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Midseason + 1 Musings: DBs & STs

LAKELAND -- Time to wrap up our midseason look at your Golden Panthers as another big Sun Belt game is just 2 daysUl  away for FIU against Louisiana. Yes, that's right Louisiana. The Ragin' Cajuns like FIU has undergone a name change for the better.

The Cajuns no longer want to be referred to as Louisiana-Lafayette and just want to be known as the University of Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns or UL, as you can tell by their new logo on the right here.

Writing to you from Lakeland on this Wednesday night. Finished covering the state high school golf tournament up here. Think I've watched enough golf for a while now the last 48 hours. Enjoy playing it, but watching it in 40-degree temps up here is another story, especially when I forgot my jacket back in Miami.

On to the midseason look at the Golden Panthers' secondary and special teams....

DEFENSIVE BACKSApaw Apaw_2 Apaw_3 Apaw_4

Before this season started, we told you the FIU secondary could be the strength of this year's D and so far the unit has not done anything to disprove that.

Mm The returns of Robert Mitchell, Marshall McDuffie (22, left) and Jeremiah Weatherspoon all have given the Golden Panthers a boost.

The continued development of Anthony Gaitor (right), who the thought here is will be playing on Sundays eventually, has also helped elevate the play of the DBs.

Dez Johnson has been a pleasant surprise for the Golden Panthers as well. Ag

However, probably the biggest test awaits the FIU secondary this Saturday with UL QB Michael Desormeaux, who is the 12th leading rusher in the nation and leads the Sun Belt in total offense.

MD's and RB Tyrell Fenroy's runs can sucker in a secondary and destroy them with play-action passes. If the FIU secondary shuts down MD on Saturday, we'll add another Panther Paw to what has been earned above, right.

SPECIAL TEAMSApaw_5 Apaw_6 Apaw_7

The FIU special teams have actually been for the most part pretty good thus far.

Of course, we all know about that AOL kick/punt returner. But we've also seen pretty good punt/kick coverage by the Golden Panthers. No surprise there with the amount of time FIU and ST coach Apollo Wright put into STs in practice.

Cm There have also been 3 blocked kicks by FIU -- one being scooped up by Blue25 for a TD.

Carlos Munera (left) has nailed 14 punts inside the 20 and has connected on a 61-yard punt. While Dustin Rivest has not had many FG shots (2-4), he has hit all 20 PATs and is averaging nearly 60 yards on kickoffs.

We learned through your voting that you believe Paul McCall is the most improved FIU offensive player. More than 60 percent (60.2%) voted for PM, with Greg Ellingson getting 18 percent of the vote to finish second.Bb_3

Below you can vote for FIU's most improved defensive player.

We'll start talking Cajun on the next blog and I don't mean sounding like Bobby Boucher.

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

In case you missed it, the FIU volleyball team is ranked No. 18 in the nation in the latest RPI rankings. The Golden Panther ladies are 20-4 on the season and ruling the Sun Belt with a 10-1 conference record. They host the Sun Belt Tournament beginning November 20. So let's give you good people some homework and add a volleyball question while we're at it....

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Clawing Cancer: On a hoops note... Pete, is Nsangou still on the team? I was looking at the roster for this season and I didn't see him on there, and I hadn't heard of him leaving. Can you inform on this one? Also, any new word on all the injuries, especially to Galindo?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Nsangou transferred to Barry University. He will be missed. He was a pretty good playmaker off the bench for FIU.

Nothing new on Galindo and all the other walking wounded. Best case scenario for AG and J.C. Otero is the start of Sun Belt play in January. Worst case scenario, well, I don't have to tell you that. Badu N'Diaye is lost for the season with a knee tear.

ULL 31, FIU 24

Come on Panthers, we need to give these Cajuns their first loss of the season.

I'm concerned about Troy, their conference schedule is relatively soft. All of their tough SunBelt games are at home, they only have away games at L-Monroe and Mean Pinks.

With that kinda of mickey mouse schedule, they can easily run the table on their conference schedule.

Awfully quiet around all FIU boards during this bye week. And obviously, we have yet to hear anything from FIU concerning viewing "parties".

Quijote, the reason it has been quiet on the blog is for two, maybe three reasons. The obvious reason is the bye week. When your team is not playing, your attention tends to drift if your not a true college football fan, which FIU fans are not yet. Second, with the winning streak now over and the better teams in the SunBelt coming up for FIU to play, FIU fans more likely than not realize that the fun is over and they are staring at possible winning 0-1 more game this season. Scary huh? And third, the UM fans on this blog, like myself, who spark 90% of the talk and interest on this blog have been too busy enjoying the winning as of late and are excited about the last 4 games of the season.

So in conclusion Quijote, do not fear, when FIU football starts up again this week you will some posters back and when FIU gets rolled this weekend, the UM posters will be back to remind you that you are still FIU, which sucks for you.

Way to play tough girl online once again CC.

What a waste of post by CC.

Props to the FIU volleyball team. Seems like they're making some noise nationally. I'm looking forward to supporting them in Sun Belt tournament.

GO FIU!!!

CC,

You are just so pathetic. Go stand in front of the mirror and cry, because I am quite sure it's a sorry A - - sight !!!

FIUers,

Quick story, ate at the BIG CHEESE the other day and was sporting my FIU polo. For those of you not familiar with this place, it's scUM stronghold near US1 and 67th ave. To my surprise, I was actually greeted very kindly by management who are always sporting CANES colors. A patron sitting next to me, asked if I was one of the FIU coaches, obviously said no, but I told her I was an alumnus and proud supporter of FIU.

Apparently, her son is a senior at one of the local high schools and being recruited by UM, UF, USF, UCF and FIU. She did not want to say his name, I think she said he plays DB. She said he is really fast but needs to bulk up. Anyone got a clue who this kid might be ???

I had my FIU selling shoes on, hopefully we can snag another player from these established programs.

they probably spit in your food.

FIUBlueandGold,

That's great story. I also like to sport my FIU gear and talk football when someone is interested in learning about direction of our program. The more wins, the more the community will pay attention to our football program.

This is list of DB's/Safety FIU is recruiting according to Rivals.com.

http://fiu.rivals.com/quicklist.asp?School=129&Sport=1&Position=14&Year=2009&qs=1

GO FIU!!!

nice story FIU B&G... CC.. tellin ME that FIU doesnt have REAL fans? we've been through 0-12 and 1-11.. yet we are still here... and your saying we dont have real fans...?

You know we love you CrazyCane.

You know we love you CrazyCane.

good point cj..... cc is a joke. even now that um has put some wins together FIU still occupies enough of his mind that he comes to our board to post short story's

ooh nice find FIUfantastic..... a fat girl. hahahaha

it makes all too much sense now

enough of *her* mind

Blue&Gold....maybe it was FIUMom at the BigCheese....hopefully she has another kid she can come here to rave about...we miss her great insight and knowledge of the game...HAHAHAHAHA

I hope I am wrong but they are good and they are at home
ULL 28
FIU 21

Huge game this week, a win can really spark us for the rest of the season. Good luck to the team as they take on the Ragin Cajuns. I doubt there will be any watch party but I will be watching online on PantherPass. Pete, good stuff on the mid season rankings. Are you having a basketball blog anytime soon? What's your opinion of the team this season? Do they have any chance with all the injuries?

FIU-29
UL- 27

ULL 31
FIU 24

Sucks about Nsangou. I really liked that kid. High motor and could be a real pest on defense. Only thing about him I didn't like was that he really wasn't a PG or a SG. He didn't have the passing ability for the former and lacked the shooting touch for the latter. But he can make an excellent 6th or 7th man if you need someone to spark the team off the bench. He did that for FIU sometimes. He will be missed, I agree on that.

Just curious, Pete... why would Nsangou leave? And to Barry, of all places? I remember Sergio raving about him when I was there. Did something happen there? Or was it grades? Or what?

As for this week... I want the Blue & Gold to pull this one out, but I can't call it. UL is very good. We historically suck against mobile QB's. UL always plays well against us. And it's on the road. Maybe the new regime can erase all that, and having the bye week to prep will certainly help in keeping the game close, but I don't think we get them this year.

UL 34, FIU 21

(By the way... what's new about their logo, Pete? That looks like the same one they've had for some time now.)

My perfect record is on the line. I've analyzed this game and see soo many problems for FIU. Mobile running QB that can throw when needed, great running back, etc. Their weakness is their defense. Everything tells me we should lose, however there comes a time when a STATEMENT is made and I truly hope FIU makes a grand statement by upsetting the Cagin! My score

FIU - 34
ULL - 30

GO FIU!!!

Hope you are right, Ultimate....I'm leaving tomorrow to Lafayette!!!!

Go FIU!!

Looks like USF was another joke of a team built up by preseason hype. With losses to Pitt, Louisville and now Cincy - this team ever being ranked was a joke.

Pete revised prediction: line is static around FIU + 7.5 pts and the over under is moderate at 59 pts..North Texas put 30 on the Cajun D and UM put 35 ??? hmmm, I think with some emotion and focus we get some turnovers in this one. UL defense seems a little soft and has given up TDs to weak teams.

FIU 41 UL 27

Kansas, South Fl., Iowa - yeah that looks like a real tough OOC schedule now. Boy, what a joke.

That was supposed to read ULM not UM on the previous post.

FIU 17
ULL 27

Well USF barely escaped against UCF this year, then they barely escaped against us in our home opener and then UCF gave Miami all they could handle...

Hmmmm, seems like there is some parity ???

With the exception of Florida, the rest of the schools in this state would not blow each other out.

I agree FIU...I think all of the teams south of north (FSU, UF) are probably on very equal footing right now with FAU and UCF towards the bottom.

1. UF
2. FSU
3. A four way toss up (FIU, USF, UCF, UM)
7. FAU

UL 28
FIU 17

They're gonna push us around.

Am I the only one who think Weatherspoon has been overlooked this year? That guy is a beast. I could see him playing next year on Sundays. He's big and fast, and he hits hard.

Weatherspoon is the key reason our defense is so improved this year. Of course McDuffie, Mitchell, and Murrell are helping as well, but Weatherspoon is, in my opinion, after Scott Bryant, our best defensive player. We really need McDuffie and Mitchell's senior leadership down the stretch. Those guys deserve to go out winners.

Pete, i was talking to Cedrick Mack today and he told me that he wants you to write a story on him. He says that he has heard many rumors on why he chose to attend FIU that are false. He wants to clear the air. He told me to let you know.

Hi Pete,

Wondering if you can help with the horrible YELLOW tshirts they are giving at the CAGE. I think most of us agree we are BLUE & GOLD. I would love to see a BLUE stadium with some hints of GOLD. BLUE tshirts with gold NUMBERS or gold FIU Football. The yellow makes us look like a bad high school program.

Maybe you can make a poll or something? Or hint something to PG?

Thanks for your hard work!

I agree FIU...I think all of the teams south of north (FSU, UF) are probably on very equal footing right now with FAU and UCF towards the bottom.

1. UF
2. FSU
3. A four way toss up (FIU, USF, UCF, UM)
7. FAU

Posted by: Quijote | October 31, 2008 at 01:04 PM

Quijote: FAU is right behind you and remember we won the conference and a bowl last year. Have you won something?
I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, but I hope you have to swallow that cocky attitude. By the way, UCF is a much better team than your golden panthers and you know it. Why does FIU keep comparing themselves to big programs. I wish you the best luck, but you guys are extremely cocky and delusional.

GO OWLS!!!

Weatherspoon in my opinion is the best player on the team period. Other teams know it. As a matter of fact, I see him as the key guy for us this weekend. He was great on run support against USF and he needs to be in that box ready to lay the WOOD on Fenroy and the QB.

Mitchell and Gaitor need to be ready to play man coverage and McDuffie has to pick his spots carefully cuz we need JSpoon to take some chances and try to get turnovers.

Weatherspoon is a junior and he'll be playing on Sundays.

I forgot, how dare you criticize a program like USF. They have been in the top 25 for 2 years and it does not matter if they are under or overrated; USF won the games and that's why they are where they are. Just like I said before, I hope you have to swallow that attitude and stop trashing some other teams.

WE ARE THE OWLS!!

FAUOwl,

Remember this......In business or sports, no one care what you did last year. When the boss asks for your sales report for Oct and it's ZERO, you can't tell your BOSS, but last year I sold......

You think Schnelly really cares that you won the conference last year ? If you do, go back to Disney World. Cocky ?? are you serious ? at least our coach did not call out a team and then end up watching his squad get their teeth kicked in ??? I think FAU is really talented, but the arrogance of a title last year got to their heads.

Thanks for the support FIUB&Gold...and as far as placing us ahead of UCF, every single top 120 poll not only has us significantly ahead of FAU, but ahead of UCF as well. UCF has been a HUGE disappointment this year, as has USF.

FIU 24 UL 30

I'll say:
UL 28
FIU 24

Sorry to say it. I hope i am wrong.

You are delusional.!!! yeah right significantly ahead of everybody?
when I say cocky, I mean the fans, not the football team or the coaching staff. You guys have won nothing and still believe you are part of the SEC conference or something like it.
http://www.sportsline.com/collegefootball/polls/120/index2

yeah right! significantly when FAU #100, UCF#99, FIU#98 and USF#23.
I am sorry for using this example but significantly means when your team is 40 or 50 spots ahead of the rest, yeah like last year when FIU was 120, FAU#47, UCF#33, USF was in the top 25.
I know last year does not mean anything but I used that as an example to explain what significantly means!!
Stop being sooo cocky because you are a nobody YET!!!!!!

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