The final scrimmage came and went and MC said the QB race for the starting job is down to 2: Paul McCall (left) and Wayne Younger. The FIU coach said "let Kansas prepare for both" and that PM and WY are "definitely ahead of the pack". For details on the rest of today's scrimmage check out tommorrow's (Friday's) Miami Herald or go on-line to the Herald website. There you'll find another great day for the defense and T.Y. Hilton and Anthony Gaitor both with big days on special teams. For now let's go back to the new on-campus stadium....
Here are the latest photos from your "Crown Jewel", FIU Stadium. A couple of numbers (7, 29) to keep in mind before we begin our latest tour -- which will likely take a few blogs to complete, because new GPP photographer and FIU media relations maven John Angel went nuts with the camera and took a good number of photos. Please enlarge all these photos with your PC so that you have a better view.
Since there are just 7 days left, we will have several blogs in the next few days with stadium photos since I got about 45 pictures to show you good people.
Well, it was 8 days when the photo on the right was taken. That's the official electronic countdown to the second that hangs in Odebrecht's office trailer that sits west of the stadium.
Let's move on to the fieldhouse. Here's a shot of the where the FIU gym (left) will be and next to it is a rendering of the front of the FIU fieldhouse where the ticket offices, FIU memorabilia store and Hall of Fame will be located.
For this season until the fieldhouse is completed in July of next year, your Golden Panthers will dress in the newly built visitors clubhouse at the FIU baseball stadium and then take their "Panther Walk" to FIU Stadium.
Once they enter the stadium, FIU will come in by the northwest corner. Here are a couple of shots from the tunnel and you'll also notice the new plush green field turf installed. In the first photo on the right is the view that your Golden Panthers will have when they sprint out of the NW tunnel. The 2nd photo is the view of the NW tunnel.
Let's stay on the new field. Must say the new field feels like walking on a brand new carpet in a new home you just bought. The field is being fed daily ground up tires and sand by some John Deeres. Down below on the left is the most exciting photo of ground up tires that you'll ever see. And then there's a shot of the new turf being fed.
Here's a pretty interesting picture to show you the difference of how much closer FIU fans will be to the field than the visiting teams fans -- who will sit in the bleachers from the old FIU Stadium. After all, that is the visiting teams fans section as it is diagrammed in the FIU Stadium plans at fiusports.com. If you remember from our last tour, I explained that all the seats at the new stadium are on top of each other and not on a slope away from the field like the old stadium's bleachers. Take a look at this pic here below on the right of the old and new bleachers and notice the difference. Those bags in front of the old bleachers are filled with ground-up tires and sand for the new field.
We hadn't taken shots from the visiting team's bench before on our tours, so here on the left are the views of the stadium coming from the opponents bench from the north side of the stadium. The first photo on the left is looking at the west end zone from the visitors bench. The next pic is a look at the south side of the stadium from the north.
The following picture below right is a view standing in the east end zone of the field and looking into the west end zone. For the Golden Panthers sake, hopefully these end zone views become a familiar thing this season.
Before we get to show you how close the seats are to the field at field level, here is a pic of one of the two soccer goals (white thing lying on the asphalt in the photo) that have been dropped off at the new stadium. Yes, there will be soccer played here at some point.
Back to the field, in the next three photos, focus on the blue dots on the field. These blue dots that have been painted into the turf are markings for the following: 1) the sideline out of bounds; 2) FIU's sideline; 3) Area for corner kicks in soccer. (FYI: You may have to enlarge these to see the blue marks).
And finally, our last photo (below, right) for this blog has our lovely GPP intern for the day, Allison, demonstrating where the soccer corner kick would be in relation to the first row of seats on the south side of the stadium.
Check back in the next few days, for the next installment of our latest FIU Stadium tour blog. We got 30 more photos to get to. Like the Jeffersons, "we'll be moving on up to the east side and getting our piece of the pie" in the finished club suites and we'll take a look at the Panther Club, which is just missing the plasma TVs.
A lot of early enthusiastic responses in our 2nd Annual Win A GPP Blog contest. Reminder, last day and time for predictions for the KU game is Saturday, Aug. 30 at 6:59 p.m. by the GPP clock. For official rules in the U.S. and abroad check the previous post.
** There was one reader who wrote: "You know what, I'm going to correct my prediction. We are FIU and we have talent, FIU 21, Kansas 14."
You didn't fill in your GPP screen name with your prediction, so I don't know which prediction to correct? Please reply to correct your prediction, Thank you.
FIU Fanatic: I couldn't help but notice you didn't mention Mannie Wellington among the linebackers expected to produce. He did play a lot last season....Is he still at FIU? Incoming freshman Kasey Smith, from Seabreeze HS....Is he at FIU as well?
GPP: Yes. MW is at FIU, but is currently out with a hernia. He is expected back at the end of September. KS is at FIU and he got a sack the other day during 11-on-11.
clm88: Hey Pete you seem to have something against kickers. What position did you play in college, and then the pros. I'm having a hard time remembering your name.
GPP: I didn't kick in either. I played center field and I pitched. And I'll be the first to admit I couldn't make a field goal beyond 25 yards. I have nothing against kickers. In fact, I would love to write a good story on an FIU kicker like I did about Adam Moss when he was a Golden Panther. But, the Miami Herald has me write this blog for two reasons: 1) To stay in touch with the FIU fans and detractors and generate on-line interest and we've successfully done that as the GPP is consistently among the top 10 blogs among the 40+ blogs at the MH. 2) To provide my insight and opinion on FIU and judging from spring practice and camp this month, FIU's kicking game is inconsistent. The kickers will make 2 field goals and then miss 2 field goals. Kickoffs are usually landing at the 10-yard line and not any deeper. Hopefully, this all changes, but right now if FIU was faced with a field goal of 35 or more yards, I think MC calls for a pooch punt or goes for it on 4th down. By the way, Welcome to the GPP and thanks for your readership.
SouthPaw: Can you give us an update on a few guys whose names have been conspicously missing over the Spring and Fall camps?: Jarvis Wilson, James Rucker, Elliott Dix, Justin West.
GPP: Like Little Canada, Jarvis Wilson has had a good camp and has been running with the second team D. JW has a motor and should figure prominently on D and special teams. The other 3 have done OK, but there have been other players at their respective positions that have excelled.
lgo: You forgot about peter riley, who is second team on the depth chart.
GPP: You are correct. PR has been deflecting passes and playing tight coverage in camp. PR just adds to an already deep and talented secondary. Former Golden Panther Alexander Bostic said last year when he was a grad assistant that PR was a player and he wasn't kidding.