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Midseason + 1 Musings: WRs, TEs & OL

As we wrap up our look at the FIU offense halfway through the season + 1 game, we'll find the strengthBf_3  of the offense, a couple of the most improved offensive players and a need for more beef.

By the way, is everyone having trouble posting comments on the GPP? I've tried to answer your questions in the comments section, but the system does not allow me to. I have contacted MH IT to get this straightened out.

If you are having trouble posting comments, drop me a quick e-mail at ppelegrin@miamiherald.com to let me know. Thanks.

Back to the Golden Panthers offense.

RECEIVERS & TIGHT ENDSApaw Apaw_3 Apaw_4 Apaw_5

Through the first 7 games of the season, the talk or sign-off and with good reason has been T.Y. Goodbye (below, left). I can't recall a freshmen making a bigger first impression in FIU's 6-year history. El Monstruo may come close, but he played most of his snaps on special teams his first season at FIU.

T.Y. -- who gets good natured ribbing chants of "Goodbye, Goodbye" from his teammates whenever they see him being interviewed -- has done it all in the first half of the season. The only concern thus far is Gety he needs more size to make it through the rigors of D-I football.

It may be a close call as to who has better hands: T.Y. or Greg Ellingson (left, lifting T.Y.)? GE has really come on thus far and made some terrific catches. Although not as fast as T.Y. (then again who is?), GE has become a dependable receiver for PM.

Freshman Junior Mertile (below, right) may not have the yards, but he's tied with T.Y. for the team lead in catches (17) and has the breakaway speed to take one all the way.

Jeremy Dickens and Marquis Rolle have made some catches, but the Golden Panthers need more out of them in the final 5 games.Jr_2

Along with GE, tight end Eric Kirchenberg might be one of the most improved players on O. EK has shown some good hands this season and run some nice routes. He's also been a steady blocker in the run game and on punt ST.

If not for the early season dropsies, this group of pass catchers would have received 5 paws, but their 4 paws is the most handed out thus far.

OFFENSIVE LINEApaw_6 Apaw_7

The play of the O-line thus far has been inconsistent. To be fair, there have been injuries and not having Mount Mack also hurts.

While there have been games such as Toledo, North Texas and Middle Tennessee when PM has been kept clean and the run game has gotten some openings, but then you also have last week's showing against Troy where the Trojans D-line overmatched the FIU O-line.

Yes, the Golden Panthers need to get more beef upfront and another season with all the regulars healthy will only help. Plus, you can bet MC is bringing in reinforcements through recruiting.

But for FIU to challenge for the Sun Belt title this season and/or try and land an SBC tie-in bowl invite, the O-line will need to have more Toledo/NT/MT showings.

We'll move on over to the defensive front 7 on the next post.

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

Apaw_8 Got plenty of time to get your scores in for the FIU/ULL game next Saturday. Deadline is 4:59 p.m. GPP Time next Saturday, Nov. 1.

Apaw_9 Will have a LIVE GPP Blog from Lafayette, Louisiana next Saturday beginning at 4:45 p.m. Miami time. Game time is 5 p.m.

We all know the obvious answer to FIU's offensive MVP in the first half of the season, but here's a more intriguing question up for debate and vote and why not since it's an election year:

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