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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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