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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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