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Spring Scrimmage No. 2 Views

Appreciate the enthusiasm from you GPP readers for FIU baseball in the last post. Like most sports tend to do, everyone has an opinion and that's great. That's one beauty of sports.

I'll stick to my guns and wait until TT's four year-deal is up to reserve judgement. TT didn't exactly make like Joe Girardi and walk into the Yankees kingdom of an All-Star lineup, a rich, historical tradition and unlimited resources to get the players he needs.

Ld I'm not here to curb anyone's enthusiasm or theories on FIU baseball, but I do want throw a long post pattern to you good people from University Park Stadium to the FIU rec fields and talk about last Saturday's second spring scrimmage.

We're halfway through spring practice, only seven more workouts left including Scrimmage No. 3 this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and the FIU Blue/Gold Spring Game on Friday, April 18. So far what we've seen this spring is that the Golden Panthers offense apparently is picking up new OC Bill Legg's offense rather well, while the defense has been needing some time each scrimmage to get warmed up.

Of course, take all this with a grain of salt, because in the spring it's FIU vs. FIU and not FIU vs. Kansas. Still, usually when an offense is revamped, at whatever level of football, the tendency is for the offensive players to struggle somewhat picking it up. Not saying the Golden Panthers offensive players have not made any mistakes with the new O, but they haven't looked lost either.

On to Scrimmage No. 2. At the outset, the FIU offense started strong again scoring touchdowns on 3 of their first 5 possessions. Paul McCall was efficient again running the first team, but Colt Anderson had a hell of a day and proved me wrong after making a comment to an FIU staffer - more on that later. For some of the scrimmage stats you can check this out: Scrimmage No. 2 . For the details, keep on reading below.

Running back Julian Reams (right) showed the form of a No. 1 running back opening with an 11-yard run and Jr catching a 12-yard pass from McCall. On a 4th and 1, with a good push upfront from the O-line, JR charged 3 yards for a 1st down. JR eventually punched it in from 2 yards out for the score.

The next two series had Darold Hughes under center, but the FIU defense stepped up. Defensive linemen Reggie Jones, who had another big scrimmage with 3 more sacks, and Curtis Bryant each made stops in the backfield. Dez Johnson had nice pass breakup to end one series on downs.

On the 4th series, PM was back at QB and combined with receiver Jeremy Dickens on two long pass plays. The duo hooked up for 28 yards on 1st down and then JD took a screen pass and went 25 yards.

Jarvis Penerton and Jarvis Wilson got in the backfield a couple of times in the series to bat down passes, but the possession ended with A'mod Ned scoring on a 1-yard run.

Reams set up the next possession nicely with a 40-yard kickoff return. Anderson took over at QB and completed his first five passes. In between some passes, defensive linemen Jonathan Betancourt (left) and Jb_2 freshman Jonathan Nieves had tackles for loss in the backfield.

But when CA had time, he showed what he could do. CA made a nifty move to evade the pass rush on one play and find fullback Trenard Turner for 16 yards. CA also has the play-action down pretty well. Twice the FIU defense was going in the wrong direction when CA did play-action.

About halfway through the scrimmage, MC spotted ball at the offense's 1-yard line to see what the O could do from there with 99 yards of open space ahead. The O didn't do much getting stopped all 5 times - 4 of them on safeties. You can bet the O will be working on that scenario a lot more before Aug. 30.

Once they got back to more manageable field position, the O kept it going. DB Anthony Gaitor started the next possession making a tackle for a loss on a screen pass. But then Ned took over from there breaking a 29-yard run and then eluding two tacklers in the backfield for a 46-yard touchdown run. That play showed what I've mentioned before -- these FIU players are stronger and faster thanks to having a genuine off-season conditioning program -- Ned is not Superman or the Flash, but I don't know if he Supe_2 breaks those tackles and outruns the defense in his previous 3 years at FIU on that play.

Before CA proved me wrong, the sophomore had thrown some wounded ducks that were caught and two others that fell incomplete -- CA's only 2 incompletes on the day. Watching that, I mentioned to one of the FIU football staffers on the sideline that I wasn't sure if CA could be consistent enough with his passing. The staffer told me give CA some time. He needs time.

Sure enough on the next drive, CA finishes with four straight completions -- two of which were nice spirals to Marquis Rolle, who BTW is looking every bit as advertised. MR has all the tools to be Kb something special catching the ball. Another WR enjoying a strong spring is Kendall Berry, who made an acrobatic catch for 20 yards from PM on a 3rd and 20 earlier in the day. KB went up and held onto the ball while getting smacked in the air by two defenders. Anyway, CA closed out the scrimmage with a 32-yard TD pass to MR. Yeah, I'll stick to writing and not evaluating QBs.

Gppaw GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

MaXx: Like I wrote in the previous post about TT and JM's history, everybody has their Oliver Stone-type conspiracy theories. The same can be said about the theories and rumors the peanut gallery experts have about the whole "MC and so-and-so player is not an MC player" BS. The facts are both PM and WY are Don Strock players. And MC is playing plenty of DS players: Scott Bryant, Ash Parker, A'mod Ned to name a few.

Before the FAU and NT games last season, all we had to judge PM on was an 18-yard completion to Chandler Williams in the 2006 opener at Middle Tennessee and then some garbage time in the blowouts of DS's last year, in which DS only had PM handing off -- why is beyond me and if anyone runs into DS at the Miccosukees, please ask him why. He never returned any of my phone messages.

MC apparently did not see enough from PM in practice last season to play him earlier. Now, however, after PM's performance in the final 2 games last season and this spring, everyone and MC knows what PM brings to the table. I think MC wants to see what WY brings once fall practice begins before naming a starter. And I don't think MC has his mind made up already.

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Thanks for answering the questions Pete. I just want the QB to be the person who will help us win the most. Something else I've been wondering, do you know if Mario has ever considered using both QBs in a game depending on the situation? Some college teams have been pretty successful doing that recently, including UF when they won their national title.

For the little of practice that I watched from the parking garage before the hurricane came through, Wayne was throwing some. I believe it is the first time at any of the practices that he was actually throwing the ball, atleast the ones that I attended.

Pete, you mentioned that MC wants to see what WY can bring in the fall.. but haven't we seen what he can bring in the 10 1/2 games that he played last year?

I think that he needs to choose a starter WAYYY before the week before the first game. We need to get the O-line use to the QB and get some leadership on our team.

and as for baseball. I love FIU baseball but it hurts me to watch it sometimes. I'm tired of watching our teams lose.

ps. if some of you didn't know, the spring game will be held at the soccer field. I don't remember if that was mentioned here already.

:)

and the spring game is at 5pm

Hey Pete,

I love ya big guy. However, I’m going stop short of calling into question your journalistic integrity. When you write, “I'll stick to my guns and wait until TT's FOUR YEAR-DEAL IS UP to reserve judgement,” I start to wonder if you’re also on FIU’s payroll (in addition to your Herald gig).

Dude, I realize the BB coach’s name is Turtle, but I’m wayyy past tired of FIU asking its fanbase to continue to demonstrate the patience of a turtle. I, for one, am tired of burning daylight waiting on the day one of these so-called great coaches deliver the goods in the freakin Sunbelt. Please, spare me the argument that the Sunbelt is just shy of being a top-tier conference. Let’s say for argument’s sake I grant you the argument that the Sunbelt is good, then please explain why we should wait 4-years before we start beating FGCU with consistency? I’ll grant you USC and UCG, but not FGCU and Wagner! I guess the silver lining is that Turtle Thomas didn’t sign a 10 year deal or else you’d be asking us to wait a decade before we lost our interest.

Friend, I’m a g-panther fan. I won’t turn my back on my alma mater. However, I’m not blind to the facts. FIU sports are in perpetual “under construction” status and until we start winning a large percentage of the games we’re supposed to win (see previous re: FGCU and Wagner comment), I will refrain from holding judgment four years a time. It’s been a long time since the 1996 soccer team gave us FIU sports fans a legitimate reason to beam with panther pride. The time to win is NOW. No, not Omaha (yet), but at least threaten in the freakin’ Sunbelt for goodness sakes!

gpantera

What is really amazing is what this baseball team would have been without a coaching change.

GPANTERA,

I agree with you, BUT, FIU has got to start working on its Football program before any other sport gets any better. This is Miami; we're a football town. If we dont get a reputable Football program going, and get the HELL OUT OF SUNBELT, FIU sports will always be a joke.

Just a quick mention, as I type this, that Florida Gulf Coast team that everyone likes to make light of is currently in a 2-2 tie in the 10th inning against big bad UCG. Even if they lose, it should let you guys know that our schedule has been much tougher this year. Also, it should make those UCG fans stay quiet about FIU losing to them this season.

Good luck to the baseball team tomorrow as they had to Florida Gulf Coast for an away game.

gpantera,

As someone who has to cover FIU, I know where you're coming from. I find it many times difficult covering FIU especially when the wins are rare.

Maybe I didn't make myself clear. Yes, FIU should be competing in the Sun Belt before TT's 4 years are up. Agreed there. Heck, FIU is in 9th place right now, but just 2.5 games behind FAU for third place and that was after getting swept by WK.

But let's be realistic here, the Golden Panthers have little to no pitching and cannot adjust at the plate when they face a good pitcher. FIU is not going to win the Sun Belt this season, but with some pitching added next season and the year after then they should be vying for the top of the SBC.

However, FIU baseball has only 8 scholarships available until 2010, because of past APR blunders. Yes, TT will get his share of talented walk-ons, but he'll need to build depth, especially on the pitching staff.

As an FIU fan you have every right to be upset.

As an Atlanta Braves fan since I got cable TV in the late 1970's, I myself was plenty upset until ATL turned it around in 1991. Yes, the Braves won a division title in 1982, but that was short-lived.

Anyways back to the point before I compose a Messod-type post here.

I'm curious to see now that President Maidique is turning his attention to FIU sports what will happen.

Remember in the final post of the Prez's interview (the one before the Willie Nelson post), MM says FIU and himself are now giving priority to athletics. FIU sports were not MM's original focus when he took over as Prez. The AD was always kept in the dark until PG came aboard.

Before MM hired PG, the FIU AD position was like George Costanza's job with the Yankees in Seinfeld. The assistant to the traveling secretary -- it was not an essential job to the whole organization.

Let's see what happens now with athletics being a "priority". There's only one way to go from here.

Great update Pete. Im looking forward to that Blue and Gold game next week!

hey pete nice right up.

The spring game starts at 7 p.m., but there will be a big tailgate party and garage sale starting at 5 p.m. on April 18

Great write up....Way to spice things up, gpantera!! Hope to be there for the Blue-Gold game...anyone else?

PS. I concur with MaXx...that awful team FGCU needed an 11th inning walk off HR in order to lose to UM....bad team it is...

Pete

I agree with Yipee about naming a starting QB Now. I think you agree with that too but have to play the game with MC. GIve me one reason why PM should not be named the Starter! He won, played well, and continues to impress/ improve?! If MC is doing it to keep Kansas off balance he is not only wrong, but completely misguided in thinking that tactic will fool anyone. The article you just put out seems to make the case in the eyes of the Team and our dancin with the stars wannbe PREZ! I would like to see you put an opine... if you dare and call out MC as to why PM should not be the stater. Unless PM completely poops down his leg in AUG. WY can not possibly win the job back. thats my $.02!!!!

i think they both need to be on the field at all times. run that spread offense w/ younger at slot WR. have him come up in the option from teh slot get it pull back and throw. or have PM fake everyone and run it. i think MCCALL should be the starter at qB but WY should be sprinkled somewhere in the line up.

lol FIU fanatic i was just about to say that im no baseball fan but didnt UM struggle against the team that the UM faithful said FIU should have blown out? lol again i know nothing of baseball, but it is kinda funny

Pete,

The loss of 3.7 scholarships is big but I'm wondering if that can't be overcome considering that I've heard that FL kids who get a 3.0 GPA and can spell their name correctly on the SAT qualify for practically a free education at FL schools - can anyone confirm this?

Pete,

Thanks for keeping a level head even when passionate fans like me fly off the handle.

as always, go g-panthers!

gpantera

Many coaches make use of the Florida Bright Future program as a way to get talented (smart) Florida kids on their rosters without blowing a scholarship. But often the rigors of being a D-1 student athlete can cause those kids to lose that Bright Futures money. You get one shot to get back into line. Some do, lots don't.
And with respect to TT and his program - if he only has 9 scholarships to split amongst the 30+ players, why does he give full rides to some (because he does)? Clearly this means many of the players are going without or are only getting donut money.

Question:

Does anyone know if the high school kids we signed are allowed to review and learn the playbooks and if there is a conditioning program that they follow on their own ?

Thanks.

Did anybody receive their seat assignments for 2008 football? I noticed in the Stadium diagram is mentions a 'Patio Area" in the West End Zone. Is this the patio from MC's office? Pete?

FF II UU FIU,

The patio area is for the 5 team conference rooms that will double as 5 extra suites on game days.

If you happen to be in one of those conference room/suites on game day, then you can watch the game from the patio if you like.

Extra...Extra....FIU just beat that terrible FGCU team 4-3 on pitcher's Jorge Ramos' best performance of the season so far. Oh well...at this junction, you take it anyway you can....

Was about to post that Fanatic. Good job by the team, hope they can win the series against MTSU this weekend.

On another note, how about big bad No.1 UCG losing to FAU tonight 6-3 and struggling with FGCU (needing extra innings to beat them) wow....

FIUVoice - are you kidding me? Miami is the number one team in the country - this is only the third loss of the year and the first in 15 games. If you ever want to know why FIU has the reputation of having uninformed fans and have reputation of being a substandard athletic programs, besides their horrible team records - just look at fans like FIUVoice. Dude, you are a moron. Yes, UM lost a game to FAU they should have won, but lets see how FIU does in their regional in a few months - oh wait, they arent going to qualify for a regional, there record is that bad? Well they'll get in by winning the SunBelt. Wait, what is that you say, they are probably not even going to make the SB tourny - no way!! Wow, they really need to fire Price and get a real Coach in there who can recruit. Huh? They did that last year and hired the overrated Turtle Thomas who has onl;y proven he can recruit for programs that already have a tradition of winning. Wow,you would think with all that going on, FIU fans like FIUVoice would be more worried about his pathetic baseball team heading in the wrong direction than the team from Coral Gables losing a game to FAU.

come on 24/7 no hard feelings truth be told this loss will probably serve the canes some good and help them not underestimate teams. it was a good win by the sunbelt. and rememeber this year in sports has not been kind to the GPanthers. so we will take a small victory over gulf coast and try to make it a bit bigger by stating that the #.1 team struggled against them

u24/7 eleven...dude, tone down on your name calling...you don't have to resort to that to make a point....

FIUFanatic, get off your high horse. You are an even bigger moron than FIUVoice. I didn;t call him a moron to make a point and if he took it personal, then, as I have said many times on this blog, I do not know you personally, so why take anything personal. It is funny FIU Fanatic, or should I say FIU Hypocrite, I do not see you on the blog telling FIU fans to calm down on the name calling when they are insulting UM fans.

Maybe 24/7's post might have been a little strong worded, but it's funny that an inferior program can be hypocrites about the name calling stuff when you call UM UCG as a form of an insult, considering they are more part of the city of miami than FIU is. Compounded with the fact that you call TheU24/7 - TheU24/7 eleven..... Seems like the pot calling the kettle black.

Well time I have to stick up for 24/7.

Since our boys were outta town on Wednesday, I went to the UM game last night and the wind was blowing veryyy hard towards left field (so hard the flag was fully blowing straight out). With most of UM's power hitters being lefty's most of their balls went towards right field. MANY of the hits made were caught right at the wall by FAU players (which their away uniforms I think are horrible might I add), and I could have only imagined that Yonder's bomb to R field with 2 or 3 base runners on the field the game would have been tied.. and as for the FGCU game it was raining for atleast 4 or 5 innings bats were flying out of players hands from what I heard from some UM fans last night.

I'm not here to really stick up for UM because a loss is a loss but the players and the power hitters are there and their team is a pretty good bunch of players.

And if any of you actually enjoy watching baseball and want to see a good game, suck up the hatred that you have for 'UCG' and go see one. Only if our own G-panthers are outta town of coarse. :)

Wow. These people are clueless in terms of class. I'm sorry for apologists, but I don't go around hurling personal insults..I just respond (sometimes) to some of these childish posters from other colleges. You start calling real insulting names...like moron...give me a break...your actions and words speak for themselves..... You need to grow up and be a fair man.

7-11 versus moron...hmmmmm???

Good W by the baseball team. I'm glad to see we can beat teams like FGCU. I'll step away from the ledge now. :p

Hopefully, this kind of win will lead to better performances as the season continues. There's talent on this team. Time for them to step up. We're too good to be sucking like we have. Let's see if the coaches can get these guys improved. Give the hard-core a real reason to hope next season.

And as to our Cane lurkers... I have to admit that I agree with what you guys say. But tone down the vitriol a bit, boys. You're not doing your school any favors acting like that.

(For the record... this is Messod. I'm going to use another name, at least for a little while.)

Very classy UCG fans. You guys gotta realize that you are coming to OUR blog to insult OUR fans and you don't expect to read some bad things about you guys? FIUFanatic and FIUVoice are both great people who are probably bigger fans of FIU than you will ever be of UCG.

You guys made a HUGE deal about how bad we've done in the "horrible" Sun Belt conference and how we should be "killing" teams like FGCU. So I am sorry if you should eat some humble pie when you can barely squeak by FGCU and you lose to a Sun Belt team that is actually not having a great year by their normal standards.

Why don't you guys stick to your blog and just enjoy the fact that your baseball team is having a great season? Instead you need to come on here and act all high and mighty.

Just wanted to add that FIU hosts MTSU tomorrow. FIU NEEDS a series win this weekend, after ULM the Sun Belt is pretty much WIDE open still and many things can happen.

TheU24/7,

You are right to be insulted by someone on a blog is kind of sad, which is why I'm a bigger man than that.

But to come on another school's blog and insult their fans seems to be even more petty. If you are such a big UM fan, then stick to their blog, I know you just love to come here and stroke your UM ego, but hey it is ok.

I know FIU is not in the league of UM. I grew up a UM fan all my life and that all changed in 2000 when FIU gave me a job. I don't have hatred towords UM, as I still root for them in certain sports and I also know alot of the employees over there and get along with them very well.

But hey, don't worry about, you can keep coming here to the GOLDEN PANTHER blog to stroke your ego and chew out people its ok. Like you said, don't take it personal and don't worry again I didn't NO SKIN off my back. Enjoy your night and good luck on them softball fields.

FIU VOICE!

Guys, focus on FIU and our issues. We have plenty to ponder! It's part of developing a successful program. Don't give fodder to them or their fans because it just becomes a wasted post. Let focus on MTSU for baseball and spring game next week for FIU Football. Hope all of the GPP show up for support.

GO FIU!!!

just get off it everyone we know how 24/7 says thing and he is the more down to earth canes fans. but he is goin to state his opinion.. just take it w/ a grain of salt if you dont like it. personally i think its funny

MaXx, thanks for the kind words. Again, my only comment was for him to tone it down a bit...that is my opinion. Of course, he resorts to more name calling in his response as (you put it correctly) his style indicates. Don't take it personal, just an honest, "insult-free", mature opinion.....

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