LAWRENCE, KANSAS -- Welcome to Kansas, GPP Nation. It's gameday and we're about 6 hours from kickoff. New season. New uniforms (FIU will wear new white tops with new white pants tonight, check the MH sports website later tonight for photos) and maybe a new record. Speaking of records, haven't really followed the band, Kansas, but did some research on some of their song titles and thought I might apply them throughout this post. So here's "What's On My Mind":
There will be a quarterback under center for the Golden Panthers tonight. Here are some clues as to who is the FIU starting QB this season. If you read the FIU preview in the Miami Herald "print" edition on Thursday, then you will only need one or two clues to figure out who is FIU's starting QB this season. For those that didn't read the MH, you may have to "Hold On" until the end of this post.
Chime in with the answer when you know who the quarterback is after reading these clues: the Golden Panthers new starting quarterback will be starting grad school in September seeking a master's in computer engineering. Thinks V for Vendetta is the perfect movie, Thinks an Italian girl is the perfect girl. Thinks lasagna is the perfect meal. Thinks a Corvette Stingray is the perfect car. Thinks the 1972 Miami Dolphins are the perfect team. Thinks Christian Bale is the perfect actor. And thinks Italy is the perfect vacation spot. If you still haven't figured it out, then the answer is at the bottom of this post.
On to today's game. It's a chamber of commerce type of Saturday here in Lawrence, Kansas. The weather is clear, sunny skies with about 60 degrees in the morning, should be up in the 70's by kickoff tonight.
This is not exactly a tune-up opener for FIU as they face the second highest scoring team in the nation last year in the Jayhawks, who hung 42 points per game on opponents and 55 on the Golden Panthers in a 55-3 win last year. KU's defense also allowed the fourth fewest points in the nation last season, 16 points per game.
Don't see FIU pulling off any upset tonight, that would be "Miracles Out Of Nowhere" but here's what we'd like to see: an FIU offense that can score some TDs and not settle for FGs or turn the ball over. The FIU D has looked good in camp, now let's see them at least contain this high-powered KU O. This is one of those learning experience games for the Golden Panthers that will only make them better come Sun Belt play.
In last year's game, it was a competitive one in the first half with KU leading 10-3 until the second half meltdown when the Jayhawks scored 45 unanswered points, thanks in part to 5 FIU turnovers. Limiting or not committing any TOs tonight, might and I say might, make for a game. Of course, another handful of TO's could make FIU "Dust In The Wind" tonight. Don't know if a competitive game could happen, because its the season opener and KU -- already feeling slighted by the national media saying last year was a fluke -- will be out to prove everyone wrong and FIU has not been good in hostile venues before. Maybe that changes tonight.
A look "Down The Road" at the rest of the FIU season has me thinking 4-8 in 2008. Might see the Golden Panthers sneak out of Toledo with a W and then go 3-5 in the Sun Belt.
**Remember, last possible minute to get your FIU scores for tonight's game and for our 2nd Annual Win A GPP Blog contest is tonight at 6:59 p.m. (EDT) by the GPP clock. Read the previous 3 posts for rules and regulations.
FIUJM: Is there reason why visitors section is using high school benches?
GPP: You wouldn't want to put the FIU fans in those uncomfortable, no backrest seats. So that's why visiting teams' fans get those seats from the old FIU Stadium.
CJ: Question about the field..is it just me or does it look a bit sandy and streaky?
GPP: In that photo they just fed the field sand and ground up tires. After a while, the sand and tires settle into the turf and you don't see those streaks.
FIUFan: Hasn't FIU requested to be called FIU and not Florida International University by media outlets? How's that going?
GPP: The first page in the football media guide says "We are FIU and please refer to us as FIU. Do not use Florida International University, Florida International, Fla. Internat'l....or any other variation". Some of the media is getting used to it, especially the local TV, others it has taken time. I know I usually have to remind the people who edit my stories NOT to change FIU to Florida International in the first reference.
Oh, you say Roary is in the photo? Now, I just noticed him.
Gold: Can you do a tour of the finalized project? There has to be pictures up of what each section of the stadium will look like when everything is complete. Can you get a picture of the girl who is taking you on the tour. She looks cute.
GPP: Guess the title of the last blog is a little misleading. That was the last stadium tour before the Kansas kickoff. I'll be back at the stadium in a few weeks with my camera and a Herald photographer for another GPP Stadium Tour blog and for a story I'm doing for the MH on the new stadium that will run before the USF game.
Allison's picture is up on the last few blogs.
alt7787: Hey, Pete have you been working out with the players lately? Your looking pretty juiced up in that picture. You better watch out, I dont know if you can have those guns out in public.
GPP: No, don't workout with the Golden Panthers, but it must be all the typing that's shaped the guns.
Miri: Have you heard about anything cool they would do for the team entrance at games?
GPP: Nothing yet, except the Panther Walk, but I'm sure FIU has some pre-game plans up its sleeve.
GPP: The Panther Eyes are on the white plate on the crown of the helmet. The eyes are not that big, but it gives the helmet a different look.
You good people got my FIU season outlook, what's yours: