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Junior Goodbye

Your Panthers went through a 30-play special teams scrimmage on Thursday morning and what an endingJunior to the scrimmage.

That's the scrimmage ending in the photo on the right (thanks, Roy Viera photo). Keep reading to find out how the special teams scrimmage ended.

The players were divided into 2 special teams: the White team and the Green team. On the final play of the scrimmage, the White needed to return a kickoff past their own 20-yard line in order to win the scrimmage and avoid overtime with the Green. If the Green stopped the kickoff return inside the 20-yard line, then they would have gone to OT.

Before the final kickoff by Jack Griffin, the players on the White started chanting "T.Y., T.Y., T.Y." toward  their coach Alex Mirabal. You see Goodbye had not returned a kick yet during the scrimmage, instead the coaches wanted to get a look at other returners.

The White team players figured that T.Y. would be a cinch to return the kickoff past their own 20-yard line and win the game. Meanwhile, players on the Green team were yelling to Griffin: "Don't kick it to T.Y., Don't kick it to T.Y."

Pmcdance So led by quarterbacks Paul McCall (left, thanks Roy Viera photo) and Wesley Carroll, players on the White started dancing and doing the T.Y. touchdown celebration on the sidelines trying to get Mirabal to insert T.Y.

If I could dance, this is the part where I would make a comment about PMC's dancing moves, but I'm just as bad, probably worse. So let's get back to this blog post.

 From watching 1 of T.Y.'s 12 touchdowns from last season.....you know what the T.Y. celebration looks like -- Using his arms, T.Y. makes a T, then a Y with his body and then waves goodbye.

At first, it looked like Goodbye was going to get the last kickoff return of the morning as he started warming up on the sidelines. but NO. Receivers coach Frank Ponce, who was an assistant coach to Mirabal on the White team, made a suggestion to try No. 2 at kick returning.

Junior Mertile was called to return the kickoff. Griffin kicked it to the 5, Mertile broke three tackles, burst through the middle of the kickoff coverage and took to the sidelines with his 4.3 speed. The last man with a chance to tackle Mertile was Griffin, but No. 2 gave a hard stiff arm to the freshman kicker and was home free toward the end zone for 6 and a 95-yard kickoff return.

The White team sideline erupted and rushed toward the end zone to greet Mertile.Dustin

By the way, was told by a former Columbus High person that Coach Mirabal is now 3-0 in FIU special teams scrimmages and defensive backs coach Jeff Popovich, who coached the Green team, fell to 0-3 in ST scrimmages. Not making this up, Pop, that's what the record books say.

Other highlights of the ST scrimmage featured punter Carlos Munera continue his booming punts and he even ran down on one punt and made a tackle early in the return. At 6-2, 232, Munera is like a linebacker out there and can deliver punishment when need be.

Pretty close competition with the field goals on Thursday. Senior Dustin Rivest (right, thanks Roy Viera photo) nailed 3 of 3 from 27, 37 and 47 yards away. Dustin seems to have gotten a little more boom in his leg after the offseason strength and conditioning program.

Madden Griffin was 2 of 3 from the same distances, missing the 47-yarder wide left. Griffin did have the distance to spare on the 47-yarder, but yanked it left. 

There weren't any other big-time returns besides No. 2's TD, but Wayne Times showed some moves when he got the chance to return kicks.

WT runs like a video game football player. If he starts scoring TDs this season with those moves, we might have to start calling him Madden.



Saturday's your last chance to see your Panthers before the season opener at Alabama. FIU will have an open scrimmage with practice beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the scrimmage expected to begin at 10 a.m. Yes, the practice is open as well as the Open scrimmage.

Apaw Outstanding job by the FIU alumni in putting together the Panther Preview on Thursday night for a tour of the new fieldhouse and a meet and greet with MC, T.Y. Goodbye, Anthony Gaitor and Paul McCall. Almost the entire Stadium Club was filled to hear MC and the Panthers get ready for the season. Even ran into some of our GPP friends such as: FIUBlue82, gpantera, FIU Fanatic, Roman, fijigabe


Gazi: Pete, why are they posting UF and FSU articles on the FIU Miami Herald page?

PP: Someone apparently got the schools mixed up. Already let them know.

FIUer: I thought the Saturday scrimmage was at 10?

PP: That is the time it is expected to start. The team will warmup and go through individual drills and 7-on-7's before then.

dan ryan: does the sat.8/22 scrimmage start at 8:30 or as advertised 10:00? also any info on whose leading in the competition for the #3 quarterback. thanks, Pete

PP: Scrimmage is at 10. It's too early to tell right now about the No. 3 QB spot. Both Chris Schirripa and Junior Delpe have had their moments in practice, but neither one has really separated himself from the other.

FIU0406: Well since we are on the subject, there's an article int he FIU sports section that is titled "ANOTHER PREFERRED WALK-ON " that is not an active link.

PP: That was a college football rail posting I had before camp began on walk-on defensve lineman Andrew Mattox -- a 6A All-State player and the Volusia County Defensive Player of the Year. The short story was on Mattox joining FIU. I also wrote about it here on the GPP and put a link to Mattox's YouTube video of him lifting.

Before you go to the scrimmage on Saturday morning, tell us what you'll be looking for.....


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Pete que pena didn't run into you at the APP. I was the tall dude in the cream sports jacket, jeans and reversed FIU cap.

excellent turnout, thanks for your continued support!!

man i was really trying to get back into miami for the app.. o well ill make it out to practice this sat for sure

Thanks for this info, Pete. Good running into you tonight as well...

A great, great start for this season. Kudos to the event's organizers for a job well done. The night definitely had an air of victory and celebration all over, as you could see it in attendees' faces. MC sure can work a crowd, and had us all wanting to start the season!!

I have a feeling this event will be the beginning of many more to come....that in time will dwarf what we saw today/tonight. The momementum has to keep on running its course, but it sure feels as if the alumni of the university are finally starting to take "ownership" of our program and athletics in general.

We have to grow as a fan base, and alumni support, creativity, and self initiatives are necessary to go along with the on-the-field growth our team is experience as well.

A success all around....not bad.

I had a great time there as well, the place was rockin'. Didn't see PP there or I would have introduced myself. Nice to see 'fanatic as always and was very, very impressed by the Field House. The break-out meeting rooms are actually luxury suites for the football games....sweeeet.

Was really pleased with the turnout last night...great event put on by the Alumni Association and the marketing department of FIU athletics....great to see TY, Paul and Anthony walking around the room taking pictures and signing autographs....can't wait til kickoff on 9/12 vs. Bama

Good Morning Pete, reading up on your blogs, what's going on with #52 Warthen Sr. DE. LiL cuz working hard and looking good with the few reps he gets in practice.

Last night was really special. Great turnout, lets hope the momentum continues to spread and results in more community members supporting athletics.

Tomorrow is the "Select a Seat Day", so you can go there, buy your season tickets in advance, help the Athletic Department reach their goals. But also, you can go there, watch some practice...and later a scrimmage...while also being able to tour the state of the art facilities just built. You wanted more FIU Football?...you got it. Just make sure to attend tomorrow morning..

P.S. Great seeing you again, FIUFan as well....Max, Miri, fijigabe, Roman, gpantera, ultimate fiu fan, fiupike, fiublue82, and many others....I know my friend fiulantinpower couldn't make it for personal reasons, which I hope are being improved...

Great event last night!! Those clips of the defense popping recievers were crazy!! Mario is without a doubt THE MAN!! No ifs ands or buts about it!!

Great article, Pete. I'm glad to hear JM stepped up in a big way.

Guys, rank the SBC this year!


My rankings: FIU, Troy, FAU, Louisiana Laf, Arkansas State, Middle Tenn., Louisiana Monroe, N. Texas, WK.

Perhaps wishful thinking putting FIU at # 1... but I had to!


NOT wishful thinking considering we have TROY and FAU at home this year. If one of those two games were AWAY games, then yes perhaps wishful thinking but this is FIU's year man.

Video of Mario speaking at last night's event is now up on the FIU website.


There's a pretty cool highlight package at the end.


I've been looking for an updated Basketball Roster. WKU recently lost a couple of recruits. Are all our recruits at FIU for the upcoming season?

FIU is in sports illustrated, but not for a good reason. FIU sure does know how to put itself in a position to get negative media attention.


by the way this could be fixed if FIU's ungrateful alumni gave money to the school. im sure that a large percentage, maybe even a majority, of FIU alumni do not/ have not given any money to FIU. That is one area where Rosenberg needs to make improvements. I wish there were official statistics.

How can you not get pumped after watching last night's video of MC and company, and the highlights. Impressive. Can we please sign MC to a 20 year extension right now, please! Someone start a salary contribution fund, this guy is amazing.


Good question, FIUer.....I'm there tomorrow!!!...

Go FIU!!

About the SI story, what happened to the band is a shame. But it's a side story, and with all the exciting things happening on-the-field, should be an afterthought. What's more important: a band or state-of-the-art facilities? Do you think recruits say "Gee, they have a great band. I'm coming to FIU"? It's a sad reality. The band will be back when things get better, but we can't sacrifice the progress of the product on the field for it. At least that's my stance. Till then, get high school bands to step in, and in effect you add exposure for FIU in the high school community.

Front of panther sports section on herald.com reads FLORIDA STATE focus is on both lines. However the articles reads FIU focus is on both lines.

Another "mistake" by the online team...

Concerning the band, its a shame but Joel brings up a good point. Inviting high schools does bring good exposure. Hopefully the stands will be FULL and the schools memorize our FIGHT SONG!!!

Hey, Pete, I haven't heard much, if anything, on Reggie Jones. Is he injured? If not, how's he doing? I was expecting he'd be a major factor on our DL this year.

Also, are the coaches planning on giving Jonathan Jackson a redshirt this year? Seems like it would be really good for his future to take the year of while we have some pretty good depth on the DL while getting even more physically mature. I expect him to be an all Sun Belt player before his career is over.

Also, what about Kasey Smith? He and Andre Pound apparently looked really good on scout team last year, but I haven't heard anything on him so far this year. Is he in the mix?

I agree with you guys about the band. of course our facilities are much more important. however, it is embarassing and unfortunately our stands will NOT be full and im pretty sure noone at FIU knows the fight song. Not even the tune. Would i like for things to be different? of course. i dream about the day where all people in miami look forward to FIU football games and our stadium is packed with all types of people, not just housing students looking to kill a few hours on a saturday night.

what the he!! are you talking about alt!? are you in the Band? What's with all the negativity? housing students looking to kill a few hours? that's so far off base that you don't even sound like you know what you are talking about.

Get over yourself, you've got to break a few eggs to make a cake. We'll get the band back when we can afford them; there wouldn't even be a need for a band without the football team.

hahaha. no im not in the band. the housing students comment may have been a little exaggeraed, but it wasnt "far off base". Most games throughout the season, especially the latter half, are attended by housing students, the greeks and people from the sga and other "spirit" organizations throughout the school. unfortunately this leaves FIU stadium with a lot of empty seats. almost as bad as watching a Marlins game. although i have to say it is a lot of fun to attend empty games because you dont have to deal with people getting up from their seats every 5 minutes.

anyway i kind of realize that this is all pointless because im not trying to be negative. i try to get people pumped up for FIU football all the time. but im just stating the unfortunate reality. i guarantee you that more FIU students and alumni are looking forward to the UM football season then they are to the FIU football season. which is a huge travesty in itself since UM football sucks and is extremely overrated going into the season. A #22 ranking by ESPN? thats garbage. i see UM going 6-6 and getting blown out in a little rinky dink bowl game, maybe against FIU if the stars align themselves correctly. lol.

"break a few eggs to make a came"

lol haven't heard that one before.

Any seen the TOP 25 AP Poll?

TROY didn't make the top 25, but they DID receive a vote!


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