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MC Q&A Part 3

Mc We're 56 days away from the first FIU football practice of the 2009 season and we've got about 30 more questions to get to with FIU coach Mario Cristobal. So let's move on....

Joel: When we get to a bowl game this season, what team would you like to go up against the most?


MC: We want to play anybody, anywhere, anytime. I would like to play a Florida team. I want to keep playing Florida teams. I’d like to play Miami, Florida State, South Florida, Central Florida -- although we are going to be playing them soon. We want to create as many rivalry games as possible for our fan base to enjoy.


FIURage: Is FIU planning on moving out of the Sun Belt ? If so what is the projected time frame?

MC: Our only focus is to win the Sun Belt Conference, which has done a great job since we’ve been in it.


FIU Fanatic: What element has struck you, or surprised/impressed you, about FIU in the 2+ years you've been at FIU?

MC: I was surprised at the energy and commitment of the people that surround FIU. I was surprised after being at Rutgers that it was year 6 or 7 before we started reaping some of the benefits of working extremely hard. I think in year 2 at FIU we saw some things and improvements in areas that usually take a couple of more years to develop. I was surprised by that in a pleasant way, but our expectations are extremely high.

CrazyPanther: Since the secret is out about TY being as good as he is, do you think teams Ge are going to be able to game plan against him better and take him out of the game? If so, who are the GPers other options?

MC: That’s why Greg Ellingson (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) has developed how he’s developed and that’s why Ty Frierson had a great end of the year last year. That’s why Darriet Perry came on strong and that’s why we signed Edgard Theliar, Jairus Williams, Wayne Times, Darian Mallary, Dudley LaPorte. It’s going to be hard to focus on T.Y. Hilton. He has to be a focus if I’m watching FIU film. I’m saying stop No. 4. He is an unselfish player. He will gladly go block for somebody else if he’s getting double covered and we can’t feed him the football. But on the flip side of that, we will find ways to get T.Y. the football. We’ll keep doing so. You attack a defense. Some times it’s T.Y. and some times it’s not. We expect people to come after T.Y. and we’ll go after them too.

An insider: Are you committed for the long haul to FIU, or are you hoping to use it as a spring board to a bigger school?

MC: As stated before, all of us have had opportunities and all of us have chose to come to FIU. We work day and night to make FIU a great place and we are committed to being here.

Upfront Bruce: Obviously, camp is crucial for all, but what players need to really stand out in August in order to get more playing time or keep the playing time they already have earned?

MC: Andre Pound and Jonas Murrell. Does this sound familiar? Yes. It all starts up front and will continue to be up front. Those two guys have to be a force up front. We move a lot. They have to take on double teams. They have to keep centers and guards off of the legs of our middle linebackers. They have to set the tone up front. They have to control the line of scrimmage. They are going to be huge in the process. On the flip side, every single offensive lineman and for that matter every single defensive lineman, throw them all in there. It’s the most important camp for all those guys.



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