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FIU/Toledo Preview: These Are Not Your Father's Rockets

After two weeks on the road, finally the home opener for your Panthers at the friendly confines of FIU




Like we've mentioned before on the GPP, FIU is not taking on your father's Toledo Rockets. These new Rockets bring a very potent offense that until Ohio State shut them down last week, the Toledo offense was No. 1 in the nation in total O.

So in this game your Panthers might need to score like Vinny Chase in Entourage.

There are expected to be some changes along the line if the depth chart is any indication. Dave Istanich is penciled in as the starter at right tackle and Cedric Mack has been elevated to a co-starter at left guard with Luis Abril.

The Panthers hope the changes translate into a more efficient offense than what we've seen the first 2


weeks of the season where Paul McCall has had little time to throw and the FIU run game has had little daylight.

Friday was a day off for yours truly so I took my nephew to the Miami Seaquarium for his birthday. Before you guys think I'm back in New York from last week, don't worry there is a point to this anecdote.

At the seaquarium, we saw the dolphins and Lolita the Killer Whale follow through on the instructions given by their trainers as they swam, jumped and moved effortlessly around the water to perform a great show.

This week in practice one emphasis for the FIU offense was to follow through whether it was the linemen being told to follow through on their blocks all the way until the ball carrier is past you or whether it was the receivers, who were told to follow through up field after you catch the ball.

The thought here is that Saturday's game will come down to offensive execution and not the former Tampa


Bay Bucs coach John McKay's offensive execution. McKay, who coached the Bucs in their inaugural season in which they did not win a game, was asked about his offense's execution after a particular game and his response was: "I'm in favor of it."

That is not what I'm talking about when it comes to the FIU O. Instead, enter a Toledo D that has given up 52, 38, and 38 points in three games this season. If FIU can make like the dolphins (and not Ted Ginn -- sorry but any No. 1 receiver catches the 2 TDs that Ginn dropped on Monday night -- OK no more mini-rant that talk is for Armando's blog anyway), If FIU can make like the seaquarium dolphins and follow through on offense and defense, then we could be looking at the first win of 2009.

Which won't come easy, because Toledo does bring in a very potent offense and a new spread scheme that FIU did not see from the Rockets last season. Remember, this ain't your father's Rockets. Still, I think the FIU O reverts to the one we saw at the end of last season, which averaged 37 points a game, and the FIU D continues its solid work while yielding some yardage, because Toledo can fling it and has a very mobile QB.


GPP thinks: FIU 34, Toledo 28


Reminders: FIU/Toledo LIVE GPP BLOG begins Saturday at 6:45 p.m. (It's a 7 p.m. game so there is a chance I may have to leave you guys at the end of the 3rd quarter to start writing for deadline. But the blog will remain open.)

Also, 6:59 p.m. GPP Eastern time is the deadline to get scores in for the Win A GPP Blog and Sun Belt Football Media Guide contest.



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