How ironic that in the previous blog there was a mention to set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night to get to Sunday's scrimmage at 10 and someone forgot to do so and woke up at 9:30 thinking it was 8:30. Got to FIU Stadium about 10:15, good thing they didn't start scrimmaging until about 10:30.
A couple of unexpected FIU running backs (The Bus and Lightning as their teammates called them) were definitely not running late in Sunday morning's scrimmage -- which were the highlights for the FIU offense after the defense controlled the early part of the scrimmage.
Winston Fraser (left), who bulked up 17 pounds in the off-season to 232, then popped the ball out of Goodbye's hands in the second possession. WF is going to have a huge impact on the FIU D this season. All healed up from a broken hand last season, WF has not missed a beat since last playing and leading Booker T. to the state title with other Panthers: JJ, Kambriel and Franklin Brown.
LB Wendy Napoleon (below right), seeing his first action in pads since his spinal cord injury against Alabama in 2006, picked off Colt Anderson -- who lined up as the No. 2 QB whatever that means on March 8 -- to close out the second series of play. WN might be the biggest body of the FIU LBs along with Aaron Davis. When WN goes up to defend those short passes over the middle he covers a lot of air space.
Jarvis Wilson and Kreg Brown kept up the nice D on the next possession getting some tackles for loss in the backfield as did Davis, who had a terrific first week of spring.
The FIU O finally got a little movement in the 3rd series with CA hooking up with John "The Bus" Ellis on a 15-yard pass that Ellis went up high to snag out of the air. JE is an athlete and could surprise some defenses this season.
But the FIU O again stalled thanks to nice pass D by DB Brandon Ellison and DL Donnell Wilson. Wilson made a quick hit on a screen pass to prevent the play from going more than 4 yards. Jeremiah Weatherspoon and Anthony Gaitor were again solid on pass D.
When the offense went to a more up-tempo pace of play it got rolling.
Wesley Carroll found Jason Frierson on a screen pass and JF made a nice move to pick up 15 more yards. The O scored their first TD with WC under center, but the biggest contributors were Ellis (right) and walk-on RB/WR Jonathan Ramirez (No. 26 blue jersey in your program, FIUJM. No. 26 white jersey is Chuck Grace). Ramirez (Lightning) played his high school ball at McCarthy in Pembroke Pines. At 6-0, 177 he could play both RB and WR. MC said after Sunday's scrimmage, "When you're a skill player here you better be prepared to play wherever we need you".
With Darriet Perry limited to one series (nothing wrong with him just got to keep him healthy), Ellis and Ramirez's running moved the ball. Ellis is a load to tackle and Ramirez has got some video game moves in the open field.
The offense scored again this time with Paul McCall under center, but again with JE and JR running the ball the majority of the time downfield.
At the 10-yard line of the D, PM found Goodbye with a screen pass and Goodbye made 3 moves through the FIU D and scored a TD and did his signature "TY Goodbye" TD celebration.
FIU practices Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of this week before taking next week off for spring break. Tuesday and Thursday they'll be out at FIU Stadium at 3:15 and Friday might be a 6:30 a.m. practice or 3:15 stay tuned.