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Game 1: FIU vs. Alabama LIVE BLOG

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No more waiting for the kickoff to the 2009 FIU football season. Welcome toFiuala Bryant-Denny Stadium. Your Panthers will be playing in front of their second largest crowd ever after opening the season at Penn State in front of 107,678 in 2007.

There is a sea of crimson of 92,138 Bamans here to greet your Panthers. A couple of pre-game notes for you, tight end Dudley LaPorte did not make the trip, because he is awaiting full clearance from the NCAA. The NCAA informed FIU on Friday that DL was not completely cleared to play.

CNN's Rick Sanchez (former Channel 7 news guy) is here doing a special report on FIU football that will air in the near future on his CNN midday show. As soon as I know the date, will let you know.

We're about 20 minutes from kickoff. Let's go live blogging.... 


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Hi Pete! Good to be back in season! Great showing for us!

Proud of our team tonight as they played their hearts out. There is no shame in losing to the No. 4 team in the nation and after this game I sense a great season for the Golden Panthers.

Go Panthers!!!

Agree with theINTERNATIONAL. They did the best they possibly could and outperformed just about every Sun Belt team this weekend. We proved we are ready to win the Sun Belt this year. Let's hope we can go up to Jersey and beat Rutgers!

They played good for 2 in a half quarters, but the depth in the lines of alabama kicked in. Alabama didn't even have a turnover and we were in it for so long, they were playing good. FIU just has to work on the running game for next week, its hard to win a game on passing alone.

just got back into birmingham from the game. FIU played very well, it was ANYONE's game until the 4th quarter. Eventually Bama's size, depth and strength wore us down but it was a great showing by our team. Bryant Denny Stadium was scared for the majority of the game, especially halftime.

Rutgers is ours.

Pete, if Mario would have chosen to kick a field goal instead of going for it on 4th in the final minutes, I would nailed my prediction head on! Final score 40-14, I predict 40-17. Guess I'm in the lead... :) Pleasure seeing you up here, looking forward to Rutgers!!! GO FIU!

The atmosphere at the Sports Grille was amazing. The place was well over capacity, and there were more people outside. That is what college football is about. I hope they show every road game there, as I'll definitely be grabbing a table (though I can't imagine the crowd will be quite as big next week).

Boy, what an exciting first half. I almost started to believe they could do it, which is high praise. Ultimately not far off from my 38-17 prediction (Pete, note I accidentally posted as FIUChris for my prediction), though I did expect Bama to take a lead and then have FIU fight back.

Running game is still an issue, but I think Greg is going to have a legitimate chance to get to TY's record from last year in yards. He's a legitimate #1 receiver with those hands. TY isn't going to put up the gaudy numbers he did last year, but him and Greg are going to drive people absolutely nuts in the Sun Belt. There is no receiving duo that comes close to them in the conference.

Paul looked great in the first half, but he's a smart kid. He knew he couldn't keep taking the pounding he was, unfortunately it pretty much killed our offense when he stopped standing in the pocket and delivering the ball right before the rush got to him.

I still don't think they can go into Rutgers next week and win, but they're gonna give them one hell of a punch to the mouth if they play anywhere near the game they did here. Mario's not gonna let them let down against his old boss. They'll be ready to play.

Fantastic column by Israel Gutierrez up on the Herald's site right now. I completely agree with his swagger comments, but he also should have noted how calm they came into the game. Would've been easy to freak out down 10, but TY put em on his shoulders and Paul looked completely poised on the drive that put them up. Great to see.

The International did me proud. I also started to drink the Kool-Aid once we were up 14-13. I almost took a picture of the score. Hell, i still thought we had a chance when we were down late into the third quarter.

In the end, I'm in a little disappointed in the fact that we couldn't keep the game closer. Those late big runs and 2 touchdowns are credit to Bama's O-line. Highly impressive.

I'm not sure what changed so dramatically for McCall in the second half. He looked like a different QB. If our offense could've kept the defense off the field to rest longer, it would've been anyone's ball game.

In the end, it was fun to scare the crap out of the Bama fans late into the game.

In my mind, we did an excellent job against the # 4 team in the nation. The fact we were actually leading Alabama in the second quarter is a testament to the type of game our kids played. Of course...and unfortunately...the talent level, and physicality caught up with our team mainly in the 4th quarter of the game... The game for a full 3 quarters was close..so in my mind the final score is not necessarily indicative of the closeness of the game.

I'm as proud as anyone can be of a team that just lost....Keep your heads high Panthers!!

I just hope both our starting safeties that got injured, Weatherspooon and Parker, have minor injuries and can come back fully healthy in a relatively short period of time....

A loss is a loss any way you look at it, our pass rush D was not there, their qb's did get dirty or rush all night long. the middle was open and their receivers were wide open, OL got tired at the end with little time of posession. TY was denied and GE dropped 3 or 4 passes, and no one else stepped up well maybe Frierson. WY deosn't look confident when he was our qb.
Good things. Scott Bryant was every where on the field covering their plays. PM took a the hittings like a man. OL protected PM the firs half. TY took advantage of the only time they kicked at him to take it to the house. GE used his size to his advantage and made some good plays. I think the most important thing was that our guys didn't go to Bama to collect and let Bama win, they went to play and played to win that game, if they keep that state of mind then we will win more games, but also our coaches need to adjust to the other team's adjustments. Bama adjusted to our game plan and they had us on the second half, now we need to do the same.
I know we can say that they are bigger, stronger, faster, deeper, blah, blah, blah, but at the end of the day it was was X's and O's they did the same plays over and over and kept beating us with them and we didn't adjust, in the other hand they did adjust to shut down what was working for us.
Now lets regroup, keep on the hunger for wins and lets beat Rutgers boys.
Pete can you please give us an update on the injuries?

Great performance by our Golden Panthers. I'm really not concerned about our running game. I actually feel that Perry and Mallary will be explosive this year. It is hard to run against Alabama, they are just big up front and that will probably be biggest D-Line we face all year.

Way for Ellingson and Frierson to step up. What shocked me is that Junior Mertile didn't even have a catch. I know he's going to be fine.

As for McCall, it seemed like in 2nd half Alabama was confusing him and he held the ball to long. Overall he played a solid game and kept our offense moving the ball for a half. He's a great leader, Alabama just too tough.

Hold your head up high Panthers. Now lets take care of business against Rutgers!!!


Very proud of the kids. We showed good class and played hard until the end. They are just a little bigger, faster, stronger, and deeper then we are right now. Nothing to be ashamed of, a top 25 team would lose they way we lost against Alabama in their home stadium. Wearing my Blue and Gold proudly in NYC today.


Sports Grill was nuts!!!!!!!

It was hard to even walk around in that place. Roary was out there.
Dazzlers were out.
FIU athletics was out there.

Alumni, Students and Family.
I hope someone took pictures because it was crazyyyyyyy.

On the game:

The second half, Bama was getting to McCall at will. He was taking hits left and right, just glad he didn't get injured from all that. I saw him limping once or twice on TV.

Greg E. is amazing, he dropped some passes, but he more than made up for it with his catch. Almost every catch he had, someone was on him like glue.

The running game, in my opinion, showed that it will be very good. Mallary was able two extra yards whenever there was contact (of course with the help of FIU players pushing, but still).

TY was awesome as always but I seemed they had him well covered for most of the game. And Gaitor played VERY well.


Great column by Israel Gutierrez this morning, really shows how far we've come! Respect is on the way!! I want to play Rutgers NOW!!!

And any news on our injuries? It looked like a few of our guys took some beatings... will they be OK for next week?

And oh yeah, the refs were full of crap...

How was the hit after the fair cath on TY not a foul?

I know there was some other crap that I can't remember right now...but I hope Pete caught all that.

Also was like to know about Bama fan/staff reaction after the game. Pete you have any of that?

That hit on TY was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo BS!!! It that were FIU making the Hit ... flags everywhere. But i think there was a pass interference that would have been a TD if the catch was made.

Its also good to see the number of penalties reduced. At one point if not the whole game bama had more penalties.

Pete, any news on the Bama effort to save FIU Cheerleaders.

I was reading the Tide blog and apparently bama fans had contact the FIU Cheerleader staff and they were working with Regions and setting up an account and getting PayPal on the website.

Any newes from FIU on whether this all worked out.

Guys it's happening I'm in Atlanta airport and have counted 7 people with fiu shirts on, none on my flight. Golden panther nation is proud!!!

It's not fair catch interference if a player gets blocked into you. That's why they didn't throw the flag.

Also, if we're going to complain about the refs, you guys should take a look at photos of Greg's touchdown reception. His knee was down well before the ball gets in.

Nobody likes anyone who complains about the refs.

TY MUST get WAY more touches this season then he got last night!!!

Yea, i agree about TY. Get the balls into the hand of your play makers. Direct Snap/WildCat if necessary, we all know he can throw the ball (see Hilton pass for prove).

PP, apparently "El Supermercado",Sedano, and JMP don't read you blog nor do they pay attention to "Details". During last night broadcast they kept questioning the "coaches" decision not to use Dudley LaPorte. At one point Sedano criticized the absence of DLP on the field.

I hope they take this as constructive criticism and they prepare better.

I meant to say "your" blog

sedano is a loud mouth idiot... seems like the typical "IF I SAY IT LOUDER THAN IT MAKES IT MORE TRUE!" kind of guy...

Look out Rutgers, Golden Panthers are hungrier now more than ever. We want our first victory against a BCS conference opponent!

The biggest highlight of the game on ESPN was TY's touch down. I hope we can have more highlights next week, that is great for recruiting.

Good game for 2.5 quarters, but not good enough. We should avoid tooting horns for the team, moral victories breeds losing which breeds losers. We've had anough of that around here. I sure hope the players are pissed, frustrated, and energized by their performance and NOT thinking they're a big deal because they hung in there with a 4th ranked team. No one cares about "hanging in there". No one. They need to WIN. Not waiting till conference play to win, or till recruits mature, or a couple more recruiting classes, need to WIN NOW. Nothing else but WINS. Bunches of them. Everything will follow WINS. Looking forward to next Saturday.

I have a feeling that that is how they feel FIUer, but they I think their performance on Saturday gave them confidence that they can hang with the best. I bet you they are thinking upset at Rutgers right now and never looking back after that.

This program has come so far from where we were under the previous regime. It's great to see FIU coming full circle!

Keep up the great work Panthers!!!

Baltimore Panther - you said this game was great for recruiting - but I did not see any highlights on ESPN that night/the next day/or since. Did you? The best I saw was a replay on CSS locally. If you saw highlights on ESPN of FIU v Ala. - you may be the only one.

Well, for the record, I saw T.Y. Hilton's 96 TD return SEVERAL times on ESPNNews and ESPN college football highlights, the night of the game, and the following morning......

It was all over ESPN, heard about it on 560 WQAM last night at 7pm and today on Jorge Sedano's show, but of course I don't expect a hater like you to admit seeing it or hearing about it.

Crazy Cane maybe they block FIU highlights in Coral Gables bootleg espn channel, but the rest of the country saw TY touch down.
You should invest into cable, dish or direct tv, the analog converter boxes don't pick the good channels.

LOL crazy watches the UM censored version of FIU games.

Pete I need injury reports!!! I hope all the guys will be ready for rutgers on sat.


More questions for you:

1) Does the Bama game change your view on the prediction of this year's record?

2) What do you think are FIU's chances against Rutgers now?

3) Is it just me or is Greg Ellingson extremely underrated? He makes tough catches EVERY GAME. He will be in the NFL for sure.

4) Is Dudley LaPorte likely to play against Rutgers?

From the Alabma sports blog.....

Posted September 13, 2009 02:15 PM
OK, so maybe beating FIU did not rate a lot of coverage, but on ESPN 'Bama got NO video, no highlights, only a sentence saying 'Bama wore FIU down in the second half. There were a few interesting highlights in the game that merited showing, like the FIU kick off touchdown or Trent Richardson's TDs or maybe even Grant's TD. But NO video coverage at all? I have to wonder if CSS did not release tape?

Hmmm - so maybe only the FIU fans saw highlights of the game in their tiny little brains when they went to sleep 0-1. You guys are rediculous. Moral victory - please. You know what a moral victory is... a loss. Ask MC if he is happy with a moral victory. You all got smoked. Who cares if you were close for the first 3 quarters, a football game is 4 qrts and at the end of 4 qrts you all got your butt kicked.


Victory over FSU not very convincing after seeing them struggle vs Jax St.

Go back to JM's house and continue watching television with him or better yet get a job and stop monitoring everything going on with FIU

For all the haters out there: FREE REPLAY complements of the SEC conference -


We slugged it out for almost 3 quarters with the 4th ranked TIDE. Just 2 years ago we came off a winless season. Now, that's progress in my book.

CrazyCane - it's (RIDICULOUS) ooohhhh but they probably didn't teach you that at the little school you attended. Don't worry, I'll keep the secret to myself, you are PATHETIC SOB.


From FIU sports blog.....

Posted by: FIU Fanatic | September 14, 2009 at 01:34 PM
Well, for the record, I saw T.Y. Hilton's 96 TD return SEVERAL times on ESPNNews and ESPN college football highlights, the night of the game, and the following morning.

Posting a Bama blog must make it true.

Crazy, on sportsnation on espn2 they just showed highlights of the game during top college football power rankings and talked about the fiu alabama game

The Ellingson catch is sick !!! FIU faithful, send the link to all your friends, we need to showcase this team, regardless of what happened against BAMA !! The passive observers need to recognize...


I'm watching it now!

Found this vid of the watch party on youtube @ the new Sports Grill.

Talk about little brains....Are you mad...guy?

The UM-censored ESPN highlights...Classic!!! LOL!!!

Man... I find myself watching this game all over. Bama could not stop the passing at all, until the end where they able to get to McCall non-stop.

Mallary is serious running back! We will absolutely win the SunBelt this year. Prepare to go bowling.

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