Wednesday, they couldn't touch No. 4 and from early looks at Wayne Times these past 3 days it looks like the Times could be in 2009. Yes, I know English teachers will mark this blog with a red marker for the incorrect grammar in the title of this post and in the previous sentence. The sun will still come up tommorrow.
It was media day Wednesday at FIU practice and the Herald video department shot some footage from practice and then shot a tour of the fieldhouse. The fieldhouse has really taken shape since we last toured it here on the GPP. You'll see when the MH video is posted. That place is going to be a huge recruiting tool for MC.
I've been told by MH video director Francis Ford Coppola that those videos should be up on miamiherald.com's sports webpage either later tonight or Thursday. And although we didn't get the FIU Witches to host the preview, we did get a very photogenic host to conduct the player interviews. As of this post, still waiting for her to send me a photo.
In Wednesday's practice there was Goodbye (right, thanks Sam Lewis photo) being Goodbye. No. 4 hauled in a long pass from walk-on QB Chris Schirripa and finished off practice with TD catches on passes from Wayne Younger and Paul McCall.
Freshman Jairus Williams opened practice grabbing a long pass from Younger.
On his first catch of the day, Times got all 5-11 of himself up in the air and snatched the football.
TNGoldenPanther brought up a good point about the long passes and big yards after the catch. Yes, it could be alarming and we'll know more when the pads come on starting Thursday.
However, the first 3 days several of these long passes are coming during 7-on-7s with no pass rush and sometimes it has been against the 2nd or 3rd team secondary. This is not to say the 1st team secondary has not been beaten, because it has.
Also factor in that FIU's most talented and deep position is receiver and the secondary, outside of Anthony Gaitor, does not have any other proven cornerbacks right now. There is talent and potential among the other FIU DBs, but that still has to be proven further along in camp and eventually on game days. That's one reason I ranked the cornerback position opposite Gaitor so high in the preview when it came to position battles. Don't expect opponents to test Gaitor as much this season, especially if another proven corner does not emerge on the other side.
That position along with the offensive and defensive lines and finding a dependable backup running back will play a big part in how successful this season turns out.
Dez Johnson, one of those corners competing for that starting spot, made a nice stop for no gain in team drills.
Ty Frierson had a good run on a handoff and then the Times came again.
Times took a handoff from PMC and turned the left corner and eluded the touch (because there is no tackling now) of 6 FIU defenders knifing through for nearly 35 yards before someone got a hand on him. Could No. 5 turn into this year's version of No. 4?
Marquis Rolle (left) has had a pretty good first few days. MR got behind the secondary along the sideline and caught a 60-yard TD from PMC in stride.
Peter Riley, another DB challenging for the starting job opposite Gaitor, had a second consecutive day of good pass D.
Greg Ellingson ran a nifty route and caught a 25-yard sideline pass from WY. GE finished his day with a tough sliding catch in traffic across the middle.
JUCO defensive back transfer Quentin Wyche intercepted his second pass in as many days. QW, a junior who looks like a smaller version of Scott Bryant with the hair flowing out of the helmet, has experience and could be a sleeper among the DBs to earn some playing time.
Freshman walk-on Larry McCoy showed his jets on a quick sideline pattern turning around after the catch and speeding past the defender as practice neared its end on Wednesday.
Let's see what the first day in pads brings on Thursday.
You have 4 more chances to catch your Panthers in action this week before practices are closed to the public next week. The remaining open practices this week are: Thursday and Friday at 8:30 a.m. and Saturday is the first two-a-day with practices at 8 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Your only other time to watch practice will be on Aug. 22 when the team scrimmages on a Saturday morning at 10.
The media got a tour of the fieldhouse today. You can take your first tour of the fieldhouse on Thursday, August 20 at 6 p.m. with your tour guide MC at the Alumni Panther Preview. The event is free and open to the public.
CJ: good to see that the D-backs are active and also good to see willis getting in the mix for Dline... btw who were the intereceptions against?
PP: Each QB has thrown INTs.
Max: Great stuff Pete, are you at every practice this week?
PP: Yes I am.