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1 Out Of 2 At Troy

Fb Plenty of Blue and Gold in Troy last weekend. Your Golden Panthers volleyball and Vb football teams played the Trojans in both sports last Saturday. FIU went back to Miami 1-1.

Of course, with a little tidier game on the gridiron the Golden Panthers go home 2-0. Had plenty of time to reflect on last Saturday's football battle for 1st in the Sun Belt with a 2-hour layover in Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport on Sunday morning.

Coincidentally, while waiting for a Fort Lauderdale-bound Delta flight, I ran into the FIU volleyball Fiuvb team in the Atlanta airport. The FIU ladies were waiting for a Delta flight as well at the gate next to mine, until they heard on the airport P.A. system that their gate was being changed.

FIU volleyball kept rolling last Saturday afternoon with a win at Troy. The Golden Panthers have won 5 straight, 7 of their last 8 matches and are 17-4 overall and 7-1 in the Sun Belt. Volleyball just might be FIU's most successful program in the last 4 years. FIU hosts the Sun Belt Volleyball Tournament beginning November 20 at FIU Arena.

Back to the gridiron, your Golden Panthers let a golden opportunity slip away on Saturday. Troy scored 33 points, but if they had been playing hoops, FIU made like Steve Nash on Saturday, because they Nash had 10 assists to help Troy score 20 points. (The Trojans don't have any 3-point shooters).

By now, you good people know what I'm talking about: roughing the kicker penalty = 6 points; 3rd quarter fumble at FIU 16 = 7; punt hitting JJ on the back = 7.

At the stage that FIU is at right now, the Golden Panthers can't get away with those mistakes. Thus, you have Troy 33, FIU 23. Without those 3 mistakes, we could very well be talking about a 23-19 FIU win right now, because Troy did nothing offensively in the second half.

After being pushed around by the Trojans in the 1st half, the FIU D stiffened up in the 2nd half. Quentin Newman had a nice game with a sack and 3 tackles for loss.

Although, the FIU D got better as the game wore on, there are still too many missed tackles. The D needs to do a better job of wrapping up. The D did keep Troy 0 for 11 on 3rd down conversions.

Of course, there was more than just those 3 plays that highlighted Saturday's game.

Troy showed the FIU O & D lines that they need to get bigger. The Trojans manhandled both. The pass Wts rush FIU was able to deliver in its 3 wins was non-existent. FIU could not rattle backup QB Levi Brown with pressure, because of Troy's O-line. The thought here is if Levi gets hammered early on a few times we might have seen a less effective Troy O in the 1st half.

Troy's D-line pressured PM all night and sacked him 7 times. Another off-season in the weight room should help both FIU lines.

We got a glimpse of the talent of Daunte Owens (left), who played because Julian Reams is nursing a calf injury. DO ripped off a 35-yard run in his first carry and had a nice 19-yard catch and run on a screen.

Do MC said JR should be back for ULL on Nov. 1, but we may see DO get some more touches. DO is the fastest of FIU's 3 backs that are playing now. If you attended the open scrimmages and the spring game earlier this season, DO's work Saturday was not much of a surprise.

I know Goodbye (116 receiving yards on Sat.) made a spectacular 1-handed catch Saturday that was called back because of a penalty....but does Greg Ellingson (below, right) have the stickiest hands on this team or what? GE made some terrific grabs vs. Troy. May have to start calling him Velcro.

Even though he was taking some shots, PM hung in there and put up 266 yardsGe_2   passing and 2 TDs. One thing I did notice, PM needs to tuck that ball when he takes off to run. Too easy to knock the ball out of his hand when its hanging there with 1 hand.

Troy had just 43 more total yards than FIU and outside of WR Jerrel Jernigan and their lines, the Trojans did not impress and I don't consider them a juggernaut.

Could easily envision whoever the SBC champ is this season having 2 losses. Troy still has to play ULL and Arkansas State (2 of the top 4 teams in the SBC). Right now, your Golden Panthers would be in the conversation of the top 4 teams in the SBC, go figure.

Of course, FIU also has to play ULL and ASU and if the Golden Panthers are going to contend for the SBC or even an SBC bowl-tie-in game they'll need to clean some things up. Did you even think I would have written the previous statement just 2 months ago?

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

Apaw_2 Don't forget we'll get our first look at the 2009 FIU baseball team with a LIVE GPP Bb_2 baseball blog this Wednesday beginning around 5:45 p.m. from the Golden Panthers exhibition game vs. Team Ontario, who just played 2 games vs. Troy last weekend. The FIU game is at 6 p.m. at University Park Stadium and admission is free.

WIN A GPP BLOG or (2008 FIU media guide) Leaderboard (through 7 games):

7-0 (points differential)

Baltimorepanther (140); Ultimate FIU Fan (151).

6-1

NYCFIUFan (125); CJ (131); FIUChris (140); FIUPantherFan (144); Gold (147).

5-2

FIUVoice (118); outofthecage88 (126); FIUJM (131); Clawing Cancer (132); Fomenter (133), Puma (133); esteban688 (137); FIU Love (138); Gazi (139); The OC Panther (141); FIU 0406 (144); TheChampionUnderdog (145); TNGoldenPanther (150); FIU Fanatic (155); FIUBlueandGold (163); FIUfantastic (185).

4-3

FIUrulez (155); fiufan751 (157); gpantera (167); Max (169); U24/7 (172); SouthPaw (177); MIA/NY Josh (180); Quijote (186); CrazyCane (239).

GPP 6-1, 152.

**If your name is not listed above, then I did not receive a score from you for the Troy game.

Apaw_4 We'll have a mid-season look at your Golden Panthers on the GPP in the next 2 weeks before FIU's next game at Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 1. Back in late August before the season opener at Kansas, we asked what your predicted record for FIU would be. Yours truly had the Golden Panthers at 4-8 this season. You good people voted 5-7 (26.6%) and 4-8 (24.5%) as your top 2 choices.

So what's your predicted finish now for FIU after what you've seen from the Golden Panthers so far this season and how far will FIU go this season:

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GO PANTHERS!

Quijote: Pete, Who's this Owens dude? He is certainly giving Reams a run for his money. Obviously we need to give our tortured seniors the ball, but we also need playmakers and I think TY and Owens made a nice running set.
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DO has always shown flashes at FIU during practices and scrimmages, but has never really gotten a chance whether, because of injury or coaches decisions.

DO is the fastest RB FIU has right now and was Tim Tebow's running back at Nease High.
We might see more of him vs. ULL.

FIUFPL: Pete, in your opinion, before Troy, which team did we have a better chance against - Troy or Lafayette?

And how has your opinion changed, if any, after Troy's game.
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Before the Troy game, I thought FIU had a better shot at beating ULL, but not now.

Without their starting QB, Troy's O is not as potent as ULL's. Troy got by FIU with trickery and a little bit of the Wildcat offense. Once FIU figured out Troy, the Trojans didn't do anything in the 2nd half.

The Ragin' Cajuns have the Sun Belt's best RB in Tyrell Fenroy, who will hold every Sun Belt rushing record after this season.
Fenroy got 150 yards and 2 TDs on FIU last season.

ULL's QB Michael Desormeaux is a dual-threat QB who had more than 1,000 yards rushing and passing last season.

I think FIU will be in for a track meet against ULL. Might even turn into an NBA game: last team to score wins.

I just realized Troy's QB was named Levi Brown. But he's white.... how ironic.

I thought I saw Yarimar and other volleyball games supporting FIU Football...

Good blog....

PP, I know is not your beat, but your compadres (Miller-Ugly and Navarro Discount Store) at the herald won't comment; There seems to be trouble in paradise A/K/A uCG; Lots of people from their ticket office have been asked to resign or relocate because of school/NCAA improprieties. uCG is mum about it. I called a couple of the people I know and was questioned who I was, what did I need and the reason for the call. After I answered all 3 questions I was told they were not there and couldn't tell me the return date for any of them. After a creative investigation (I called as an assistant Dean, remember there are lots of new employees and they don't know who's who), I found out one of my acquaintances is not longer employed and the other two have been transferred. Maybe you can find out ?. 16 years ago two unknown writers at the time, Ken Rodriguez and Dan LeBastard, made a name by unraveling the Pell Grant scandal at uCG and it all started with a simple tip from a waitress at Tony Roma’s

UCG Sucks !!!

This Troy game made me sick. It's taken me 2 days to shake this loss off, but we covered the spread, thank GOD !! I was not impressed and think ASU and ULL can beat Troy. If so, we still have a shot at the SBC title.

Tailgate overtime's Todd Wright seems to be a strong advocate for FIU and coach Cristobal, he thinks we'll get to a bowl if we don't win the SBC. He said our last 3 games are very winnable. Steve Walsh also had some nice comments too.

Pete: I'm wondering if the strong road schedule next year of USF, Bama and UF give us a better shot at some Blue Chip recruits ? Scout and Rivals still have a few 4 star rated guys still considering us.


im really wondering how this current improvements are affecting recruiting just like you are blue and gold... i really hope that the O-line gets it together for the ULL game.. and the DLine needs to be on point against ULL too.. that game very literally will be won in the trenches

I know it was a tough loss, but come on guys, we are 3-4. A great, huge improvement over last year and things can only get better.

I'am proud to say that FIU hung with the best of them. Cristobal is a great coach and we got some great players that will get alot better over time.

We still have alot of football to play. And who knows how things can play out. We are still 2-1 in the conference.

Very proud of FIU. Watching this team last year; hardly being able to score. But now, FIU puts on some great drives and are consistently scoring. A couple of more great seasons like these and we are on our way up.

Who knows what the final record will be... the SBC's a total crapshoot at this point. FIU could finish 8-4 or 3-9 and it may not be a great indicator one way or the other of how good they are. They're clearly better than last season, but that's about all anyone can say at this point. Let's hope the boys can stay focused, win most of the games left and let the chips fall as they may. A 2-loss team could win this conference easily. FIU's not out of it by any means.

Gotta talk to FIUChris a second about his last post in the previous blog. I may come off as preachy, but I hope you'll take a listen to someone who was in your shoes not too long ago.

No one cares what Athletics provides you to cover games. Your job is to cover them. When you don't do that, you're not doing your job. WRGP wasn't doing its job on Saturday night. To say "we can only send one guy" is an excuse, and a poor one. That's just not good enough. Especially when you're talking about the school's marquee sport.

You said "One person can't call games on the radio and write the game article." Well, actually, yes they can. Take it from someone who often was a one-man show when I was at WRGP. It can be done. You just gotta get creative. Call the game live and then write the article on the way home. That should be plenty doable, especially for a paper that only publishes twice a week.

And if you say "but that's too much work", then I got news for you. That situation is the kind of thing you can expect if you plan on becoming a reporter for a living. Money's always tight in media, especially the student kind, but creativity doesn't always require money. This biz isn't for the lazy and the non-adaptable.

There's nothing personal or mean-spirited meant by all this... it's just a friendly word and piece of advice from someone who's been in your shoes. I hope you take it that way, even if you don't see it my way.

I think we can win the last 3 games of the season , and split the nest two, I don't know how the player's psych will be next game, I hope they are hungry and ready for redemtion, I think we might get revange with AS, we need to win that game last year was our closest game and we came out empty after almost testing our first win in 2 seasons, also they will come to that game after been crushed by Bama.
ULL seems to be as good as their record, but their defense has allowed an average of 33 points in the past 4 games, and their offense has score an average of 42 points in the same spam.
We have score an average of 32 points in the last 4 games, and allowed the other teams to score an average of 17 points in those 4 games.
Maybe we can score on ULL, but we have to make sure our defense can continue the level of playing and maybe we can win all the games the rest of the way.
Looking ahead also FAU seems winable on paper, but we all know that is going to be a battle.
Over all I think we should be happy that we have exeded expectations, and even if we don't make a bowl this year or come in the middle of the pack that is already an improvement from the past 2 years. However I am with most of you and I would like us to end the season 9-4 and go to bowl, I think our guys can do it, and that will help us recruiting and getting better every year until the day that we can be national champions, which I hope to see in life time.

GO FIU!!!

Pete, can you give us an update on a few FIU players: Curtis Bryant, Jason Frierson, Cody Pellicer, Justin West, and Javon Hill?

Curtis Bryant - I thought he was cleared to play last week but it doesn't look like he saw any action.
Jason Frierson - he made some plays last year for us so I expected to see more of him this year. Is he injured?
Cody Pellicer - he saw no action against Troy either. If he isn't going to redshirt, Troy was the perfect time to get him some action in my opinion. We'd put no pressure on the QB all night.
Justin West - is he injured or just not playing? He saw lots of playing time as both a freshman and sophomore, and even started 6 games over that time.
Javon Hill - you mentioned in a previous blog that you thought his FIU career was over, but he was on the sidelines recently. Is there any chance of him coming back next season?

On the other side of the coin, there is Jonathan Faucher, a freshman that has seen alot of playing time this year, and even made a start. Is he a walk-on? What's his story? Thanks!

FIUBlueandGold: Pete, I'm wondering if the strong road schedule next year of USF, Bama and UF give us a better shot at some Blue Chip recruits?
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Sure does and I'm hearing the future OOC sked will be even more beneficial to FIU recruiting. Should have more on that by Thursday.

SouthPaw: Pete, can you give us an update on a few FIU players: Curtis Bryant, Jason Frierson, Cody Pellicer, Justin West, and Javon Hill? On the other side of the coin, there is Jonathan Faucher, a freshman that has seen alot of playing time this year, and even made a start. Is he a walk-on? What's his story?
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C. Bryant is healthy from injured hand, but MC said he has to earn playing time and thus far has not earned it.

Frierson is healthy and on the 2nd team behind T.Y., Mertile and Ellingson. JF has not outplayed any of the 3 guys above.

Pellicer is looking like a redshirt year.

West is just not playing.

Hill is academically ineligible.

Faucher is a walk-on from Cypress Bay High in Weston. He really has made an impression on coaches both as a TE and on special teams. He forced and recovered a fumble on a kickoff against Toledo.


Thanks, Pete. Faucher is from the same school as a couple of good linebackers we are recruiting this year. Love to see stories like him.

So, Javon Hill may be able to make it back next spring? I'm not giving up on the guy--he was one of our top recruits a few years ago and he's an offensive lineman (and we know how valuable they are).

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