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The First Of Many For T.Y.

Ty_2 Super freshman T.Y. Hilton won the Sun Belt Special Teams Player of the Week Award today after another solid performance last Saturday in the win over Toledo.

T.Y. had 80 yards in returns and his 55-yard kickoff return at the start of the second half sparked the Golden Panthers to the 35-16 romp of the Rockets.

T.Y. also caught a screen pass from Paul McCall and turned it into a 37-yard touchdown on Saturday.

Going to start a new feature with different FIU athletes on the GPP later this week. Let's see what you good people think of it. First up on the new feature is LB Scott Bryant and then later 2-time All-American volleyball player Yarimar Rosa.

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

So far 82 percent of GPP Nation thinks the W last Saturday means improvement and a 3 to 5-win season for FIU. Some (13 percent) are thinking bigger like Sun Belt champs. Poll is still open so keep voting. We'll start our North Texas talk with a new GPP question at the end of this post.

Some people will do anything to get on the GPP. Got this photo on the right e-mailed to me from FIU director of major Score_2 gifts Jose Sotolongo. Guess, that Toledo scoreboard is a major gift from the Golden Panthers to FIU Nation.

TheFIUfan: The Spanish language broadcast of the game is 100 times better than the English language attempt at a broadcast. Lucky for those of us who are bilingual. How's your Spanish, Pedro Pelegrin?

GPP: Gotten better, although some friends and family say I mangle the language. Yes, FIU's Spanish Castle_3 broadcasts are entertaining and detailed. Play-by-play hombre Jerry Del Castillo (Jerry of the Castle) and Pepe Chamby Campos (Joe Chamberlain Fields)Wilt  do a fine job bringing the Golden Panthers action over the air.

Must also add that new English radio play-by-play man Jeremy Marks-Peltz has also done a good job in his first year calling FIU football. FIU PA guy Roman Garcia brought up an interesting piece of trivia the other day: FIU is probably the only Division I football team with 3 broadcasters with 3 names each. JDC, PCC and JMP.

JM: What do you think it will take for us to move into a conference like the big east? 3-4 consecutive conference titles, Good home attendence? anything else?

GPP: FIU has to first win several Sun Belt titles before thinking conference move. FIU already has the new stadium, but attendance will also be a factor. FIU does have the Miami market working in its favor, which would attract any conference. However, like CJ & FIUFan pointed out, although it is not in the plans right now, don't be surprised that if the Sun Belt improves considerably that maybe the BCS Sbc gets tweaked in the future. Every week we are seeing more and more upsets in college football. Last week we had 4 top 10 teams go down. Granted, No. 3 UGA fell to No. 8 Alabama, but still there seems to be a shakeup in the polls every week. Even here we have a team that had lost 24 of its last 25 games take No. 12 South Florida to a final onside kick.

FIUrulez: Pete, where was your heart on Saturday? Will it be in Texas this Saturday? If you get to go to Denton, can I put mine in a cooler so that you can transport it there for the game?

GPP: This Saturday my heart and the rest of me will be in Denton, Texas covering FIU vs. North Texas. FIU Nation can look forward to Miami Herald staff (yours truly) coverage when the Golden Panthers and the Mean Green play on Saturday night. Thanks to GPP Nation for all their support. Heard there were a lot of e-mails land in important MH in-boxes today. FIUrulez: Is it possible to transport your heart while you're still in Miami?Em

Quijote: Pete, fans...What are the viewing options for the North Texas game? Will a bar be showing it, or will we only be able to buy a stream?

GPP: ESPN regional and if you can't get that on your cable or your local bar won't show it, then you can log on to meangreensports.com (North Texas website) and they will show the game on there for like $10. I'm sure fiusports.com will route that live video feed to their site by the end of the week.

FIUJM: Congrats Pete on being a Godfather!!!

GPP: Thanks, my bro made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

gpantera: Pete, Sorry for being pushy. The excitement over the W had me chompin at the bit to hear from you. Thank you for reminding us you have a life outside the GPP.

GPP: No problem. I was chompin at the bit to write from Toledo, but that didn't happen. Glad there are people who want to hear from me. Thanks for your readership.

Here's something for all GPP Nation to think about as FIU prepares for North Texas....

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Hey guys,

Big win this past week. We have to keep it going.

Can someone tell me what happen to www.fiugoldenpanthers.com? Was it moved?

I've been out of touch for a bit. Thanks for the help.

It exists it's just that the main site doesn't work anymore. Try going here for the board:

http://fiugoldenpanthers.com/forum/

Congrats to T.Y. Hilton, Pete and GPP...we should come up with a nickname for him. Kid is amazing!!!! As soon as new jerseys are available, i'm getting the #4.

What is radio station that I can listen to spanish guys? I listen to 940. JMP does great job, but the other guy and Mandich are lousy. No offense.

Glad to be watching Antwann Barnes on MNF!!!

GO FIU!!!

The spanish broadcasts are on one of two stations. Either 670 AM (La Poderosa) or 1550 AM (Cadena Azul). They really do a great job.

And Pete congrats on getting to go to Denton, should be a fun trip.

Thanks for credit on that useless trivia ;)

I'm sure we will talk before your flight leaves.

Hey guys, according to ESPN, the game will be available on ESPN360.com. So if you have ATT (and other internet service providers), just log onto ESPN360.com and check out the Golden Panthers claw some bird tail!

call me unoriginal but i think TY Hilton's nickname should be "Flash" Hilton...... it just seems so appropriate.

he was quoted after the game as saying he runs a 4.2 forty.... buhjesus! this kid is going to be something special...

maybe we can tap into some of the other readers creativity.... anybody else got ideas on a nickname?
mr. supersonic? lil' swift? TY-Goodbye?

what does everyone think?

Anyone see El Monstrou tonight? He was a beast. I just wish the coaching staff would put him in more. It seems that he was causing some kind of disturbance on the few plays he was in. Mike Tirico and Jaworski must have said his name a bunch of times. granted one of those was for a personal foul, not a good thing for an FIU alumnus to be doing on national television.....

Im going to ride the wave and say that FIU wins this saturday. FIU 20 North Texas 17.

TY Goodbye! That's hilarious!

As someone mentioned last post, (and I checked CSSsports.com), they will be showing the game on CSS Channel 63 if you have Comcast!

How 'bout TY-breaker ??? lol

Thank you for posting the spanish stations. I'll watch game on TV and listen to those guys on Saturday.

I'm digging TY-Goodbye...I like T.Y. "The Jet/Rocket" Hilton. Maybe the team already has nickname for him and Pete can find out for us.

GO FIU!!!

Great job with the blog Pete.

Pete, any news on a watch party for Saturday's game?

Barnes had a strong final quarter, had 4 solo tackles for the night but three of them came in the fourth quarter.

TY Goodbye is excellent.

Glad to hear about the new series. I am very happy with all the work done on football. I know wyour only one person but some coverage on other sports would be an added plus. maybe volleyball (Rosa and Valentin both world class players) and maybe a story on mens soccer and why its been such a bad season.

Also everyone, what's the scoop with the Dazzlers becoming so much more prominent than the cheerleaders? Congrats to the Dazzlers they have come a long way... back in the first half of the 90s when i was at FIU they where a small club and now they are nationally recognized,

....meantime the cheerleading squad which in my day won a national championship is invisible.. i even thought they had been replaced by the Dazzlers... what happened?

Is anyone aware of a watch party for this game? Perhaps a bar that will broadcast it via ESPN360. It would be fun to get everyone from the GPP nation together and begin our own tradition. Thoughts?

Also, Pete, any news on expanding the band? We need it really bad, I think an I-pod station could sound louder than them.

FIUJM,

That is what I'm planning on doing. Listening to JDC and PCC and watch the game on CSS. Damn I'm all about the three initials aren't I

Why is it that, on the few occasions when FIU gets a W, someone's got to come on here and start yapping about FIU going to CUSA, the Big East, the SEC or just leaving the Sun Belt after ONE win? Not to mention some of the yahoos talking SBC title this year. It's ONE win, people. Just two in the last, what, 28 or something like that? Can you at least wait for a winning streak before y'all start jumping over cliffs in an effort to get on the bandwagon?

Sorry for the rant... I know it's the excitement and all (and we should be excited)... but that talk annoys the hell out of me. FIU has enough problems winning games consistently. Let's at least win a conference title or two before we start talking that mess. And what's wrong with the SBC anyway? It's been a bad conference for a long time, but that may be changing quick. I know everyone talks about FAU and Troy, but some of you should look at the other teams. UL-Lafayette's been in some real tough games this year and have acquitted themselves well. Ark State's done damn well. MT's solid. UL-Monroe beat Alabama last year. And NT, for all their defensive problems, does have a half-decent offense. We better not sleep on these guys or we will lose.

I also have to take some umbrage with people saying the atmosphere for the MT game will be rocking if FIU beats NT this week. Hate to break it to you, but that's probably not going to happen. In a bandwagon city like Miami, beating schools like Toledo and North Texas does not bring out people in droves, even with Herald coverage. I'm sure lots of students and the passionate alums will show, but if FIU didn't sell out for USF, thinking they will for MT is loony. It's not like the Blue Raiders can bring 6,000 people or so to fill up the visitor's bleachers.

I'm not trying to hate on Toledo or NT... and a W is a W... but if you really wanted South Florida's attention, beating USF would've been a way bigger statement than beating two teams that most south Floridians (even the die-hard football fans) don't even know. FIU's got to show they belong with the big boys before you see the general public start to take notice. Until then... beat whoever's on the sked and hope the Athletic Department can think of creative ways to bring out the people.

Anyway... glad to see Pete's going to NT... enjoy the trip, 'mano. And, like you, I also commend JMP's job this year. I still miss Phil, though. No offense meant... I just liked how he called games.

Why do people keep saying we couldn't fill up the USF game? We didn't but we could have if our administration hadn't been so greedy in trying to get everyone to buy season tickets and now there going to be giving them away to anyone that wants them, makes no sense. They should have given USF tickets to any FIU supporter that wanted them and filled the place up to the rafters because you never know how many of those single game ticket supporters would have turned into a die-hard after that game. But water under the bridge at this point.

If we do beat NT next week, I think you'll see a real good turnout for the MT game, especially given all the free tickets the administration is handing out...free staff and faculty, free student guests, free tickets to season ticketholders, couple that with another W and it will be rocking!

I agree with FIUer, the Cage will be rocking given a two game winning streak. This community has been dieing for something to cheer about and a two game winning streak and a home coming against Middle is that something.

I also agree with Clawing that we 'aint going anywhere for a long time, many here are putting the cart in front of the horse; first the Big E or C-USA have to announce that they 'want' to expand. And there have been no hints of anything like that. Second the Sun Belt needs a marquee program, a team that scares people like a Fresno or Boise in the WAC or a Utah or BYU in the MWC. The conference games against that team will bring some national expose and the whole conference will benifit from it.

But I do disagree with Clawing in that, yes it is just 1 win but momentum in football comes fast. Look at FAU a couple of years ago, we crushed them in '05 and the next year they turned it all around. If we beat UNT and get some mo' on our side coming home to play Middle, watch out!

Obviously we can't look beyond UNT, we've got to take care of business. But afterall, it is a winnable game and anything can happen. We've got a nice W to build on...let's not waste it.

Go Panthers !!!

TY touches the ball and it goes for a TD. He's our version of Devin Hester only it seems FIU learned how to get the ball in their playmakers hands, unlike Coker.

Hopefully he continues to do what he has to do.

Pete, think our running game is where it should be? I felt like at time vs. SoFla we tried to establish the run a bit too much.

Pete,

I'd love to hear more about TY and how Mario found this guy. Considering that he is a pure freshman, I'm assuming this is a MC administration find and not a Don Strock find. I mean, this guy is wicked fast and has great route instincts. You normally find a player of his calliber on top 25 teams...so yeah curious to know how we found him and what his back is all about.

Thanx

Quijote,

Great point, credit does deserve to go to Cristobal for recruiting Hilton. Hilton would have never considered FIU if Don Strock was still coaching. Actually, Strock didn't recruit South Florida like Mario Cristobal has. No offense to Strock(he did get Antwann Barnes) but you can tell work ethic is different from Cristobal.

It's amazing how Hilton picked FIU over WV and UF. I think recruits are buying into what FIU is building.

GO FIU!!!

TY is incredible, looking forward to watching him the next few years.


I think SFLa is waking up and seeing the potential this program has.


Thanks for the blog Pete!

Forgot to mention, SunBelt game on ESPN 2 at 8 pm tonight. FAU vs Middle Tennessee...for those interested. I wonder reason this game is on Tuesday.

Pete, did you move up on blog ranking last week?

FIU you are def right.. if we get the word out about the free tickets we could have a pretty good size crowd

I like TY Goodbye, but I'll offer another: TY "Honors" Hilton for the accolades that are already starting to come. There may be all-American honors in his future by the end of his career.

OK, I'll ask the weekly question: is Cedrick Mack going to play on Saturday?

Southpaw that's awesome! Ok GPP Nation, let's see how many spins on the "Hilton" name we can come up with, just for fun and to make this workday pass more quickly!!!

Southpaw got it started with the Honors Hilton (playing on Hilton Honors program)

Here's my entry:
TY "Paris bound" Hilton...

'Cause when he runs, next stop is Paris lol

Oh man how corny...keep it coming guys like a wave!!

none of the nicknames seem to fit well... we need something flashy and unique!

I don't know any right now... i'll think about it. But i found one my interesing:

My brother calls hims T.Y."Roadrunner" Hilton. When he runs he really does remind me of (for all you looney-toon fans) of the roadrunner! All he lacks is to say "beep beep", because his legs sure do look like they move like the roadrunner's.

I found that suggestion intresting and unique for a football nickname. Just a thought.

esteban...how about TY "Scorerunner" Hilton

TD Hilton

Gold nailed it.

North Texas 24, FIU 21

Goodbye, Roadrunner and TD are great.

Let's not forget to support Hilton on the basketball court.

TY "to the house" Hilton,

From the bottom 10 about North Texas:

"If I Should Fall Behind": If? The Mean Green are No. 119 in scoring defense, allowing 54.8 points per game. North Texas falls behind early -- and stays there.

Wow they are practically dead last in defense (what is "scoring" defense exactly, I mean isn't the point of a defense to avoid scores??).

This should play favorably for the Panthers this weekend.

FIU 28
NT 14

FIU's special teams (specifically punting and punt returning team) is out of control. We need the OL to step up and give time to PM. I look forward to Oct 11, especially if there are 2 wins coming into the cage.

LOL!!! Love the nicknames for TD Hilton...I mean...T.Y. Hilton....

Hope MC and his staff are working hard in making our players understand how hard they've worked to make it to beat Toledo on the road, and how much harder they have to work to improve to where we need to be...a long way to go....

Keep working hard, keep respecting your contenders, keep your University in your heart, and FIU Football will be successful...Let's take this one win...or one achievement...at a time....

NEWS FLASH - FIU is a 7pt favorite in Vegas...Pete, when was the last time we were favored? Have we ever been?

FIU 38
NTexas 19

look familiar?

pete, i tried to get you business class airfare to texas but rojas would only spring for the greyhound bus. but hey, at least you'll be there.

hopefully this is a permanent decision and we don't have to flood his inbox for every road game.

changing subjects a bit, it looks like the soccer team is sucking wind this year. what's the deal?

Like TD HILTON

And great news on the Bottom 10. I watch that thing carefully.

Glad to see we are out of there.

Actually... I think we were favored on the spread when NT came to the OB last season. I could be wrong about that, but I'm pretty sure we were the odds-on favorite to win that game. Not that it means anything, but it's a cool thing to know.

FIUer: Yes, we could have sold out USF is single-game tickets were sold. But if wishes were fishes, no one would go hungry... and it wasn't a sell-out, for whatever reason. Even if FIU can match what they pulled ticket-wise against USF (and that alone would be a victory), the Blue Raiders probably aren't bringing 6,000 people or whatever it was that USF brought. That alone means a smaller crowd. Not trying to hate... just being realistic.

And I wouldn't hate too much on the admin not selling single-game tickets. I think they should have, too... but they're also trying to maximize season ticket purchases, and that's much more valuable to FIU long-term than a single-game ticket. From a business model perspective, what they did makes sense. You don't want to push season tickets and then make a habit of relenting. People don't take you seriously when you do such things.

We might turn out well for MT, but if that's the case, it'll probably be because of all the tickets they're planning to give away. Nothing wrong with that idea, either... but part of me wonders if beating NT will show a bump in attendance. Most people don't know North Texas from North Tennessee. Having a win streak is probably the more important thing. And we should have one. I'm not predicting score yet, but FIU should win this game.

FIUFan: I get your point about momentum... but remember that FAU also has problems drawing crowds in Boca, and that's with them being SBC champs. Miami isn't Boca, but the truth in South Florida is that no one cares about SBC opponents. They're just not sexy enough. Don't expect people to really get fired up until we beat the Miami's, the FSU's, the UF's, the USF's, teams like that. Free tickets and promotions help, but they only do so much.

SBC wins and titles will fire the GP base up, but for FIU to hit the stratosphere, and start building those second decks at the football stadium, only games against big-time programs will bring the casual fan out, and the wins will keep them there. That's why I like FIU's approach (mostly) with season tickets. The city of Miami's notoriously fickle with fans, so anything that strengthens and increases the actual base of hard-core fans is the best way to achieve stability for the program financially. It'll also help them avoid having to schedule the LSU's and UF's in order to stay in the black.

We shouldn't rely on casual fans, to be honest. That's what UM does, and we all know what it's like when they're not winning. I would like to see FIU take a different approach, and they certainly are doing that. Hope it works!

Hey Pete,

If you gonna be in Texas, can we have a live blog?

wins cure all.

i concur with clawing cancer. win in the SBC and the base will strengthen (already in progress).
win a bowl game, the base will go wild (1 to 3 seasons away).
win a big OOC game, and the broader community will take notice (3 to 4 seasons away).
win bowl games and more than 1 big OOC and we'll be overrun with johnnie-come-latelys and start to get some serious looks from other conferences (4-5 seasons away).

loose at UNT, and we'll be forced to rethink everything.

morale of the story - beat UNT first, then the next opponent and then the one after that, and on and on and on...winning cures all.


Good points by all posters. However, just to bring my opinion, for whatever it's worth. I think that the fact of putting (if....a big IF) two wins in a row, for a program with so many losses and few wins, particularly the latter years, will be far more important in bringing in some (many?...hmmm...hopefully) additional fans that otherwise wouldn't have gone to the MTSU game.

The fact it's North Texas...WKU...or North Tennesse, is irrelevant to the type of FIU fan that would be moved to attend the MTSU game because of two wins in a row, in my opinion, and I DO believe there will be a number of them doing so, if we win at North Texas.

Now, as clawing also correctly says, the number of tickets available for discounted...or free distribution will undoubtedly help, but clawing only...IF...and only if, people care enough to go..even if it's free..so if a lot of people show up, regardless of the price they paid (or didn't pay) would at least indicate a desire of people to actually wanting to attend the FIU game. That would be an improvement, and achievement I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss. Two years ago, I couldn't bring my relatives and friends that were season ticket holders to some games at the end.

Finally, I do not expect, and would be totally (very pleasantly, by the way) surprised if FIU "sells out" the game, even with single tickets sales and "give aways". Now, I'm not, and I guess other FIU fans here might agree, saying to sell out a second deck or 20,000 tickets for this game, or even this season. I'm saying to have from anywhere from 10,000 to 14,000 people ACTUALLY on attendance would be huge for this program. And I believe this mark could...could be reached if there is some type of "fan movement". If not, expect the usual 5,000-8,000 people in the stands.

Oh..finally, USF brought maybe 3,000-4,000 fans to the game, which means there were 12,700-14,000 non-USF fans there on opening day.

Pete...question for you...I don't see Alphonso Bryant's name anymore in the roster page in FIU's website. Is he still part of the team, but not available for this season?..or is he not part of the team anymore?

Clawing Cancer:
FAU draws 16K per game with 27K students.
FIU draws 9K per game with 38K students.
Yes we both have problems drawing crowds, but FAU does not have a stadium on campus.
By the way, are you watching FAU on ESPN 2 prime time?
This is our 2nd out of 3 on ESPN 2.
FAU is playing TROY at Lockhart on ESPN 2 prime time next tuesday again.
Good luck against N.T

Hey, FIU comes off playing in the Orange Bowl, and a 1-27 record before the last game. What would be the attendance then for any team, let alone FAU?. Also, it all depends on how, who reports attendance. If you look at them 3 and 4 years ago, it was the other way around,w ith FAU under 10k, with FIU reporting over 15k...Point is, it doesn't mean much, really...only that BOTH programs still have a lot of growing up to do!

Congrats on being on ESPN2..wow!

Yep...I watched the end of the game on ESPN2...Wow!!! LOL!

Seems like FAU gave that gave away that game playing prevent last series. That was awful!!!

Anyways, go FIU!!!

That was disgusting! but remember MTSU beat Maryland and Maryland beat Clemson. I am not excusing FAU, but running the clock with only 10 points on the board was simply stupid. If you don't take action, somebody will come back and take advantage just like MTSU did to FAU.

That sack on 2nd and Goal was the play of the game for MTSU. Pierre was too late on picking up the blitz by linebacker!

Man, I've been throwin TD Hilton around in the office for like two weeks and gold gets all the credit? Great minds, you know?

I'm happy to see so much confidence going into this week and hey, we might have a better record than fau after Saturday!

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