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Better But Need More Water

Plenty of you GPP readers might have a future in Las Vegas, judging from your predicted scores in Week Lv 1 of the 2nd Annual Win A GPP Blog contest. The standings are posted at the end of this blog and Iowa scores are due before 12:00 p.m. GPP Time on Saturday.

As for last Saturday, in the season opener against No. 13 Kansas, we saw an improved, quicker, more physical FIU team, but a team that still needs work, especially on offense.

Glass Being a glass-is-half-full blog, we'll start with the positive. The Golden Panthers defense had KU flustered in the first few drives. Whenever, FIU blitzed KU QB Todd Reesing had no answer. On some plays, he looked surprised that he had Golden Panthers in his face. But then KU got the short passing game going to negate the FIU rush.

Despite, not having much time to throw and no running game to speak of Paul McCall (below, right) looked in control. When he did get some time to throw late in the 2nd quarter and in the 3rd quarter, you saw that he was comfortable running the new O. Heck, PM even ran the ball well -- the question mark in his game. PM had two scrambles for 24 yards and eluded tacklers in the runs. If not for 3 sacks, PM is FIU's leading rusher on Saturday. But that's not what you want from your QB.Pm

The other bits of FIU sunshine on Saturday were: Freshman T.Y. Hilton (left), who last signing day told MC that he would take back his first punt for a TD. Sure enough, T.Y. got 6 on his first college return. We had mentioned here throughout camp, that if T.Y. got an opening, nobody would catch him. KU saw the back of No. 4's Ty jersey.

The kicking game came through Saturday. Dustin Rivest nailed a career-long 43-yd FG. Punter Carlos Munera showed a strong leg.

As for that missing water in our glass, FIU is not going to win too manyWat_2  games, if it's O starts with four 3-and-outs in its first 5 possessions. The O needs to do a better job of sustaining drives and give the defense a breather. KU lead the time of possession 37:49 to 22:11. FIU was only 2 of 14 on 3rd down conversions. Yes, FIU's conditioning is much better thanks to Rod  Moore, but no matter how much you condition, you're not going to last playing on D for almost 40 minutes a game.

Several of you have been quick to point to the O-line and yes, they do need work, but it was the entire O that faltered vs. KU. The RBs didn't always hit the right holes. PM sometimes didn't make the right reads and other times when PM did find open receivers, the WRs dropped passes that would have been long gains and on one pass a TD early in the game to possibly take a 7-0 lead.

Hic Maybe, it was just the typical hiccups associated with running a new O for the first time in a real game. Regardless, from being there and judging by the reactions of the largest crowd ever at a KU football game in the 119-year history of KU, it sure didn't feel like a 30-point game. The FIU D held the second highest scoring O in the nation last year to 10 points in the second half and those 10 were the result of turnovers that pinned the D deep in their territory.

Penn State hung 59 on FIU in last year's opener and Kansas hung 55 on FIU last year with 615 yards of offense. In Saturday's game, KU had less than 300 yards before the final drive of the game. Yes, some are going to just read the score and say same old FIU, but if you saw this game, then you saw some improvement. An improvement that for FIU's sake continues throughout this season.


Here are your Week 1 standings in our Win a GPP Blog

Your point differential is in parenthesis:

1-0: outofthecage88 (2); FIULOVE (3), FIUrulez (3), inspubadj (3); FIU Fanatic (4); esteban688 (5), fiufan751 (5), FIUPantherFan (5), ThaChampionUnderdog (5); nycfiufan (6); FIU 0406 (7), Hay (7), ridgepanther (7), U24/7 (7); FIUBlue82 (8), fomenter (8), Gazi (8), Puma (8), The OCPanther (8); BaltimorePanther (9), Clawing Cancer (9), Gold (9), mia/ny josh (9); FIUChris (12), panther viscosity (12), Quijote (12), TN Golden Panther (12); CJ (13), FIUJM (13); FIU Voice (14); lol62 (15), Pantera Dorada (15); alt7787 (16), Max (16); fiu ex dad (18), Ultimate FIU Fan (18); Crazycane (19); FIUBlueandGold (20); Devastator (23), greenlizard69 (23); sammy da bull (47).

0-1: 2006PA (31); gpantera (33), SouthPaw (33); FIUfantastic (37), ScUMsanitizer (37); E-Man (38).

GPP 1-0 (8).

**Congratulations to the FIU volleyball ladies, who knocked off No. 19 Clemson on Saturday and captured the Clemson Big Orange Bash Tournament by sweeping the Tigers, Syracuse and Charleston Southern. Two-time All-American Yarimar Rosa (right) was named tournament MVP.Yr

On to the questions....

FIU 0406:  I was watching ESPN today and I noted two things, they were still referring to us as Florida International and they were still showing the old logo. Also, this is something I mentioned some time ago, but its worth mentioning again. On the herald link for FIU:

it also shows our old logo. Pete, could you look into this.

GPP: ESPN and all the other national media outlets got a letter and media guides from FIU regarding the new reference to the school. It might take a big win against a BCS team for those people to take notice. Before writing this blog, I e-mailed the MH's on-line person about the old FIU logo on the MH's FIU page so let's see what happens this week.

FIUfantastic: Please fix the Photo Gallery from the Kansas game...it shows a picture of Paul McCall and says: Florida International quarterback Troy Dannehower throws the ball

GPP: E-mailed on-line about that too.

Radio gpantera: I wish the freakin' radio guys would refer to us as FIU only as instructed by our athletic department.

GPP: The "freakin' radio guys" read this blog, so tune in next Saturday for the Iowa game to see if they go by FIU and not Florida International when referring to the Golden Panthers.

SouthPaw: Can you update us on why Cedric Mack didn't play? Some of the names that I'm expecting to see make big contributions this year that I would have thought would have been on the two-deep are:
Cedrick Mack (biggest loss of the game for FIU), Mario Caraballo, Javon Hill, Travis Felder, Devin Parrish, Kambriel Willis, Reggie Jones. And others who I think should be seeing significant playing time this year that look like they didn't play are: Mannie Wellington, Matt Garris, Winston Fraser, Aaron Davis, Daunte Owens, Alfonso Bryant, Derrick Clark, Marcelus Manear, Jason Frierson. Some of the guys that started and saw extended action were not guys who have contributed a whole lot in the past (Tyler Clawson, Quentin Newman, Artis Warthen, Dan Chacreton). I was glad to see the coaches put McCall back in there after sitting him down for a series.

GPP: Both Mack and Willis were having certification issues they were taking care of last week. Jackson Def played and beat KU linemen a couple of times, but KU QB had already gotten the pass off. James Jones (67, right chasing Reesing) was impressive in his first game. Caraballo, Wellington, Garris and Fraser are all hurt. Hill hasn't practiced all summer and looks like he's done. Felder (academics). Parrish, R. Jones, A. Davis, Owens, A. Bryant, D. Clark, Manear and Frierson all did not play vs. KU.

Clawson, Newman, Warthen and Chacreton all had good camps and earned their playing time according to coaches.

As far as PM being removed. It was NOT because of his play. The plan was for WY to play 2 series in the second quarter, regardless of what the game situation was at the time. PM never got benched.

FIUChris: How serious is Ash's injury? He's one of our best playmakers in the defensive backfield.

GPP: X-rays were negative, but won't know more until practice on Tuesday.

****Picked up a few more readers around the world in our last blog. Thanks to the handy-dandy map tracker of GPP readers: Portland, Oregon and Managua, Nicaragua (love the gallo pinto) -- where Gallo_2 someone down there thinks FIU will be 6-6 or better this season -- have joined the GPP expanding our worldwide readership:

Our GPP Worldwide Readership scorecard reads: 32 STATES the GPP is read in: ALA, ARI, CA, COL, FLA, GA, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MO, NEB, NC, NJ, NY, OH, ORE, PA, RI, SC, TEN, TEX, VA, VER, WIS.

12 COUNTRIES: Australia, Brazil, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Nicaragua, Panama, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.

Thanks to all for participating in our last couple of polls where the majority of you liked the closeness of the seats to the new FIU Stadium field the best, and where most of you are thinking 5-7 or 4-8 for FIU this season. Here's the latest question....


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FIU does not have a running game. They haven't had one for the past three years and they will not have one next year. With no running game it wouldn't matter if you had Brett Favre throwing passes because the defense is going to load up for the pass. Cristobal doesn't have a clue.

Thanks for the update on the players, especially Mack and Willis. It's a little disappointing to hear that "certification issues" were responsible for keeping them off the field on Saturday. I know the NCAA can be tough to deal with, but I hope that both will be available for the rest of our games this season. Looking forward the the contribution both will make this year.

Thanks for clarifying the McCall situation. Glad to hear he wasn't on a short leash. In my opinion, Paul needs to be given the same chance Wayne was given last year.

After the game, Coach Mangino praised the job Coach Cristobal is doing, and mentioned that he thought we still had a few pieces missing on the offensive side of the ball. I'm going to reserve judgement on our offense since Mack was out and Kansas is very good defensively (and this was our first game). I'm expecting to see our offensive line get better over the course of the year, and hopefully that will open up our running game next week.

I personally think Ned is the better of the two RBs we've got, but with both being seniors, I would like to see Trenard Turner and Daunte Owens get some touches throughout the year.

And I cannot wait for Kambriel Willis to get on the field. I think he's going to obliterate El Monstruo's sack record. MC says he's a natural pass rusher.

Thanks for the info Pete. Gallo pinto is the best!!!

We definitely could have use Mack last weekend. I would think that those "certification issues" would have been taken care of before the season starts. Regardless, hope he can play this Saturday.

What was the deal with Marquis Rolle? Seemed like he and PM were not on the same page.


OK, so i was slightly off on my week one prediction. Thanks to the other 4 die-hards who have joined me in the loss column. I keep trying to rip out my heart out and make a prediction based on grey matter, but that darn FIU gold and blue love keeps creeping into my evaluations process.

With that said, i'm sticking with my boys yet again. FIU 21, Iowa 20. The law of averages dictates we're going to win some of these.

As always, Go G-Panthers!

Iowa 26
FIU 18

Still improving

Well, I'm off to Toledo, Spain tomorrow, so I don't know how often I'll be able to log in, if at all, before the game on Saturday....Still, I sort of smell an FIU victory, but perhaps that is mostly due to my Golden Panther allegiance... My official prediction:

.Iowa 30 FIU 20

Pete, not that it is so important, but I predicted the Kansas game at: KU 44 FIU 10 .....and for some reason, you left me out of your "predictors"....

Here's hoping that FIU scores 7 more points than I predict here, and Iowa scores 6 less, thus meaning a 27-24 FIU win.....that is what my heart wants me to believe....

Dingo and the Baby!!!!

The new uniforms actually look decent. MUCH better than the last ones. Our last uniforms looked cheap and thrown together.

Pete, one of my sources within the athletics department has informed me that there is a possibility that FIU will put some tickets on sale for our season home opener due to an oversupply.

Level with me please, has FIU been grossly overstating the amount of tickets that have been picked up by FIU students. I know a lot of people that want to go to the USF game, but dont want to purchase season tickets. I know FIU wants to avoid a stadium full of Bulls, but would they rather have a stadium with noticebly empty seats? Thanks for any info.

Thanks for the info Pete, Kansas was definitely a tough opponent to gauge how the team has progressed. Let's see how we come out against Iowa. Iowa has been somewhat down lately, we gotta go in there and shock them. I think this is the one that gets us over the hump finally. My prediction:

FIU 30
Iowa 21

I'm smelling a win this week!

FIU 20
Iowa 13


Glad to read the news regarding an improved team. my prediction will come soon... Thanks again for all of your hard work

Logic dictates that Iowa should win so with that I predict:

Iowa 27
FIU 20

However, there will come a time when some team will be in for a surprise. Why not this week! I truly hope my score is wrong and the surprise comes Sat.

Question for Pete and GPP nation:
1) What time is the game?
2) Big Ten network is showing the game, is their any viewing party?

Hey GPP nation lets take it upon ourselves to call the local sports bars and eateries around town with satellite feeds to show the game on their TV. As we get confirmation, list those establishments on this blog (tell these places that you will be posting their location) so that we can get coverage around town in case there is no viewing places. We'll make our own parties around town. Just a thought.


A few comments:

FIU is not ready to win a big game as evidenced by the dropped TD pass that would have given us the lead. FIU is still afraid to win. The game turned on a dime after that drop, KU saw we weren't ready for the upset.

I'm suprised the new FIU announcer didn't punch Randy K. right in the mouth for the number of times he butted in. The guy has no professional accumen. Am I the only one who is frustrated by this or have we all just learned to live with it?

Look for an FIU meltdown v. Iowa. Why? judging by the predictions here, we will probably go into Iowa relaxed and over confident. Hopefully, MC is aware of this trap and will have some kind of solution.

The OL is the problem and as much as PP tries to deflect attention from this fact, it is glaringly obvious that until the OL begins to hold its own we are not going to challenge for a watershed victory.

Finally, not much mention here of how well the non-BCS teams did this weekend. I'd like to make a special call-out to Arkansas St., our Sun Belt brethern, who BEAT a BIG 12 and BCS foe in Texas A&M on the road. Congrat's to them.

Go Panthers; it can be done !!!

I dont care how many times I'am in the loss column, FIU wins:

FIU 17
Iowa 14.

Let's go Panthers!

--How many of you almost fainted when he dropped that Touch Down pass!?!?!?! It would have changed the whole rhythm of the game!

Im going to have to say...

Iowa 35
FIU 17

Hope im wrong... but i'm trying to stay objective.

I like the new radio play-by-play guy. He does a nice job and sounds professional. Randy K and Mandich, on the other hand, sound like student radio broadcasters. Put simply, they are embarrassing. The Kansas messageboarders were laughing at those clowns (as they should have). It's time to move on from those two amatuer broadcasters and upgrade with the rest of the program. We need to find some professionals to work with the new play-by-play guy and move up to the D-1 level on our broadcasts.

I always listen to our opponents broadcasters when available because I can't

...stand listening to our guys. That's how bad they are.

Iowa isn't a spectacular team. However, FIU isn't either, in fact we are further from spactacular than Iowa. I'm not so convinced we improved much by our game against Kansas. It wasn't the pounding that Penn State gave us (or Middle Tenn lol), but numbers don't lie:

2-14 on third downs
139 total yards (66 rushing mostly from our QB)
10-28 passing

I know our defense was OK, but you don't win a game when your defense can't contain and your only offensive output comes from a kickoff return and a LONG field gowl.

Iowa is not a stellar team either, in fact a few surprising losses, one against Western Michigan. 6-6 in 2007, so technically speaking they are a mediocre team, although they did have a couple top 25 solid efforts.

We are way too inconsistent. If we bring out a USF 07 effort, we may surprise, but I don't see that happening.

Iowa 35
FIU 21

What I do like is that these opponents like Iowa and Temple may be similar to the SunBelt's best...a good way to get ready for FAU and Troy.

I almost choked on my cold pizza and beer, when Junior Mertile dropped the pass in the end zone, Jeremy Dickens had already dropped that ball at the 5 yd line a few series before...just stunned that we could of been going into the half with 24 pts against a BCS powerhouse ???

We need gamers to step up for that much needed watershed victory. I think Dickens and Mertile are gamers - but where was Ellignson (sure handed) Alonzo Phillips (speed) and J.Frierson (sure handed) !!!

You cannot have this many young guys at the skill positions and not play all of them. We need to find out who comes to play during the BIG TIME and under pressure. Like "Allen Iverson" so famously stated - WE TALKING BOUT PRACTICE, PRACTICE !! Get all those kids game "reps" and we'll soon see who takes their game to the next level.


FIU 31 - IOWA 24

So far i've called Flanigan's and GameWorks and none carry the big ten network.

I called the Kendall and NMB Ale Houses.... neither one said they would be showing it.

Im concerned that SPC or Panther Power or Student Government has not put something together. I will continue to ask around though..

My prediction is:


FIU 17

I would love to be wrong on this one.... but a strong showing would be good enough for me.

ill talk to my friend at the kendall village tavern and see if they hold that network

If any of those establishments use DirecTV as their satellite source, they have the Big Ten Network. I know I'll be watching the game from my home here in Chattanooga!

As far as Randy K, that guy is an absolute turd! I've disliked that guy since the beginning of the radio broadcasts! He has this squeaky, whiny voice that is like needles in my ears! And all he does is criticize. He's so damn negative all the time! I won't even mention Mandich because I think my 4 year old could do a better commentary than that guy.

Mandich is very weak, we'd be better off getting a student at FIU to report from sidelines. Props to JMP, he did well calling his first FIU game!!!

Pete or anyone, is FIU store selling new jerseys yet?


I don't think the offense is there yet:

Iowa 37 FIU 7

FIUJM, the FIU bookstore is not selling new jerseys yet. But, they do have new shirts with the new logo.

Thanks Miri, I appreciate you telling me that. I wonder if old jerseys are on clearance? That's what I would do to get the new ones in. Will definitely head out to the store this weekend to buy my FIU gear.

Iowa: 31
FIU: 17

NYC i agree that the offense isnt entirely there... they still have issues on the O-line (partially cause at least 1 starting member wasnt playing sat.) however we wont be facing the kansas defense. plus it could have been 40-17 or 40-21.. had it not been for an incompletion in the endzone AND int in the red zone. i think the improvement continues.. and as much as i want to join a lot of you callin for the first win of the season... still then we arnt fully there yet.. i will say... 24-17... IOWA but hey i will gladly listen to the i told you so's if we do win

FIUJM.. i think the jersey's are still 50$ ... when was the last time FIU put something on clearance that people actually wanted lol

LOL...that's true. I would think they need to move that old jersey out of store and make room for the new ones. Just wishful thinking, I don't think they put anything on clearance.

My prediction...27-17 Iowa. Our first win will come against USF. Hope i'm wrong with my prediction, it would be nice to be Big 10 team.

Go FIU!!!

FIU 10

OK, I got it

FIU 17 IOWA 38

Again significant improvements made but I would love to be wrong with that score

Game notes are up on fiusports.com and there is no Andy Leavine or Cedric Mack ??

Is Leavine injured ?? Devon Dickerson is starting and seems very under-sized ??

Iowa 35 FIU 7 only scores were on special teams last week, nothing changes this week,a punt return or kick return account for the score.

The win against Iowa this coming Saturday will be the biggest in this schools football history. This team will have gotten the jitters out of its system and will have begun to find its stride. While Iowa is not as stern a challenge as KU they will have nonetheless provided a the kind of barometer this team needed. The post-game interviews will show that, to a man, each player will express how they felt going into Iowa City was a definite win situation, based on the previous week's effort. Considering the offense played KU in anemic fashion, the Panthers were not blown out, in the rout-sense of the word.

The message in camp this week has to be that this game is most assuredly winable. If they play with that expectation they WILL win.

FIU 23
Iowa 20



Wow. I just looked at the depth chart and it looks worse this week than last week. No Mack and no Leavine? Caraballo's not back either? And Javon Hill's career is over? On top of that Xavier Shannon is now starting for UM. Pete, what's going on with the offensive line? The OL was our weakest and thinnest area to begin the season, and now it looks like its been decimated.

The lack of an offensive line is getting a little discouraging. This is shaping up to be the third consecutive season with virtually no offensive line to protect and create space for our backs. Our OL turned a top 25 defense two years ago into an 0-12 team. We can bring in all the athletes in the world and it won't matter if we don't start doing something to sure up our line.

I hope the depth chart is wrong and Mack and Leavine will play on Saturday against Iowa. If not, I hope they'll at least be ready to go by the time Sun Belt play starts. If we get manhandled up front again this year by Sun Belt opponents this season will be a disaster.

I'll be at the tavern also!! Awsome!!

Many of the players that people are asking about were not even in Kansas. They didn't make the trip. Suspensions. I believe there will be some left behind again this week.
just to name a few.

Since I am in first place, i will consider myself the expert, atleast for now.

Iowa 48
FIU 13

Iowa too much, FIU again shows lack of scoring.Kicking game goes back into the tank, score Iowa 27 FIU 0

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