« Measuring Stick | Main | The Defense Of Troy »

If It Happens, This Is How

Cannot bring myself to agree with several GPP readers that think their Golden Panthers will take down No. 12 South Florida on Saturday. Just haven't seen much from FIU this season to convince me so.

If say, for example, the 2006 FIU D with El Monstruo (near, right), Keke Bouie (far, right) and the Killer B's were patrolling one side of the ball Kbees for FIU, then I could see an upset of No. 12, even with an FIU offense still trying to Ab find itself. After all, it was only 21-20, USF over FIU in 2006. I'll wait until later in the week to post a predicted score on Saturday's game.

Since most see USF leaving Miami still undefeated after Saturday...why don't we indulge the visions of a few FIU faithful. Those who see the Golden Panthers christening their new on-campus stadium with the biggest W in the history of the program and in college football this season. Which in turn will lead to FIU grabbing the front page of the Miami Herald for 7 consecutive days and dominating all the national highlight shows.

If an upset were to happen Saturday, this is how it would have to go down for FIU:

1) Time: It's What's For Dinner...The FIU offense would have to chew the clock with time-consuming drives that result in TDs and not FGs. You know the kinds of drives we're talking about where FIU goes 75 yards in 8 minutes and punches it in for 6. Keeping the high-powered Bulls offense on the sideline is a must.

Rh_2 2) Rush Hour...FIU will need at least 150 to 180 yards rushing from someone or a few players combined, this will help with the ball control that is needed.

3) Bakery is Closed...As is the case with every game, and especially this one against No. 12, turnovers cannot be baked by the FIU O.

4) There Must Only Be 1 El Monstruo...And his name should always be Antwan Barnes. The FIU O-line besides opening holes for the run, has to contain USF and future NFL DE George Selvie. This is Tampa's monstruo.

5) Can You Hear Me Now?...FIU QBs and WRs need to make connections. There have been several miscommunications on routes in the first two games where QB throws to one spot and WR is at another.

6) Hey, Lester Hayes, Can We Borrow Some Stick-um...WRs need to hold on to the football. There have Hayes been an alarming number of drops in the first two games. The passing game doesn't have to be the second coming of "The Greatest Show on Turf" of the Kurt Warner Rams in the late 90's, early 2000s, but FIU has to be efficient throwing the ball, move the chains.

Now that we've outlined some keys for the FIU O, here's what the Golden Panthers D needs to do to shock the college football world: 1) The Quarterback Must Go Down and He Must Go Down Hard...If you've seen Raiders owner Al Davis in the old NFL Films, then you're familiar with the phrase above. FIU has to be physical with USF QB Matt Grothe, like Kansas was in the first half of the KU/USF game last Friday. MG is not a big guy (generously listed at 6-0 on USF roster) and if FIU can hit him several times, you could have one gunshy QB and by putting pressure on MG it would disrupt the rhythm of the dangerous Bulls O.

2) Make Olivia Newton-John Proud...FIU corners have to be physical with the physical USF receivers -- a couple of whom could be catching balls on Sundays soon.

Dazzlers_2 3) The Only Killer Legs FIU Needs To See Are On The Golden Dazzlers...Grothe can kill a D with his legs, so the Golden Panthers need someone to have an eye on the USF QB, in case he decides to take off. He'll keep a drive going with those pesky 7, 8-yard scrambles.

4) Wrap Yourself A Gift...Any chance of stopping the USF O and giving yourself a chance at a win begins with wrapping-up on tackling. Saw some missed tackles in the first 2 games that helped KU and Iowa continue drives. Giving a team like USF some extra yards after it looks like you've stopped them can be demoralizing.

5) The Special Teams Secret is Hidden...Beware of the hidden yardage. This is for special teams. In a game like this where you're the colossal underdog, you can't be giving away hidden yardage on ST. Such as the opener against KU, when FIU had KU pinned at the 5-yard line after a kickoff, but the Golden Panthers were called for offsides and had to re-kick leaving KU to start the drive at the its 35-yard line.

6) Don't Be Scottie Pippen...If FIU has a FG shot, that FG has to be made. When Pip punting the Golden Panthers can't have shanks off the side of the foot that leave USF with outstanding field position. The Bulls, like MJ's Chicago-version, don't need FIU to be Scottie Pippen to help USF and MJ score.

Yes, I know the list above is long and detailed, but if knocking off a Top 25 team were so easy everybody would be doing it. Good luck, FIU.


UPDATE on FIU Stadium spread in the Miami Herald: The story, photos and layout will now run in FRIDAY's paper and NOT thursday. So cobble 35 or 50 cents for FRIDAY.

**Reminder, the deadline for USF/FIU scores for the 2nd Annual Win A GPP Blog contest is this Saturday, Sept. 20 at 4:59 p.m. GPP time.

alt7787: You should set up a Meet and Greet tent at the game next week. Get the herald to lend you one of their subscription tents so you could have a meet and greet with everyone.

GPP: alt7787, I'll be walking around the stadium before the game and the open-air press box this season is on the SE corner of the stadium so stop by and say hello. They tell me I'm a friendly person.

GreekPanther: Pete, is it true that there will be a sizable amount of undercover cops at the FIU-USF tailgate looking for underage drinkers?

GPP: Not sure Greek, but it is the opener and I'm sure FIU would like everything to go off well, including Beer a W. Tell you what, if FIU wins this game....the first round is on me at whatever watering hole is around campus.

CJ: Pete do you mind checking to see if i posted a score for this game?

GPP: You didn't, but on your last post you did.

FIUBlueandGold: Can anyone provide an update on the situation with our Offensive line ? What's up with the Mack Truck ?

GPP: After last Thursday's open practice, MC said he expects Mack back for USF, but we shall see. Center Brad Serini took off the boot and practiced last Thursday and will play against USF. FIU was off today, so I'll have an update on the OL after Tuesday's practice. Check here and/or the MH FIU page.

**Here's your chance to tell GPP Nation what you think is the key to Saturday's game....


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference If It Happens, This Is How:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

We need to dictate to Grothe where he will rollout. He's going to do it, and we can't stop him from doing it, but we need to make him roll out to his back side and force off balance throws. I say this is the game Mario needs to let Kambriel go after the quarterback every down.

On offense, this is a very fast team that goes hard after the quarterback, so counters, misdirections, and screens will be the easiest way to rack up yards. If we're going to have a chance, it's with Wayne under center.

EVERYTHING concerns me about USF vs. FIU. The O line, the RB's, the WR's, the D Line, the Secondary, etc, etc....

I asked this question last year but if the Dolphins went up against FIU, who would be worse? Im not asking who would win, im asking who would be worse. Because the way both teams are playing its quite possible neither team would beat each other. By the way the scoreboard looks amazing!!!

Interesting stuff pete,

I agree with stopping the QB the most. MG is a special Talent and they go were he goes as a team. I really want to get this score right. I am torn with giving FIU some points on emotion alone, but the Golden Panthers have Shown nothing. Not taking the field goals pete is about one thing, when you have nothing to lose why not go for it? FG will never be enough when you are a 20 pt dog... How about our QB situation, flip flopping between PM and WY is not the way to a win...
so here it is points come during a Jim Leavitt mercy time so we are not run out of our home Stadium.... 44-7 Bulls show that they may be the best team in Fl other than the Gators...

Wayne Younger under center will get us a win?? Really??? Dont let the last game's stats fool you. Those numbers were in garbage time. The smart thing to do is to rotate the QB's. Dont put one in for one quarter and the other one in another quarter. Play them situationally. I've been saying this for the past year. But then again im not a coach. But then again FIU has 1 win in its last 26 games(I think) and has not scored an offensive touchdown this season. im not so sure I have much faith in the decision making of the coaching staff....

My prediction, FIU 24 - USF 20. I'm not picking another loss this season, I think FIU wins.

Regardless of the outcome (although I'm really hoping for a fairly hard fought game), this game could bring as much buzz as that very first game ever....Here's hoping everything turns out perfect on Saturday night for FIU to make it an even more memorable night. I

I'm ready to show up early and try and help our team with as much emotion as possible. It should be a fun game...at least I hope....

Go FIU!!

like i said... it'll take a miracle to get Cedrick Mack not to redshirt. He seems hell bent on playing a complete season next year.

based on my last post and expected qb stats
....ill say

usf 50

Im sure that MC as the coach "expects" Mack to play if he gets cleared. As of today he hasn't been cleared and according to Mack(nothing official) he is very strongly leaning towards using his redshirt. This whole situation with the NCAA has him very concerned. He's preaty down about the situation so maybe it's pesimism talking but he wants to redshirt.

Alt, try reading next time.

I said if we have a chance, it's with Wayne. McCall is not the type of player who wins you games on this team. He needs everyone around him to do it. Wayne could concievably put a team on his back (or feet, I guess) and do it.

Of course, we're not going to win. But Wayne gives us the best chance to win. Paul gives us the best chance to not lose.

I think the only way Wayne gives us a chance to win is if he dosn't throw the ball. lol. Im exagerating but with all the athletisism he has is still don't see a good QB. It just shows just how bad our situation is. Younger has only proven one thing and that is that he can run. McCall is the better passer and desision maker. As far as winning. Younger has definetly not been the guy you win games with thus far. In fact McCall has been the ONLY guy that has remotely proven to be a winner in the last 20+ games. Don't judge him on the first games against huge opponents he needs to be judged on more FIU's level.

Plus i don't think any QB on the roster right now can put the team "back on it feet" with the rest of the offense playing the way it is. The O-line must block, the recievers need to catch, the runners need to run. But right now McCall is the best QB.

What i find funny. But not surprising is: Towards the end of last season many fans wanted Younger's head on a plate and where thrilled that McCall came in 1 1/2 games and took care of buisness. Now im not saying that the guy is good, he needs to work on everything in my opinion. He has not been too accurate, but who is when the only have 2 seconds to throw? But do consider that every good, potential big pass this year has been droped by recievers. Like everyone on the team he needs alot of work. But for now he HAS proven to be the better QB of the two. Give him the same chance Younger got to get throught the rougher teams.

Pete, can you find out what time they expect the players to do the ceremonial walk to the stadium.

I want to see them walk but I also want to be in my seat before all the festivities start.

USF 52, FIU 9

I would have Ned and Younger line up as Running Backs, have Ned pick up blocks to give McCall more time and have Younger go out for passes.

My opinion on what we should do with the QB situation? Colt Anderson is the starter every game for the rest of the season. If he truly is the future and most likely to win the job next year, let's get him valuable experience this year and stop playing games.

If the O-line can't hold their blocks and aren't giving Colt time to throw, Wayne Younger comes in and runs the show. If the line is providing protection, but Colt is having an off day throwing the ball and not making the right reads and decisions with the ball, bring in Paul McCall to settle the team down and take the reigns.

If Colt is the horse we're going to ride, we have to let him run and find his legs. Legg needs to let him find his legs. Seems pretty simple to me.

I hate to say this but 47 - 10 Bulls

I just don't see FIU pulling the upset.

Totally agree with you Southpaw. The difference between FAU and FIU? They have had 2 consistent quarterbacks in their existence, how many has FIU run through?


Several problems with your suggestion. First, Colt hasn't had any playing time. Wayne has been throwing some nice passes and making some good read. We really wont know how good the QBs are until they GIVE THEM SOME TIME!!!

They have no time to throw, guys coming in through the sides, through the center, every where! Running game is shot too because of the O-Line as well.

We have a lot of talent, but the o-line just need to start holding their own.

A good example was the first couple of drives in Kansas. McCall made some great throws because he had some protection.

Its important that FIU puts some points on there board ASAP. Our defense is actually not that bad, but when the offense does consistent three and outs, our defense tires like any defense will, and makes them very very susceptible to assignment breakdowns.

Not willing to make a score prediction just yet, hoping Matt Grothe gets injured in practice or something lol.

i would actually like seeing Colt every now and then. it would be good for the future.. but for now.. mccall deserves a chance to prove his worth against a more evennly matched opponent. im just hopeing the game is repsectable

USF is a tall order for us to open our new home and expect them to be more than ready to run up the score, but maybe some surprises are in store ??


- Nationally ranked and in the hunt again
- Very Talented team and well coached
- Showcasing their team to recruits in Miami

A few things to look at for FIU:

- Coach Clarke might be able to help coach Legg scheme the offense in our favor against guys he recruited and coached a few years ago.

- USF is not always a great road team and I wonder if the players can stay focused in the 1st quarter rather than getting caught in the hype that we are overmatched against them.

- Cristobal has always said that he recruited kids that can play immediately. I'm wondering if this is the game where we see more of the following kids:

Aaron Davis: 6'0 240 lbs
Winston Fraser: 6'2 225lbs
James Jones: 6'1 230 lbs
Kasey Smith: 6'3 245 lbs
Kambriel Willis: 6"0 215 lbs

I realize that Fraser has been injured, have not heard any news on his arm injury and whether or not he is available for this game, but Davis, Jones and Smith all have good size to either play LB or rush off the end to go after the QB.

We need a pass rush to have any chance against USF. Newman and Warthen have been ok but more pedestrian I think. These freshman give us explosivness off the ends or the size we need to run stop...

Everyone expects us lose, right !! I'd don't really see the risk in getting freshman more time. Bryant, Clawson and Dominguez are servicable guys. But we have those aforementioned group of Frosh that can come in with fresh legs on 3rd down and blitz Grothe, hopefully forcing him to make bad throws ??

McDuffie and Weatherspoon need to be starting at safety too !! Both have the size and speed to cover ground and stop big plays if our CBs get burned...

I don't expect the offense to set the world on fire, but we need 14 pts somehow ?

Special teams, can give us a shot with decent field position and 2 FGs...

If the Defense can get a few turnovers and Spcl Teams can score ?? I think we have a shot in the 4th quarter.

The two numbers I will be looking at is 0 FIU turnovers and at least 6 USF punts.

USF 34 - FIU 20

hey whats the word on alphonso bryant. the transfer from USF.. is he playing.. we need some big wr's

Well, I think they were looking to get Alphonso Bryant elegible for this season, after transferring from UCF (not USF)...also, read/heard he was being looked on mainly as a DB at one point, but could play WR as well...Anybody knows?


insert McCall last season in the games that wayne lost. Do you think that it would have changed the outcome?

Yes McCall did win a game but it was when the the team improved and against a weak team. If the first 2 games of the season has taught us anything is that not much has changed. So which ever QB we have it did not matter.

But YES i do think that Wayne gives us a better change of winning.

I actually agree with you blkpanther. It is not the popular choice right now, but I think Younger gives us better shot to win. With the recent play of our offensive line, we definitely could use Younger's mobility. Regardless, I'll support who the coaches feel more comfortable with. Colt Anderson is the future, but question is, when will he be ready?

As for Bryant, I think we're loaded at receiver position. Yes, there are some mistakes that have happened, but Rolle, Mertile, T.Y. Hilton,Ellison, Dickens will be fine. Like FIU Fanatic said, I think Bryant will be DB in the team.

My prediction, can't see us winning but expect us to play on emotions first half. Who cares what I expect, i'm going with my heart on this one.

FIU 24 USF 20

Make us Proud Golden Panthers. GO FIU!!!

One more thing, stadium will be rocking. I know a good amount of recruits will be at inauguration of stadium. This is our chance to prove our program is heading in the right direction under Cristobal.



All negative thinking aside, college football is very exciting because anything can happen.

Think about this:

UNLV vs (15) Arizona State. UNLV, a 23 point underdog, beats the 15th ranked program.

Can FIU pull the upset and beat the 12th ranked team in the nation?

Why not... we have to do our part and bring the craziest energy to that new stadium and make USF nervous.


No actually i don't think McCall would have changed the outcome of those games either. That was partially my point. We don't have a QB right know that can make that kind of difference. With the team playing the way it does no QB onthe roster will make the difference. Not Younger with his running and not McCall. But unless Younger has vastly improved his arm, McCall is still the better passer so i gotta go with him. I don't think we should lay it on these QB's. It's not about Younger being more effective because he can move. Yes he moves but it only works until the defenses pick up on it the he is mostly stopped.

What im saying is: it is on all the players play better to give our best passer a chance rather than to stick a run-first QB. In ideal football you want the pass to open the run making defenses aware of anything. With Younger, our QB BECOMES the running game, our passing game is preaty shot, and defenses take notice. (plus as we saw McCall can run in case of emergancies) but he is foremost looking to pass the ball. Now leave the running to the RB's they need to step up along with the line and the WR's... if not we're done for either way. But for now McCall is the better QB, until Younger can prove that he can throw consistantly. The coaches have noticed it. Its just a matter of a young team maturing in all accpects.

Did I give my score for this week?

38-10 USF.

Pete - please tell me you survived this round of job cuts at the Herald.

FIU: 3
USF: 42

Younger had 11 games last season to showcase his playmaking abilities and they got us no wins. He led the team in rushing yards, but he threw 19 interceptions. It seems to me that he should be a RB, not a QB.

The claim that since the O line doesnt provide any time for Paul so we should put in Younger because he can rush is old. The O line was terrible last year. What did Younger do? He rushed every play. Did we win? Nope. Not one game.

The point is that Paul needs to stay as the QB. Unless he throws 19 interceptions he should stay put.

I agree with starting McCall. WY had his chance last season. McCall gave this team its only win the past two seasons, for God's sake, even if it was against North Texas. And he was a big reason why they won that game.

It's not the QB's fault the O-Line is letting more people through than an usher at a movie theater. And with the line not giving any time for anything, WY's mobility is mostly a non-factor. He might make a great play or two, but a QB's main job is to provide an aerial threat, not a ground threat. Especially in the spread offense. And PM is the better passer.

They probably should just use Younger as a DB or a WR... that's probably a better place to use him... and let one of the other guys fight to back up McCall. But that doesn't seem to be the plan these days. Whatever. Until the O-Line gets better, it won't matter if Dan Marino's under center. That's the biggest problem right now.

Anyway... just ordered ESPNU today, so I'll be able to see the FIU-USF game on Saturday. I apologize in advance to the FIU Radio Network for depriving them of one less listener. :)

And you're dead on with your analysis, Senor Pelegrin. All I'll add is that FIU must hold USF to under 20 to have a chance at winning on Saturday. I doubt FIU can score more than that against the Bulls, even with their A-game.

The comments to this entry are closed.