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A Harvey Dent-Kind Of 2 Days For The Offense

Plenty to get to from today and Wednesday's practices. Had to take care of some stuff for the Miami Herald's College Football Preview on Wednesday, so you good people get a happy hour practice special blog: 2 for 1.

BTW, the MH's FIU football preview hits newsstands and on-line on Thursday, August 28. That's in the Hdb future, let's stay in the present.

It was a Harvey Dent-kind of past two days for the FIU offense. We'll get to the "I Believe in Harvey Dent" offense first that showed up in Wednesday's practice. 

The last couple of days in camp have shown us that the FIU freshmen might be ready to make an immediate impact. I usually don't pay much attention to all those recruiting services, but this time those folks may have gotten it right when they said this is FIU's best freshman class in the 6-year history of the program.

Let's start with Wednesday's highlights. Jerrell Lamb, oops, Alonzo Phillips (Blue 25) continued his good work at receiver opening the practice with two more nice catches and then split the defense snaring a bullet from Wayne Younger that goes for 6 if they are playing for real. WY and AP connected again later in practice. If Blue 25 learns the offense quickly, FIU may have a secret weapon on O.

Staying with the O, Greg Ellingson (right) is making a case for the being the top pass catcher on the team. HeElling_2  made a terrific sideline catch on a pass from Paul McCall. And then hauled in a 35-yarder from PM.

Freshman receiver T.Y. Hilton showed his speed zipping past the FIU D and grabbing a 40-yard pass from Colt Anderson. Going by summer timing, T.Y. is the fastest Golden Panther. But he saved his best for the end of Wednesday's workout, when he went across his body to snare a pass from CA.

CA also found senior walk-on Jodie Basemore for a 20-yard pass that turned into a 60-yard TD when JB got past the defense.

Jeremy Dickens (left), who has a knack for the big play, made a tough catch in traffic on a pass from Darold Dickens Hughes.

There was defense played on Wednesday.

Freshman safety Chuck Grace got a sack and two plays later got in on a pass deflection. On those two plays, Grace reminded of the speed and ballhawking abilities from the El Monstruo-led 2005 FIU defense.

Linebacker Matt Garris was all over a CA pass that would have been an INT return for a TD if he holds on to the ball. Quentin Newman and Artis Warthen combined for a sack.

Then another frosh, defensive end Jonathan Jackson (1 of the Booker T. 4) blew past the O-line and sacked DH.

THURSDAY'S PRACTICE (1st day in shoulder pads)

Today, the offense had some early moments, but after that the FIU defense made it a miserable day for the O. Got so bad for the O, that at one point, MC stopped the practice and had the O doing Up/Downs.Hd_3

The O may have fallen on some spilled chemicals on Thursday.

Again, center/QB snaps were a problem. Plenty of botched snaps. According to MC, starter Brad Serini did good, but reserve centers: freshman Kenny White (who is being worked as a center for the first time in his career) and Juan Gonzalez need work. Backup center/starting right guard Joe Alajajian has missed most of practice this week due to final exams and was not at practice Thursday.

Daniel Chacreton and Tyler Clawson got an early sack. Toronto "Little Canada" Smith got into the O's backfield to cause havoc like he did at Arkansas State last season.

DB Peter Riley had a heck of a day defending the pass. PR broke up two deep passes and another on a sideline route. PR also got an INT off a bobble by frosh WR James Watkins.

Mm_2 Marshall McDuffie (left) and Jeremiah Weatherspoon have looked sharp this week. MM deflected two passes today.

At the end of practice, it became the Kambriel Willis Show. KW went into the O's backfield on four straight plays. He got one sack, a tackle for loss and batted down a Hughes pass. Any wonder the dude led the state in sacks last season?

The O's top plays from Thursday: Greg Ellingson did like T.Y. on Wednesday and caught a ball across his body. Then while GE was getting mugged down the field by two DBs (easily pass interference), he got separation -- Rod Moore's summer strength and conditioning program paying dividends -- and grabbed a deep pass.

Junior Mertile, a freshman receiver, made a diving 1-handed catch on a deep pass from PM.

And a practice report this week wouldn't be complete without a Blue 25 sighting. PM did a nifty job avoiding the blitz and stepped up in the pocket to find Blue 25 for a 15-yard gain.

You good people have 4 more chances to catch your Golden Panthers in practice: Friday at 9 a.m.; Saturday at 8 a.m. & 4 p.m. and the team's first scrimmage is Tuesday, Aug. 12. The scrimmage is open to the public, but the time has not been set yet. It will be posted on here as soon as they tell me.


FIU is expected to unveil the new uniforms at Friday's Media Day Luncheon. If it happens, will have photos on here for you later on Friday.

It's was a HD-kind of moment on the GPP for SouthPaw. First the good: let's hear it for SP for being the first GPP reader to get the Sidd Finch question correct. The bad: FIU's new uniforms will not have gold pants. The only gold will be on the trim lines that run down the sides of the uniforms.Ned One last look at the gold pants as A'mod Ned (right) models them against Bowling Green.

FIU will have 4 new uniform combinations to choose from: 1) blue top/white pants; 2) white top/white pants; 3) white top/blue pants; 4) blue top/blue pants.

Max: Keep us up to date on those stadium tours. I am anxiously awaiting to see what the view looks like from my seats.

GPP: Where are your seats? I might be able to put a photo on here from your seats' view.

CJ & Civil Eng FIU: Any word on Alphonso Bryant's status?

GPP: Great to meet you, CJ, at practice today. Bryant is enrolled in classes at FIU. He is expected to join the team at some point during the season. He is on the roster and listed as No. 15. Still waiting on the NCAA. Same deal with Moses Hinton, FIU is waiting on the Sun Belt. When I was in New Orleans, the Sun Belt people were telling me they expect to allow Hinton to play.

Pantera Dorada: Any idea how the brick campaign is going?

GPP: Last I heard about the bricks, there were more than 100 sold in the first month.

alt7787: Forgot to give you props on getting FIU smack dab on on the front page of the sports page. Plus it was also interesting to see Armando Salguero writing about FIU.

Mh_2 GPP: Thanks and I thought AS wrote a good story. He did some research on FIU, unlike some writers from other papers that write stuff about FIU without actually knowing the facts about the program.

The Miami Herald front page could be FIU's on a regular basis. The phrase the MH higher-ups always tell me at the start of every FIU football, hoops and baseball season is: "When FIU starts winning, you'll get more space and they'll be on the front more". It's not just the FIU fans that are eagerly awaiting for the Golden Panthers to turn the corner, the largest newspaper in Florida is ready to give FIU its due. Of course, the 140,000 FIU alumni also has something to do with that.

FIU Love: Please tell me FIU got a good kicker during the off-season recruiting.

GPP: FIU has 3 kickers in camp: Dustin Rivest, Eric Karcinski and Carlos Munera. DR and EK are more accurate in field goals. CM has got a booming leg and will likely be the punter. Although, MC said the other day if he had to kick a 65-yard FG to win a game, CM would be in there.

esteban688: It's been said that FIU has only sold 2,500 season tickets, which is not much. We all have read from many sources the "the USF game is sold out" as you can see none of this adds up. Can you find out about the ticket sales situation?

GPP: If the sources you're talking about are Tampa-area sources, then they're not correct. The USF game is "close" to being sold out. The only way to get tickets to that game is by buying season tickets or if you're an FIU student, then you get one free admission to the game. FIU is not releasing season ticket sales numbers. But there are still tickets available.

FIU Fanatic: How many Club Seats have been sold? Is there any major advertising campaign on the Movie works in order to substantially increase these season ticket sales?

GPP: Been told there is a major advertising blitz for FIU football this month that will include: TV and radio ads, billboards and ads on movie theatre screens before your featured motion picture begins.

TheChampionUnderdog: Welcome to the GPP.

Time for you good people to be the fashion critics....


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the source of the info regarding the ticket-sale count was givin at the stadium tour... this is second-hand info from FIUfantastic on the fiugolgenpanthers.com/forum board. He said.

" They gave me that number when I went for the stadium tour on Friday. And it shocked me."

But if you say that it is nearly sold out then that is good news.

Thanks Pete, that would be great. I am not home right now, but I believe it is section 114, row 8.

Good to hear about the USF game being nearly sold out. I really hope they decide to get a ton of noise makers into the hands of the fans for that game. Has the administration mentioned anything about selling individual tickets for the game if the time draws near and it is not yet sold out?

I will try to be out there on Saturday, probably in the morning. If the Tuesday practice is in the afternoon I would like to attend the scrimmage also.

yeah... my seat is at about the same level. just another section... Sec 116 seat, row 7. No need for a picture. I want to be surprised on opening day!

Pete, have you heard anything about stadium tour for season ticket holders or Panther Club members? I know that there's one for faculty and staff, but it would be nice to have one for us season ticket holders as well.

Thanks! :)

Nevermind my question, Pete. Max just told me. :)

Hey, Pete. Haven't posted any comments in a while, but don't you worry, I'm still a loyal reader.

My question is where's the info on these bricks? I looked on FIUsports.com and couldn't find any info on them. What gives?

What I was told by someone in Athletics when I went to pick up my student voucher for the USF home opener was this: They want to make a conceited effort to not allow what happened last year in Lockhart Stadium when the Bulls came to play FAU happen to us. They are doing this by restricting the single game tickets sold on that day.

You can easily see on youtube that green shirts and jerseys vastly outnumbered the home crowd of FAU fans; so I can easily agree with any tactics they might try to implement to avoid such a scenerio.

BUT, I know the excitement is brewing because I can feel it. My tailgate alone will have about 15-20 rowdy fans decked out in blue and gold - making damn well sure we have our voices heard - and I am not even greek or panther power or part of any sort of alumni group.

September 20 is going to be OUR day no matter what.

so tranquilo.... golden panther pride baby!

The lack of gold in our uniforms is shocking. But even more shocking is the fact that we're going to continue to have blueberry pants. Are you kidding me???

Do I need to trot out the pathetic record the Golden Panthers have had over the past few seasons wearing those ridiculous, Don Strock-created blueberry pants? The blueberry pants are an affront to our schools' name.

C'mon Mr. Garcia and Coach Cristobal, you have to get this one right. The Olympics are officially starting today, so this is no time to shy away from the GOLD. We shouldn't need a magnifying glass to find a trace of gold in the GOLDEN Panthers uniforms!

Send the blue pants back to Adidas and exchange them for GOLD pants. In the meantime, let's just wear the white.

And yes, winning is all that really matters, I agree, but when we win, why not look good and represent the University well?

lol championunderdog like you i have no greek, alum, or student organization tie and my count is around 10 and growing for the tailgate... cant wait for the game its goin to get crazy, its goin to get loud,

As usual, thanks for the info, Pete!! We are all just waiting for FIU Ahtletics to "explode" into the scene, and marketing...just being out there...is part of the recipe. Of course, we need to help (everybody) in sharing FIU around town.....Winning is the most important aspect of this FIU recipe....then, we will also see FIU prominently displayed in The Herald's Cover Page, it seems.....

im with you championunderdog and CJ... I am no greek or anything like that... in fact i just finished my freshmen year... so i havn't even been around FIU long. I'm just old school... unlike many students now a'days i go for MY school no matter what happens. I don't follow other schools loyally without ever attending. My only downside is I roll with 3 people... and i am by far the biggest fan. Not many of my friends or family show support. Even though i preach FIU like the gospel. Thus the reason I look to join taigates with my fellow FIU fans.

I've seen the new uniform pants with the blue streak and I like it.

It would be cool if the blue streak were GOLD or had both BLUE and GOLD.

I dont really care anymore, they can wear Oregon's uniform for all I care, I just want them to have a winning season.

Any updates on what went on (or is going on) at the Media Day Luncheon?

The championunderdog:
The FAU game against USF was sold out. 22,000 seats
USF did not outnumbered FAU.
West and South stands were occupied by FAU 100%
East and North stands were occupied by USF 90%
USF marching band is huge and can really make you feel you are playing on their field; therefore, get ready to make a lot of noise.
FAU lost the game due to 3 missed field goals by their kicker.
FAU led the game the first half.
I heard a bunch of USF fans congratulating FAU because USF thought it was going to be an easy game.
It's FIU's job to beat USF this time. Show them how we roll in south florida.

According to FIUsports.com, they showed the new uniforms today during the media day luncheon.

They should have pictures up soon. Pete, were you there and did you take any pics of the new threads?

Yep...I still remember how we went into Tampa two years ago and were up by 13 in the 4th quarter...and leading by 6 and the ball with less than 2 minutes remaining, only to fumble the ball (and the game....and then the season) away in that bitter loss..I doubt we will be that competitive, although I hope for that...

I guess the point is, we need to get as many of OUR fans to secure the tickets early on, so as not to give them the opportunity to be as many as they were in the game against FAU...

I read that too, hopefully we will see those pictures soon....

FIU Fanatic, you brought up some baaaaad memories with that USF game a few years ago, I remember listening to that game on the radio and I thought I was going to drop dead, we chocked big time and that set the tone for the ENTIRE year. If we won that game, who knows how many more we would have won.

Has anyone seen the new SI College Football report? They have FIU ranked 118 out of 119 Division I schools and predict that we will match our win total from last year. (oh by the way they predict that FAU will go undefeated in the SunBelt and win 10 games this year). Pete what are your thoughts, is there really that much of a disparity?

Can't wait to travel down to 107th street for the USF game, reserving my plane ride this weekend!!


If you hit 107th street, you've gone to far. You wanna go to 8 ST and 107th Avenue.

Greg Ellingson is going to be our #1 receiver. The White wide receiver seems to be making a comeback. He can be FIU's Brandon Stokely or Wes Welker.

this is wat i like to hear out of the defense...they need to have that swagger we had when i was playing a couple years ago. its all about flying around and making plays on defense. keep up the good work defense.

NYCFIUFan: why did you find the fact that FIU is ranked 118 and FAU is ranked 56 is disparity?
Actually last year FIU was ranked 119, but it seems Idaho is in the last spot now.
These are the results both programs have given since the
As far as I remember FIU broke the record of the longest losing streak in any sport. On the contrary, FAU broke the record of the youngest program to attend a bowl and win it in the history of college football.
Football analysts think FAU can repeat the title because has 18 starters coming back. We do not know what is going to happen tomorrow. FAU might lose all games and lose to FIU too.
Both teams are not that far apart but one has given way much better results than the other and one is leading the series 5 to 1 and you know it. That is why one program is ranked as 56 and the other one as 118 or 119 since WKU made the 120 team of D1-A.

Wait a second here, friend. FIU did not "broke a record of the longest losing streak in any sport"...that's what some might want to say, but it's just an exxageration. Yes, we lost 23 games in a row, but from there to make a claim it is the longest losing streak ever in any sport, is just testament to other type of feelings...

Truth is FAU is farther ahead in results on the field...that is obvious...and FIU is much farther ahead in terms of infrastructure and budget issues. However, let's not distort the facts to the point that it affects what is being written. Saying FIU had the longest losing streak in football in the nation AT THAT POINT would have sufficed.

FIU Fanatic: I think you are right. The losing streak of 23 games record was in college football. I am sorry!
Good luck this year!

That wasn't a record my friend. The assumption is mistaken, once again. Again, it was the longest losing streak at the time...not ever..

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