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FIU Trapped But Can Get Out

Pit Saw the pitfall or trap game for FIU and the Golden Panthers fell in it. After Saturday's loss to ULM, your Golden Panthers have to fix some things before the final 2 and maybe 3 games of the season. Yes, there could be 3 more games thanks to a parity-filled college football season. Check out the next post after this for a detailed explanation.

FIU needs to get into its noggin that it is nowhere near good enough to go into a game on cruise control. FIU has overachieved this season. You can count on one hand the number of people that had the Golden Panthers winning 4 or more games in 2008. How many of you honestly thought we'd be talking about a possible FIU bowl game heading into Thanksgiving?

The Golden Panthers are not a team loaded with talent up and down the roster. There are still holes and depth to fill on this team. FIU has to play every game with a ton of emotion and has to execute on offense, defense and special teams to a T. Any less and FIU is cooked. (See: KU, Troy, UL and now ULM).

FIU came out flat emotionally Saturday and it showed in the O, D and ST. Paul McCall and the receivers Jr were not on the same page all the time. The O-line paved the way for Julian Reams (right), who had a heck of a game running the ball (122 yards), but it could not give PM enough protection. Yes, I know on some of the passes PM held the ball too long.

ULM QB Kinsmon Lancaster, who looked awful throwing the ball in the first few series, turned into a Heisman Trophy candidate with both his arm and legs as the game wore on. (No, he's not really a Heisman candidate). Once again the FIU D struggled containing a mobile Sun Belt QB. And like most of this season, FIU struggled with any kind of pass rush. Sure didn't help the pass D to lose Jeremiah Weatherspoon early in the game with a hammy injury and not having Marshall McDuffie at all, because of a shoulder injury.

At times Saturday, the FIU ST looked like the Dolphins ST and that's not really a compliment if you've seen the Fins ST this season. The big ULM punt return in the 1st half hurt, plus the personal foul penalty. And Goodbye trying to do too much in the 2nd half with the muff took the momentum away after an FIU TD and defensive stand that would have given the Golden Panthers the ball back and down just 21-10.

As far the coaching decisions you good people have bandied about here, have to disagree with those who did not want to kick the field goal down 31-24 with 5 minutes left. The FIU D was on a roll having stopped ULM on 3 of 5 possessions in the 2nd half. With the exceptions being the fumbled punt return at the FIU 23 and a ULM FG. Still had plenty of time for the FIU O, especially the way FIU was moving the ball in the 2nd half.

Ge_2 BTW, we already knew Goodbye has good hands, but is there a better pair of hands on the FIU O than Greg Ellingson's (left)? Tremendous catch on the 21-yd TD on Saturday, among GE's greatest catches thus far in his young FIU career.

Did not agree with the early 4th and 1 from shotgun formation that had JR stopped for a -2 loss or the 54-yard FG at the end of the 1st half -- not in Dustin Rivest's range. Would have thrown a Hail Mary and see what happens.

cabin001 made a good point about FIU's resiliency after being down 21-3 and showing some fight in the 2nd half outscoring ULM 24-10. The Golden Panthers did not give up in the 2nd half, but then again if they come out in the 1st half like they did in the 2nd half, then we probably are talking about a 48-10 FIU win today.



The new FIU on-line store opened for business today with all the new FIU merchandise. You can check it out at fiusports.com. Also, was told by FIU that next Monday, Dec. 1 will be a Cyber Monday Sale -- sort of the equivalent of this Friday's Black Friday in malls across America. You can check that out also at fiusports.com.

Apaw_2 I think you good people have made a fan out of Crazy Cane. Yes, it is true CC dropped by the open-air press box and introduced himself to me at the FIU/ULM game last Saturday. And just to verify, since there have been CC's impostors on the GPP, I asked CC for his e-mail address that he uses on the GPP and CC said the correct address. Although CC goes on his rants on here, he was very receptive to learning about FIU. I gave him a crash course on FIU football history and the new FIU Stadium. In fact -- no kidding here -- CC was wearing a retro FIU cap and his father (a 1975 FIU grad) was wearing blue and gold. CC's brother was dressed in black like the FIU coaching staff. Go figure??

WIN A GPP BLOG or (2nd place -- 2008 FIU football media guide) Leaderboard (through 10 games):

9-1: Baltimorepanther (175).

8-2: FIUChris (187); Gold (199), Ultimate FIU Fan (199).

7-3: FIU Voice (165); Clawing Cancer (166), Puma (166); outofthecage88 (172); NYCFIUFan (198); FIU Fanatic (216).

6-4: Fomenter (175); Gazi (192); FIU0406 (193); fiufan751 (200); FIUJM (202); TheChampionUnderdog (205); SouthPaw (234); FIUBlueandGold (239); U24/7 (257); MIA/NY Josh (258); CrazyCane (294).

5-5: Max (216); gpantera (254).

GPP 7-3, 188.

Apaw_3 Time to be the Sunday morning quarterback....



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I am sure that FIU will come out with plenty of fire and emotion against FAU. That is why I voted for defensive pressure on FAU and not let Rusty Smith do his thing. When Smith gets on a roll, he is the best QB in the league.

A tough loss indeed against ULM, but hey....I only predicted 2 FIU wins this season. We already have 4, with a possibility of ending up with 6 (or 7?) wins. Now...just go out, play your hearts out and beat the heck of FAU!!!!

Even though FIU lost, i like how this young team always comes back & shows resiliency. Agree with PP, about Greg Ellingson having good hands...He shows promise and I think he is the best WR we have...Team needs to improve in some areas, but over all im happy with what the team has accomplished this year, nobody expected them to have improved this much...Hopefully we beat FAU next week, win our last game, and then make it to a bowl...Must say my first game at FIU stadium was a good experience, even though I was freezing! Love the stadium and can't wait to see the North side completed...I think with time FIU will get to where it wants to be...

*Yarn* @ FIU Replica Jersey. Things never change.

Cayman....sad to know that was ur first time. You picked a bad game to go to (cold, 50% empty, loss) but i guess atleast it was exciting.

First, for the Blue and Gold Nation, stop the bowl talk, it is nice to dream but lets just handle business.

Second, hope FIU fans come out and represent. We need to show our pride in our team and our school.

Third, Pete any word on members of the FIU Alumni Assoc being able to get in? If not, then I will put up the dough (rather not though, have seen this economy??)

Fourth, I love college football and can't wait for Saturday to attend the FIU/FAU game at the home of the Dolphins/FAU/Marlins/UM/Maroone Car Show

Finally, what time is kickoff?


One more thing, for the people who complain about it being too cold, are you serious?? I just came from NYC it is 20 degrees over there. Also, the weather is no excuse, come on, grow a pair will ya.

I have a bad feeling about the FAU game (and this is my first bad feeling of the season).

I think rivalry games usually favor the underdog. I wonder who is considered the underdog. I would think FIU since its been like 5 years straight that we have lost.

I called FIU today...I asked about Alumni and they said no free entry. However they said that about students when i called last week and the next day they changed their mind.

I was told "the athletic director was purchasing tickets for STUDENTS that want to go."

Fortunately for me, my buddy isn't going so I can use his student ID to get in :)))))))

FIU is due for another win against FAU. It will happen, although this one will be close. Both teams are going to want this coming off losses this past weekend. This is probably as evenly-matched the two teams have ever come into a Shula Bowl contest that I can recall. Normally one team was clearly having a better season than the other - too bad that was FAU all but once.

And I second the callout on the cold complaints... I'm sure it was nothing compared to the frigid conditions at the Harvard-Yale game I was at on Saturday. Miami cold isn't fun, no doubt, but northern cold friggan hurts!

It's football in November though. It happens.

Can't remember a more disappointing week for football in Miami. UM lost, FIU lost, Dolphins lost, all important games. Anyway, wanted to comment about FIU. As an FIU alumnus, It's good to finally have a real football stadium (although the north section still makes it feel somewhat high school) and to see our school growing. Everyone trust me WE WILL GET THERE! Its just a matter of time...

Congrats to SR and the Boys for beating Toledo and holding their top gun to 14 pts. Dude was averaging around 27 per / gm against UF and Xavier. FIU is 3-1 without three premier players (Galindo, Souto & Otero). This is a tough bunch that plays very good defense. Keep it going! For GPP Nation: FIU vs UCLA hoops WILL BE TELEVISED this Sat on Concast FCS Pacific or Channel 725 @ 7:30 pm LIVE if you have the sports package (I'm TIVOing!). For those of you wondering, the Comcast Sports Package is about an extra $4.50 - $5 a month.

Reason I'm TIVOing is that I plan on STILL TAILGATING after Sat's FIU / FAU game. I'v heard it's a 1pm kick-off. Pete is this true?


Correction GPP Nation: FIU vs UCLA is on FSN Pacific not FCS. Sorry.


I think the FAU game is at 4pm on Saturday....Plan on being there as well. Also, good to see Sergio's boys play that very tough, in-your-face type defense that led them to beat Toledo, to complete 2008's sweep of Toledo in football and men's hoops.

While it developed into a really ugly game at the end, the tenacity of the defense is what kept us in the game, and what actually propelled us to win. Of course, I could have done without the last 3 minutes of ugliness, where Toledo discounted a 10-12 point deficit into an almost tying 3 pointer at the end of regulation. Wow...some of those referees are really, really inept.

Good to hear it really was CrazyCane at the game.

It's tough to get people to start rooting for FIU after being a long-time canes fan. Let's face it, the U is The U.

But, all my Canes friends have told me they are buying FIU tickets for next season. I think it's good for UM to have another solid football program right next door. It brings even more national attention to the area and makes for great rivalries.

I just hope FIU keeps getting better and better. I've said it before, even if we lost every single game from here on out, we have 4 great wins and have turned this program around. We have a brand new stadium. We have brought a lot more fans to the games. We might hopefully get national attention by brining in an MLS club. We have proven to be significant against great teams like Troy and ULL.


Yea, I never understood why people in Miami couldn't root for both FIU and UM...... things got ugly after the fight, but I'll always remember some guy decked out in UM gear at the first FIU-UM game holding a big sign that read: "FIU & UM = COUSINS"

Pete, any word on Mcduffie and Weatherspoons status for saturday?

After everything Crazy said, we are just going to let it all go simply because he came to one FIU game. That's garbage. As far as this blog goes, I will always hate CC and all the other U boys on this blog. As far as I am concerned, too little, too late. I have been to every game this season and I am telling you, there were at least 12,000 at the game the other night. I think CC needs to get his eyes checked. Furthermore, I liked that TY stayed in the game, he is our only playmaker and MC should throw him the ball everyplay and if it is a run play, let him line up at tailback and run the ball. If I were the head coach, TY would never come off the feild - he'd even be playing corner on Defense. Listen, I am the biggest Golden Panther fan on this blog and I feel like when the team looks as bad as they did the other night, the school should refund ticket prices. PP, can you maybe ask the school if this is an option. I bet if there was an offer that if FIU does not win, everyone in attendence gets something, like a free ticket to the next game, you would have a lot more people there. Just a thought. I bet noone else in the country does that.

See, I told yall I was there. However, the stadium was nowhere near half full. In response to CrazyPanher, seriously bro? And you all wonder why it is so easy for us UM fans to make fun of the FIU fans.

PP, what about all the false-starts and off-sides? Talk about putting yourself in a hole.

And as far as Ellingson having the best hands on the team? I aint drinking that kool-aid! T.Y., by far, has the best hands on the team. My cathartic moment with him came on a televised game at North Texas, where he caught a ball balanced on the sideline with one hand, while ducking under the safety who was about to take his head off. Then to lead the country in all-purpose yards, win a game by improvising a t.d. pass, is insane! BTW, he had 150 all-purpose yards on Saturday, playing hurt.

So yes, Ellingson is doing some nice things and Julian running for a buck-20 is great. Now we must start finding our tight-end more and developing a ball control passing game to the backs and other receivers. But don't let one bad-hop to an injured T.Y., trying to do too much as a freshman, dissuade you from thinking that he's the real deal.

Go Panthers !!!


Nice screenshot from the old Pitfall video game, Pete. I think the key to the FAU game is the defensive line getting pressure on Rusty Smith. Let's face it, our DL is sporadic at best this year.

That's one area that the coaches really need to hit hard on the recruiting trail this winter. We need guys who can step in a make an IMMEDIATE impact on both the DL and OL. That means getting a few monster JC transfers, but also bringing in some high caliber 3 and 4 star studs. I know it takes longer for linemen to develop and make an immediate impact, but it always seems our best recruits are on the edges. We need a few beasts on the line of scrimmage also.

Pete, is there any chance that Javon Hill will be eligible to play next year? If we could get him and Cedrick Mack back in shape to sure up our depth on the OL, that will be huge.

Also, I think we'll see Johnathan Jackson and Kambriel Willis make a huge jump next year as they spend the summer in the weight room working on their strength and explosive\ness.

damn CrazyCane you just had to come on our worst home-showing all year LOL! Its funny because in my group of friends we invited a Tennesse fan (who goes to FSU weird huh') and even he was dissapointed. We were like " off all the days to play the worst they had to pick today!!"

But just on a lighter note. We also Cedric Mack brought his cousin and a friend(ex-palmetto high saftey) old friends form the block. None that attend FIU. I was happy to hear his surprise when he saw the TY HILTON and ANTHONY GAITOR banners hanging from the top of the stadium. He said "Damn!! And this guy's only a freshman!?"

It should be an inspriration to all freshman-to-be player out there that FIU is a place where you can get noticed and TY is paving the way.

I'm telling you, like I said in the other message board...those banners, besides being cool, beautiful, and a nice massage for the egos of the players displayed...it has to be used as a recruiting tool....Prospective, visiting recruits will think to themselves...."Wow...that could be my picture...AND MY name out there in less than a year"

No bowl for FIU.

This from Graham Watson over at ESPN:

The Sun Belt has just one team with seven wins (Troy) and one team that could gain seven wins (Arkansas State). The Papajohns.com Bowl, Independence Bowl, both with auxiliary tie-ins to the Sun Belt, require the Sun Belt teams to have seven wins for bowl eligibility.

Pete I have a question, what area (OL, DE, DT, QB, WR, etc), is the toughest area for FIU to get recruits? I think it is OL since finding a good solid OL is hard to find in this area of the country and even harder to get them to go to FIU.

Also my prediction... FIU 27 FAU 26


CrazyCane, dont listen to the haters.... there's a lot of cool folks at FIU that accept you with open arms. Both FIU and UM represent the 305 in their own respective ways. Im glad you could make it out to a game.

In my opinion, it's evident that the hardest position to recruit, and even more so to a young program like FIU is the O-Line and the interior D-Linemen.

One thing I forgot, the Golden Dazzlers are awesome. And, in looking for more on them, I found a Youtube video of them from what appears to be this past weekend in the game against ULM. Please, in addition to seeing these awesome girls working it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksCGFJiu-00 -

look at the stands and you tell me if there are more than 6000 people there.

CrazyCane if you like the Dazzlers, you can expect a calendar that should be released very soon.

CrazyPanther, you are delusional about your attendance figure. There is no way there were 12,000 people there. I agree with CrazyCane on this one, there had to be at most 7,000. The student section was not nearly as full as the previous two games, the south side stands were fairly empty and the side opposite the student section was empty as usual. It was almost as if people forgot FIU was playing...It is truly embarassing, considering teams like ULL, Arkansas State, ULM, etc consistently draw over 19,000 people to their games cold weather or not.

...and they are located in no-wehere'sville USA. This is Miami, a city of 3.5 million people and 7,000 show up for a football game on a saturday night. What a travesty.

Graham Watson is an FIU hater. In one of her talks I asked her about FIU and her reply was something along the lines of being extremely surprised that FIU was in contention of the SBC (Back when there was a 4 way 1st place tie). Half the time she doesn't even give a prediction for FIU games on her weekly picks. That being said, ignore her post about the SBC bowl candidates and read a more reliable source like PP's bowl post.
I brought my friends (most canes fans to the game) and they enjoyed the tailgate so much they wish to return. Unfortunately we never made it to the game, we ended up tailgating the whole time. Hopefully this saturday we can make it to the game. Looking forward to a big win this saturday and especially looking forward to the 12hr tailgate for the WKU game.
The 12hr tailgate is an FIU sponsored event which seems to be the beginning of a strong tradition for FIU. I dont know if you guys remember our 24hr tailgates back in 2002 and 2003; well, they thought 24hr would be too crazy so we settled for 12hr. I think this is something that has a possibility to become a key part of FIU football tradition.

South Paw, right-on assessment of expecting much from K. Willis. I'm already seeing it NOW. He comes in on 3rd down or passing downs and lines up @ the end position. This week NOTICE HIS SPEED!!!! Is "El Montruo" Barnes level without the 235lbs on the frame. I can't wait to see him next season with MORE size, muscle and that blinding speed. Check it out Sat.!

My prediction for Sat.'s game vs FAU is a thrilling:

FIU - 31
FAU - 30

GPP Nation, FIU plays Cleveland State (NIT) for that O'Reilliy's Holiday Tourney championship game Wed night @ the Arena. Lets support and get loud for SR and the men's team!


FIU 27
FAU 24

Go Panthers!

FIU 31
FAU 30

I'd say...FIU 34 FAU 31

12 hour tailgate?! ill be running a bit late due to a final that day i think.. but im coming right after ! lets fill that cage

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