Still another 8 days until the Golden Panthers next game, so what better time to look back at the first half of the season (6 games) + 1 game.
Just for kicks, we'll judge each position's performance thus far by the number of Panther Paws handed out -- sort of like the GPP's helmet stickers -- 5 Paws to 1 Paw with 5 being the most Paws a position can get.
**(FIU coaches and FIU marketing gurus: feel free to use the Panther Paw/helmet sticker idea as you like. No royalties required for the GPP).
We'll start out with the quarterbacks and running backs and then go through the rest of the team in the next three blogs.
After a slow start to the starting quarterback situation, it looks like FIU has settled whatever questions or worries it had at QB to start the season. Paul McCall (left) has done a nice job taking over the offense and guiding the Golden Panthers in what is no longer a new spread offense since these guys have been with this type of O since spring ball.
Like QBs are required in the spread, we've seen that PM can move when he has to and is not afraid to take on tacklers. However, he may want to be a bit more wary, the other day in practice he took on 300-pound DT Andre Pound (appropriate last name for a DT) and it looked like AP got the best of that matchup.
Since the INT against South Florida, PM has been on a roll throwing 8 TDs vs. 2 INTs and has shown the arm to throw the deep ball, which with the receivers FIU has can be a very easy way of getting 6 quickly.
Wayne Younger has seen limited play thus far, but provides FIU a dependable backup, who can make plays with his feet. Seeing WY throw in practice, it seems his arm has gotten stronger since breaking his collarbone last year.
It's looking like a redshirt season for Colt Anderson and that may not be a bad idea. CA has all the athletic ability to be the future No. 1 QB on this team. Maybe a year learning La Pierna's spread will benefit him and FIU down the road. Darold Hughes might have the strongest arm of all the FIU QBs as he's shown running the scout team O.
FIU has yet to unearth that workhorse running back that can take 20-25 carries a game and get the Golden Panthers 125-150 yards on the ground. Eventually that will come.
Until then, Julian Reams (below, right), A'mod Ned and Daunte Owens have done a decent job when they've had the room to run.
JR showed he might be that back with his performance vs. Toledo. AN had some breakaway runs last season, but we've yet to see them this season. DO had a good debut against Troy last week, but like MC said this week in practice, let's see it consistently. We might see more of DO the rest of this season.
Darriet Perry is looking like a redshirt despite working with the 2nd team in practice most of this season. DP owns a bunch of high school rushing records so it will be interesting to see what he can do after an FIU off-season conditioning program.
It hurt the Golden Panthers to lose Trenard Turner to a knee injury for the season. TT seemed to coming on last season.
We'll take a look at the receivers, tight ends and the O-line on the next post.