Less than 48 hours to kickoff for the most important game to date in your 6-year-old FIU football program's history. Both the Golden Panthers and Troy sit atop the Sun Belt standings and only one team will be there come Sunday, along with the winner of the ULL/Arkansas State game this Saturday.
Of the last 3 games this season for FIU, this one will be the toughest -- it doesn't matter how many players are on the injured list for Troy. Injury lists are never accurate anyway, just ask Bill Belichick. The only Trojan out for sure is starting QB Jamie Hampton, who tore his knee vs. Florida Atlantic.
Regardless, the Golden Panthers will be hard pressed for a victory in Troy. The Trojans have a slew of talented players all around and that includes their backup QBs, of which one has not been named a starter yet.
However, since they actually play these games on the field and not in cyberspace, FIU can leave Movie Gallery Stadium (left) in Troy with a happy ending and not have to wait for the sequel vs. Troy next year at FIU Stadium.
A must on O is to start fast and score a touchdown or two early. The Golden Panthers cannot wait until the second quarter or second half to get the O going. Although, Movie Gallery Stadium only holds 30,000 it is a hostile environment when the home team has momentum and all the Alabamites get into it.
To get the O going, FIU needs an RB and not PM (left) to lead the running game. PM showed last week against Middle Tennessee that he can run when he has to, but FIU does not need PM to act like Tim Tebow-South to lead its O on the ground. FIU controls the clock, moves the chains and gets production from its run game, then watch PM and the FIU receivers have a field day.
Having seen a few Troy games this season, must say this is a very physical team. FIU O players be ready to hang onto the ball. The Trojans like to go for the strip and cause fumbles. Watch out for Troy LBs Boris Lee and Bear Woods -- No. 1 & 2 in tackles and Lee has 2 INTs. Even Troy has its own Oso in Woods. Guess, the first name Tiger was taken by some golfer.
FIU D has to stop the relentless Troy run game lead by DuJuan Harris and 224-pound bruiser Maurice Greer. And of course watch out for Troy's T.Y. in WR Jerrel Jernigan, who can line up at RB and QB. With whichever backup QB Troy uses, you can expect them to bring the run first and then hit FIU with play-action passes.
Still not sure about the score or outcome on this one. So I will think about it on the plane ride to Montgomery, Ala. on Friday morning and post a predicted score and thoughts on the GPP tommorrow from Bama.
Don't forget we got a couple of LIVE GPP Blogs lined up in the next 6 days. Saturday, we'll be LIVE on the GPP around 6:45 p.m. Miami time from Movie Gallery Stadium as your Golden Panthers go for an unprecedented 4th straight win.
Next Wednesday, the GPP will be LIVE from University Park Stadium for a LIVE FIU baseball blog when your Golden Panthers take on Team Ontario in an exhibition game. Game time is 6 p.m. and admission is free to the game. We'll be on-line around 5:45 p.m.
Let's get your thoughts on what is the most important thing FIU must do to beat Troy: