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 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.
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.
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.