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FIU vs. Rutgers Preview/Prediction

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Welcome to the FIU Golden Panthers Prowl. In case, you missed it in the

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Fiuhelmet

last post, FIU has a pretty good new running back in Jeremiah Harden for 2010. Read more about it in the previous post. OC FIU PANTHER read about Harden.

You remember that we ended the last post telling you that Rutgers's most famous alum is James Gandolfini, a.k.a. Tony Soprano (left). Well upon entering the New Jersey Turnpike on Friday afternoon I was greeted by a funeral procession taking up the entire middle lane of the NJ Pike. Did somebody get whacked?

Tony

Enough Soprano talk and death. We are here at the birthplace of college football -- Rutgers University -- where the first college football game in America was played in 1869 when Rutgers defeated Princeton 6-4 in the first game of a two-game season. Princeton won the second game of the 1869 season, 8-0. The Rutgers team captain back then was William Leggett. FIU's offensive coordinator today is William Legg -- this doesn't really add to the story of the birthplace of college football, just thought it was an interesting coincidence.

The Scarlet Knights enter their 140th season of college football while your Panthers begin year No. 8.

You'll have a better understanding when you read the MH on Saturday or as soon they post the story tonight, but you could say that Rutgers is the re-birth place of FIU football. It was here back in 2001-2003 that MC and defensive coordinator Phil Galiano cut their teeth in college football coaching and in helping

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RU head coach Greg Schiano bring to life a moribund Rutgers program.

As you can see by the progress of the past two years and the influx of talented recruits committing this week to FIU, that MC and co. seem to be doing just fine and are applying some of what they learned at RU.

Is Saturday the day that FIU football is re-born again at Rutgers with the Panthers first win against a BCS school? Well, let's see....Your game preview and prediction are coming a little late on Friday night/Saturday morning (3 a.m. EST GPP time) due to spending some time in New York City on Friday night.

So for Saturday, there will be no No. 17 for the Panthers. Dudley LaPorte has still not been cleared by the NCAA and the status of safety Ash Parker is still up in the air. Cedric Mack is here and he should help the O-line.

However, the biggest concern here for your Panthers is the size and aggressiveness of the Rutgers

Doc

offensive and defensive lines. Hey, let's throw out that funky math of 1.21 jiggawatts that some of you brought up on the last post about Cincy > Rutgers + FIU = Alabama (for 3 quarters) and Howard < everyone else. This is football people where the results do not carry over from one week to the other and you don't measure team A (Cincy) with team D (Bama) just because 2 teams that played against them are playing each other.

Rutgers right now is better than FIU and is ahead of FIU when it comes to size and depth -- and those are the 2 things that do not let me pick FIU in this game. Also, watch out for Rutgers QB Tom Savage. He is a good one and could give FIU's secondary some trouble.

Some of you are under the impression that just because Rutgers got annihilated by Cincy that FIU will do the same. Cincy is much better than Rutgers and FIU. Your Panthers are not at the stage where they can just walk into a stadium, dial up 30 points and start up the plane with a W going back to Miami. Maybe, in a few more years with more talent and depth that will be the case, but not now.

Could see FIU having more success on the ground against Rutgers than vs. Bama last week and could

Dogs

see FIU getting more pressure on the passer, because RU is not as big or as talented as the Tide. But just can't see FIU doing enough this year vs. Rutgers.

In 2010, in the home opener at FIU Stadium, the Panthers take down the Scarlet Knights. Would it be a shock to see FIU go home happy Saturday night with a win? Absolutely not, FIU has the talent to beat Rutgers. I just don't think it will happen this season. Hope I'm wrong, because it makes my job easier and it will kill my aspiration of getting rich in Las Vegas when I'm 95 years old.

GPP thinks: Rutgers 28, FIU 17

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PANTHER PAWSE

Aaapaw

LIVE GPP BLOG of the FIU/Rutgers game begins at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday afternoon or in about 14 hours.

Q&A

FIU0406: Pete, Do you know when the Rick Sanchez Special about MC and PG going to air?

PP: You can ask Rick Sanchez yourself. He will be doing his CNN show LIVE from FIU on October 13, that's a Tuesday. The likely site of the show will be the Graham Center. No date has been set for the FIU report on CNN.

Lone Panther: Pete, what's with the sudden flux of players committing to the international? Is it due to the performance against Alabama? The great new facilities? Does MC know something that we don't know?

PP: Yes the performance against Bama had something to do with it. Heard FIU received a bunch of calls from players wanting to play down here after watching the FIU/Tide game. The facilities have also helped a lot in recruiting. Plus, who doesn't want to play football in the warm, beautiful weather at FIU. And yes, MC knows a lot about recruiting that we don't know.

Gold: Pete, Try and make it out to the Alumni Tailgate in Scarlet Square. It would be great to meet ya.

PP: Will try.

 

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