a win.

First off, let me start by saying FGCU is not a bad team. They are killing it in the Atlantic Sun and it is no secret that FIU has very minimal pitching. Pitching problems really come into effect when you play as many games as FIU has been playing, but TT is scheduling some real teams trying to get his young players ready for competition at the highest level.

This season is tough for both coaches and players. TT is not doing that poor of a job for what he has to play with. If FIU ends up in the middle of the pack in their conference this year, it will be a successful year. As for the players, they are doing a decent job going out and fighting every game, even after taking some beatings. I have to say that the ASU Tournament was very impressive. They had that UC Irvine game and hit very well against a guy who had given up something like 7 hits in 30 innings prior to FIU (I believe FIU got somewhere between 5-7 hits off of him and a couple of runs). They also held their own and played very well against ASU, which is by far the #1 team in the nation. That team has so much talent its disgusting.

Lets all be honest with ourselves, as much as we all want to be UM (well, Jim Morris more then UM...P**SY), it most likely will not happen this year. This UM team is very talented and has finally been playing to their potential and once again, we dont have anybody to throw at them that will really stop them. But i will say that UM's talent does not have much to do with "coaching". Speaking with one of UM's top hitters a couple weeks ago, i was told that Gino Dimare "sucks at coaching, he doesnt teach us $h!t, and everything i have learned about hitting i have had to teach myself". Those were the exact words. So for tonight, i say goodluck to both teams' players and goodluck to TT, the FIU coaching staff, and JD. The other 2 coaches know what they can do with themselves....

You guys that want to talk about the FGCU, Jacksonville and Tampa games have it all wrong. The lack of pitching depth has been discussed here many times. So how do you properly measure the season to date? You only judge the games when you're sending out your big three. I believe that you measure performance/improvement since the opening series against USC where we were beat pretty convincingly other than the Sunday Stewart-start. Using that metric, I would have to say that we are not that far off from being a very good team. We won one of three from Troy and should have had a second "W". We took two of three from a bad UALR team. We played very well against UC-Irvine and their top pitcher (lost 5-2), and for the most part, kept it relatively close for two games against the #1 team in the nation who's average winning margin is 7 runs a game. What did we gain from that experience? We turned around and took two from Louisiana-Lafayette at their place.

I may just be hopeful but it's my opinion that those who talk "dreadful" don't really have a grip on the big picture. FIU baseball is headed in the right direction.

Corey Polizzano may be able to hold his own for a while. He's only on three days rest but he'll no doubt be on a pitch count. With respect, I think we will also see Danny DeSimone for a few innings, also on three days rest. He's a tough kid and says he can handle it. He has had one less day rest but Steven Stewart may show up, too. He didn't throw many innings on Sunday. It may be pitching by committee but it looks like TT is going to try to use his best....at least for a while. FIU CAN hit...hopefully Townsend's injury from last weekend will not affect him too much.
Let's just hope they put up a good performance since 90% of the people who will be there tonight have not been to and will not be at any other games this season. Anyone (local) who claims to be an FIU fan but goes only to this one game every year is not really a fan - they just go to the occassional big event.

alt7787,

No, I don't drive a Chrysler 300, so the FIU spring practices must have a celebrity guest parked outside the rec fields. I like the walk so I park in the regular FIU parking spots.

Maybe, it's that American Idol singer from FIU or El Monstruo that owns the 300??


It's 11-0 in the third inning. We already have 3 errors on top of the 6 from last night! Fundamentals look shoddy and I'm not impressed in the least! I have a ton of work to do and can't waste my time on this! One more inning and it will be the first time I leave an FIU game earlier than the 7th inning! EMBARRASSING!

GO FIU!!!

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