Your Golden Panthers begin the first of the final four games of the season -- all at home, because Dolphin Stadium is technically in Miami and not Boca Raton -- against the newly christened Arkansas State Red Wolves on Saturday night at FIU Stadium. Yeah, I know I botched that 1980's song title in the title of this post.
Could be a howling good time for your Golden Panthers if they win out and finish 7-5 and go bowling and not to Don Carter's if you get my drift.
But first things first and that being a dangerous Red Wolves team. Of the 4 remaining games for FIU, this is the toughest one. Last week, I said if FIU beat UL, they would run the table and win the Sun Belt. I truly believed that if a W would have happened last week.
That didn't happen, but I'll give it one more shot: if FIU beats ASU, they run the table and go to the inaugural St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field -- home of the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays.
However, like mentioned above Saturday's game won't be easy, because again FIU's D is faced with a dual-threat QB in Corey Leonard, who operates the same type of O as Louisiana ran and the same type of O that has given FIU fits in its 6 and 3/4 years of existence. It's that misdirection spread O where "now you see the ball in the backfield and now you don't". If you've followed FIU football for its 6+ years, you know what I'm talking about.
Plus, ASU has two physical, elusive RBs in Reggie Arnold and Derek Lawson. Arnold has left FIU in years past saying: "I'll be back" to terrorize you next season. And he's a junior so he'll back at it again next season.
Now, let's say FIU's D dominates or least contains ASU's O, then the FIU O-line will have to contend with No. 98 DE Alex Carrington, a 6-5, 280-pound monsta from Arkansas, who leads the nation in tackles for loss with 15 and is 4th in the nation with 9.5 sacks.
FIU might need 2 or 3 blockers to stop AC and that will help free up other ASU defenders to harass PM and get into the FIU backfield.
So you see FIU is dealing with a lot here: "Nuke's scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man is here. We need a live...is it a live rooster? We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose's glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present. Is that about right?"
Gratuitous GPP shout out to the first reader to name the movie the previous quote is from?
The Golden Panthers seem to get a surge from the FIU faithful, but they'll need to play like they did during the 3-game win streak to have a shot at beating the Red Wolves. Can FIU do it? Sure they can, we're not talking about FIU vs. 1972 Miami Dolphins here.
But until this team proves that they can stop the type of O they are going to see on Saturday, I can't pick 'em.
Of course, if FIU does start a 1-game win streak on Saturday, then you good people can come back here and tell me like they do in Miami: "Te lo dije".
GPP thinks: Arkansas State 31, FIU 23
What are your thoughts on Saturday's game: