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 for FIU, then I could see an upset of No. 12, even with an FIU offense still trying to 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.
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.
6) Hey, Lester Hayes, Can We Borrow Some Stick-um...WRs need to hold on to the football. There have 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.
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 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 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....