MC is not going to go all Wannstedtian on the Golden Panthers and place lobster or mouse traps at each player's locker, but the FIU coach has said this week that his team's sole focus is on ULM (like several other Sun Belt teams this season, the former Louisiana-Monroe is now just going by ULM).
We've reached a point in the young 6-year history of FIU football, that the Golden Panthers are the team faced with a trap game and not the other way around where FIU has been the trap for other teams. With the Hooters on deck at Dolphin Stadium for the 7th Don Shula Bowl, sure it would be natural for FIU to take a peek at Florida Atlantic.
The Warhawks arrive at FIU Stadium on Saturday with ABSOLUTELY nothing to lose. They are 3-8 and going nowhere, but to their spring semester classes after Saturday's game. Plus, it could be the final game for ULM head coach Charlie Weatherbie, who might get fired after the FIU game so you know he'll pull out all the stops to go out a winner.
Timeout here: Paul Letlow, who covers ULM for the The Newsstar newspaper, has a pretty funny entry in his blog about CW and his losses. Paul has entitled it: "Charlie Weatherbie's Greatest ULM losses Volume IV" Click here Apparently, CW was more than a one-hit wonder? One of those losses was the 31-29 game to FIU in 2005 in which former FIU QB Josh Padrick (right) threw 3 TD passes for FIU's 1st Sun Belt win.
Back to the ULM/FIU game, FIU must get off to a fast start to stomp out any hope ULM may have of an upset (FIU is a 6.5 favorite). The longer ULM hangs around in this game, the more chance for an upset and ending FIU's bowl hopes.
FIU needs to convert red zone opportunities into TDs and not FGs. Dustin Rivest and a miraculous TD pass saved the Golden Panthers last time out.
Also, ULM QB Kinsmon Lancaster, who left last week's game at Ole Miss with an injury, will play and he's another of those mobile Sun Belt QBs that have given FIU defenses fits in the past.
ULM may be 3-8, but they are not slouches having beaten Troy and lost to MT by 3, FAU by 1 and Arkansas by 1. ULM is averaging 29.8 points in Sun Belt games this season. The good news for FIU is that ULM allows 31.1 points in SBC games.
Still, for the most part FIU has been prepared this season and MC has made his team aware of the danger of ULM.
When asked after Tuesday's practice if there's a chance his team could be looking past ULM, MC said: "We're growing. We're doing some great things, but we're nowhere near that point where we can look past. We can't look past our 6:25 p.m. class. We have to take those baby steps and keep growing and growing -- and we are. We're focused.''
GPP thinks: FIU 27, ULM 23
The FIU volleyball ladies won their opening match of the Sun Belt tournament earlier this afternoon by defeating South Alabama 3-1. The Golden Panthers struggled early losing one set, but got it going in the 3rd and 4th sets.
FIU plays New Orleans in a semifinal on Friday at 5 p.m. at FIU Arena.
Blog kickoff is at 6:45 p.m. Game kickoff is 7 p.m. WIN A GPP BLOG deadline for scores is 6:59 p.m. GPP Time.
T.Y. ON TV....Two television features on T.Y. Hilton air this weekend on local TV. Channel 10 will say hello to "Goodbye" at 7:20 p.m. on their Saturday sports show. Of course, most FIU fans will be at FIU Stadium during this time. If you miss Ch. 10's piece, then check out Channel 4 at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday night for their hello to "Goodbye". That airs during Ch. 4's Sunday night sports show.