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Game 3: FIU vs. Toledo LIVE BLOG

The home opener is just about to kickoff in less than 30 minutes. Nothing like the comforts of home, sleep in your own bed, getting to stadium via familiar roads and the heat and humidity of Miami. Your Panthers hope to take advantage of the friendly confines of FIU Stadium and make it two in a row over the Rockets.

Let's see how they do....

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This one will get ugly!!!

Pete you're right both offense n defense needs to step it up for this Game.... Come on!

Pete... what the heck happened?!?!?


Did we take Toledo lightly? Is Toledo really THAT talented on offense? Do you feel like this team is underachieving, or did we massively overrate it?

Nance?

Wasn't the final score 31 - 41?

Why is the Herald's headline 31 -17?

Yes ...? Ren?

just a sloppy game by all golden panthers... we didnt punch it in once we got in the red zone... we didnt tackle well ... fumbles... hell even the fans got loud at the wrong times... (you dont start your defense chant as soon as the kick returner goes down... you wait for the F*ing QB to break the D*mn Huddle!)

C J that is one reason we need a band and cheerleaders to lead the fans into it, espcially when the fans are not used to the football protocol.

Very disappointing. Our defense could not stop the run and our offensive line needs a lot of work. It almost looks like we took a step back from last year, not forward. We lost as bad as UM lost to VT, and that was bad.

Also, I must say where are the freshman? Where is Tymes (TY 2.0?), we need those guys to step up. We can't be so dependent on TY all the time.

Mario should be riding these guys this week.

Just over 11,000 fans (are you kidding me??? way to go FIU community...) came to witness one of the most sloppy performances I've ever seen... This game should have been ours, heck, both these last games should have been ours... but now we stand at 0-3 going in to conference play and it doesn't look good. If we play like this the rest of the season, we are not going to win many games. We'd be lucky to win three. I am so angry and disappointed at the way this team performed yesterday... in every aspect. When you get the ball in the redzone, especially at the 6-yard line, GET THE BALL IN THE END ZONE!!!! HANG ON TO THE FOOTBALL!!! EXECUTE YOUR BLOCKS!! READ THE BLITZ!!! We did NONE of that and it cost us at least three touchdowns. We lost this game, and unless Cristobal gets these guys in gear, 2009 is going to be a step backward instead of a leap forward, and that is UNACCEPTABLE...

What a joke of a performance. I hate to say it but seems like McCall has regressed this year. At times he reminds me of Younger 2 years ago with decision making. Don't get me wrong, he's still best QB option we have. There were times that he just tucked the ball in and try to run the ball when he had open players downfield. And no pocket wasn't collapsing in plays I was referring to.

As for O-Line, they did better than last week but at the same time, we should have been able to run the ball better against Toledo.

Great to see Dudley cleared to play, problem is his first catch and it was a costly fumble. I'm actually not worried about him, he's going to be fine. What I'm more worried about is what a great first game by Greg Ellingson and he's struggled against Rutgers and Toledo. What is the problem??? T.Y. Hilton has been amazing, makes you feel bad for him that he's playing his heart out and we can't get a W.

Pete, any news on Ashlyn Parker? I really think we need him back there.

GO FIU!!!

From where I was sitting, 11 thousand fans sounds about right. Yet another bad performance by FIU. About the only consistent thing our team is doing lately is losing! It seems like every week we have a different team playing out there.

Too disappointed to point out every mistake we made out there last night! Suffice it to say I'm officially withdrawing my predicted wins/losses for the rest of the season. I think we should evaluate this team much more carefully each week. Too many inconsistencies in every aspect of our game to be able to predict too far out into the future.

Holy Toledo, we're 0-3!

Thanks herald for deleting my actual post. I make it straight to the point as the herald does whatever it wants

The whole team were un par de muertos yesterday. A complete embarrassment and disaster. McCall you suck. Plain and simple. Stick to engineering. O line, learn from toledo's o line. The make this thing called a pocket. now grant it you need a qb in the pocket but thats another whole story. Receivers learn how to catch. If the ball hits you, it is catchable. TY will not save you every week and cannot get all the throws. run routes that will make it easier for McCall.

D-very disappointing this week. As you said it "we were trying to go for the monster tackle and missed." Haven't you figured out that we are not going to go on sports center although the band was playing it. Your monster tackles cost us at least 2-3 touchdowns. Make the tackle and make them work for their yards

I hate being this negative but if we played like we did against bama we would be 2-1 right now. Mario, you better to something and something quick. This type of lack luster football is unacceptable and is going to cost you recruits. If they play like crap BENCH THEM TO SEND A MESSAGE THAT THIS PLAY WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. I wish i had my seats behind to the bench to let all of them have it because they deserved it.

I am super disappointed. This season seems to be a huge disappointment. I love FIU and have supported them from day one but I don't see any improvement. We actually looked worse yesterday than in any game I have seen them play previously (I may be exaggerating). TY, a stud; Munera, what a job (they should have that guy on defense, offense and special teams, because him, TY and Gaitor are the only guys on the team that know what they are doing); McCall talk about regression, rushed and got nervous in the pocket and made terrible throws/decisions, I’m ready to put in Munera in his position until next year that we get Wesley. Rushing, non-existent, leave Mallary in, the rest of the RB apparently can’t find holes. Offensive line, do we have one? Safeties, did they play? TE, Who? I am not happy and see this program going backwards. In the stadium I can see everyone else’s frustration, this is not good.

dan - I feel you're pain! I agree, maybe the answer is benching anyone who isn't playing up to par. Let some of the younger, backup guys get some playing time. Who knows, at this point, I see more problems than solutions.

If we started 2-1 I would have been thrilled, if we started 1-2, it would have been what I realistically expected. But 0-3? The problem is we look worst then we did in the prior year!! We look like we did during the DS years, and those were very tough years.

Bottom line is this; we are 0-3 drawing only 11,000+ fans. We need to WIN, just like USF wins against legitimate BCS teams. That is the only way in the 305 we will build a fan base. And even though UM lost yesterday (badly) the local media will still continue to lick their butts until we start winning and competing legitimately in the Miami market. Pete Garcia and MC know this.

I really blame the Athletic Department for the low attendance figure last night. They really just don't work at it. I got ONE e-mail, ONE!! There was only ONE, short pep rally in GC, just one. With the kind of support the Athletic Department wants, they should spend the whole week before the home game as "FIU Football pep rally Week". They need to bombard the student body with football propaganda. So many students just don't know when the games are, don't know who we're playing, etc, because if you look around campus, there's nothing about football to be found, anywhere!

The only reason I know about the games and how our team is doing is because I go out of my way to find out. There's no buzz on campus because the athletic department doesn't create that buzz. No funds? Not an excuse, there's free ways of promoting the games, hence the pep rallies! Get a couple hundred white posters from Publix, the cheerleaders, some markers and tape those posters on every inch of our campus. At most, you're spending about $150 for all this. Come on guys!

There's no excuse for neither last night's attendance nor our performance as a team. Shame on Cristobal! I have been a HUGE defender of Cristobal and the team, but frankly it's his third season here at FIU, and I'm starting to lose credibility in him, when we can't even defend our home base, with Toledo no less. No excuse! I'm a Panther forever, and I'll be rooting us on through thick and thin, but I'm sick of this bull sh**!

I think last night's game was proof that our W against Toledo last year was probably just a fluke. They must've prepared for us the same way they prepare for a bye week. This year they came poised to show that they're better than what they did last year on the field.

Toledo is a team that consistently beats BCS schools. We are still looking for our first W against a BCS school. Truth be told, we're 0-3 because we've been beaten by 3 teams that are better than us collectively.

MC, you need to beat your team to a pulp in teaching them the fundamentals of TACKLING, HOLDING ON TO THE FOOTBALL AND CATCHING. Let's not even get started with the O-Line. We can have all the talent in the world, but we will always remain a bad team if we cannot execute the fundamentals of football.

You need to the right the ship this damn week or you kiss all those commits that jumped onboard just after the Alabama game goodbye! And you can forget about any other potential recruits!

Our out of conference record this year will be 0-4, that means we can only afford to lose 2 games in conference play in order to get to a bowl game. DON'T LET US DOWN!

Lastly, it's obvious McCall is hurt. He's not himself. Maybe he shouldn't be out there if he's going to hurt our team.

NYCFIUFAN,

The problem is, USF IS a BCS school with BCS recruits!

We have great recruits for a SBC school, but at the end of the day, we're still a SBC school that most top notch recruits won't give us a second look.

I feel bad for players like Gaitor, TY, even LaPorte and Pooh Bear who could be at BCS programs right now, but are never going to get the attention they deserve because of the conference they play in.

This is very disheartening. I thought this year was going to be our tryout for the Big East... yeah right. Our only hope in hell will be Isiah in two years.

Well last night was a disappointing performance against Toledo. If we get beat by a better team well that bites but what bites even more is when we have too many mistakes and too many penalties. We basically handed them the game.

Two turnovers in the red zone just killed the momentum. After that awesome interception and return how can they not get it in the end zone?

Also, I’d like to see some more creative play-calling, especially on three and short. The defenses just tee up on it and blitz when we line up with four receivers on third and short. We need something to counter that.

When can’t we do our own Wildcat and just move the ball a few yards in those critical third downs. Have Younger line up along with Hilton and Perry and direct snap to one of the three just to keep the defenses guessing. If Younger gets it he can see if the target receiver is open and if not run with it.

Agree with previous poster on McCall. Something’s up. I don’t think he’s 100%.

Also, not using it as an excuse but is it me or has the officiating been absolutely atrocious.

Goal now is to regroup and focus on the Sun Belt. However, a winning season is going to be a major milestone given that we’re three in the hole already.

Let's state the obvious Mario is not a head coach!! Highest paid in the Sun Belt yet the worse coach. The Pete Garcia Mario Cristobal experiment needs to end..

USF was supposed to be a blueprint for FIU football...

They looked pretty good against FSU...

Speaking of the 'Noles, where's our good friend Fomenter?? Probably still praying the Noles don't drop out of the top 25 after last night!

jonathanFIU - are you still drunk from last night????

JonathanFIU is a poser! Or maybe he was someone from DS regime.

I can't believe how flat we came out yesterday...14-0. I blame this on offense, how in the world can you score only 3pts against Toledo in first half? Joke!!!

on a positive, at least we had a "band" there last night. central and carol city were actually pretty good. you could hear them at least. Whoever is in charge of the sound at the stadium, please turn it up. you can't hear any music most of the time. also, whoever is the pa guy during the game has to go. I feel like stabbing an ice pick in my head when i hear him. He has only one monotone f-ing voice and it is just horrible. I know you can't technically "show favorites in the sunbelt conf" but it just sounds like he is yelling into the mic. Use pauses in the sentences. just dont run thru the sentence in the same voice. the guy is awful. i'll be happy to do it for free.

Oh I'm here chris. Why would I pray for FSU not to drop out of the top 25? We aren't, and never were, a top 25 team in all reality, just over-hyped year in and year our due to the illogical glory that Bobby Bowden still feasts off of. I predicted around 4 losses for us this year and that number should possibly go up with our lack of growth in the secondary. I find no need to overrate my team, unlike the others here who expected to beat Toledo and thought so much of FIU (St. Petersburg Bowl and win versus USF remind this blog of anyone....good 'ole Pete indeed).

It's a shame your athletic department can't get students out there, that's really you're main and only demographic for possible fans right now. The alienated alums will come in IF you ever start winning and put a good product on the field. For now you need to load up those seats and avoid not meeting the 15k quota for D-1A ball. Maybe put a hold on this "expansion" to 45k until you can develop a strong foundation and fanbase, or schedule some more body bag games without this home and home ridiculous requirement until achieving more success.

Good luck against ULM, hopefully your Oline can play decently enough to keep your QB from getting injured. I feel sorry for the guy.

Best of luck.

WOW..

I only have one word...WOW.

1. Where were the Fans?? The place looked empty. FIU Athletics sucks at Marketing. A 5th Grader could do a better Marketing Campaign than Athletics. "You cant bring a guest, there will be too many people" B.S. B.S. B.S. There was no Marketing for the GAME whatsoever. I am an RA in Panther Hall and most Residents thought they had to pay for the game, that why they didn't go. FIU ATHLETICS IS SLOPPY!!!!!! Can we fire everyone in there and Hire a few Fired up College Students to Market for FIU. I promise you we'll do a better job with half the pay they get.

2. FIU did not come to play today. Then again, it doesn't help that the opening ceremonies for the Hopme Opener for the Season was CRAP!!! I mean, I didn't tailgate from 9am to 7pm to come to a Crappy Opening Ceremony. (No planes, no music, I'm sorry but the bands we brought didn't even play a single FIU SONG, how SAD IS THAT!!)

- O-line was crappy as hell
- WE COULD NOT TACKLE!!!
- Once AGAIN...WE COULD NOT TACKLE FOR CRAP!!!
- And Lastly...T.Y. will not win a you a Sunbelt Championship....CATCH WIDE OPEN PASSES, DO NOT DROP THEM...

3. Then FANS CANT EVEN HAVE FUN IN THE STANDS BECAUSE we are "Standing on the Bleachers" "Throwing a small Football Around" "Getting a Little Rowdy" Heck, they even threw people out of the stadium that weren't even doing these things. FIU Police and the Stadium "whatever they are called crew" threw random students out to make them an example. Look, im sorry but we have such a crappy team (This is what every Freshman thinks) you have to give em some Lee-Way to entertain them at games so they one come back if we lose, and two, continue cheering for our team even though we are down by 2 or 3 touchdowns.

4. Going back to Number 1.

FIU ATHLETICS HAS TO CHANGE THEY WAY THEY MARKET FIU FOOTBALL. IT SUCKS.

- No One Came to the Game. It was empty.
- We got 1, 1 pep rally e-mail
- you guys printed nice TY Hilton / Toledo flyers but just left them all over to school for students to "PICK UP" !!! WE ARE A COMMUTER CAMPUS" Put them on cars, in the Garages, All over GC, in random other buildings, there are 1,000's of FIU students that do not pass through GC because they know they will get bombarded by people. (TARGET THEM FOR ONCE)

- FIU FOOTBALL SUCKED YESTERDAY...Im sorry, I'm a True Golden Panther, I painted myself blue for the game. I changed my Facebook status all week telling everyone about the game on Saturday, and I tailgated for nearly 10 hours yesterday. Things I have done since I was freshman here in 2006 when we went 0 - 12.

COMMON FIU....DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, CHANGE, USE OTHER MARKETING TECHNIQUES!!!!

Well, I have to say Fomenter, I expected somewhat of an "I told you FIU Athletics Stinks" mixed in with a "4th tier" remark of some kind, especially since FSU did drop out of the top 25.

Not a bad post indeed, as I agree with you that we need to get students to support our team by providing an incentive for them to attend home games. I'm glad that the student section, for the most part, is usually the loudest section. Most of that section is full for home games, but we need to expand that section and allow students to sit elsewhere. FIU has almost 40k students, so we shouldn't be having difficulties filling that stadium to capacity with student support alone.

FSU has 39k students, and due to the product they have on the field, coupled with Bama, Georgia, and Gainesville all having good programs just a few hours away gives us competition....but when we win not an empty seat on the house.

FIU would have been wise to stay in D1AA ball for a bit and have consistent success there before moving up, that would have given you better fan support, more wins, better games, and you could still schedule your away games to Alabama and Florida without a problem.

Pete Garcia is doing you no favors and that policy of no + 1 is borderline retarded for him. I really don't know what clouds his head is swimming in, but he needs to come down. And if everything you guys have said about the actual production values is as bad as it sounds.... well...you have a multifarious number of problems that need to be corrected.

Some of the posters here are right to criticize Cristobal. Sure he's a good recruiter, but he was a below average coach at UM with limited experience who then littered his staff with more inexperience. His growing pains just didn't get kicked out of the system after year 1 or 2. He's a great guy, but probably should have taken that job with the Jets in '06 (IIRC). He would have been better off getting that big time experience, but it's a moot point now. Luckily for him Pete would probably extend him without much success.

From Fiu sports directly

Aaron Opelt threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another as Toledo defeated Florida International 41-31 on Saturday night.

FIU defeated the Rockets 35-16 on the road last year. But this time around, the visiting Rockets' 566 yards of total offense in the game - 223 of those rushing - led to five Toledo touchdowns.
+++++++++++++++++++++
566 total yards of offense!!!! incredibly disappointing performance by the d

I was there at the game last night. Was disappointed. Thought we'd do better than we did. I am also disappointed that Joey #86 doesn't get a chance to play! He was transferred this spring to DE, now am told he's been transferred again to DT. I can't believe this, he was recruited as a TE and in my opinion a very good TE and I just wish that they would put in back and let him play....heck he can't do any worse than the ones they got out there playing now!!!!!!!

and one more comment.....y is it that the coaches won't put in to play some of the younger kids on the sidelines! The ones that are playing are exhausted and you know they are tired, but they keep them in!! Switch them out! give some of the players that are on the sidelines some time to play, they might just surprise you! GO FIU!

KJHarris02 - my thoughts exactly. Unless our starters start to show immediate improvement, I would rather see some of our backups out there. Maybe these guys need a good rest after Bama, Rutgers and now Toledo whoopin' on us.

Switching to backups may be a drastic move, but MC needs to start shaking things up on offense and NOW defense!

Common FIU, where's the intensity?!?

Shouldn't Mario and Pete Garcia be on the hot seat? After all they are the highest paid inthe conference at their positions.Is it worth it?

look everyone. i realize we're all disappointed with reason but not's let jump off the cliff just yet.

yes fiu has potential because they're in a hotbed of talent, they're a young and growing university and they'e in a big tv market. that's what would make them attractive to a larger conference.
but before that can even be remotely considered, we have to take care of our business. we have to consistently dominate the sun belt. no offense to temple alums, but no school would want to reach out to a new temple as a member.

so don't feel sorry for TY and the others. these guys came here to lead and they'll have a chance to do that next week.

as far as attendance is concerned, i would have liked more but we have several challenges. the first is that this town is a bush league sports town. i don't know if it's all the recent arrivals or the fact that everyone maintains their original allegiances but we stink. just look at what the marlins draw during important mid-week games when they're contending.

to compound the fact, we're in the same town as the hurricanes, the oldest sports team in s. fla, even predating the sacred dolphins, and the fact that many people bonded with them during their dynastic period. so for now, the logical base are the students and some of the alumni. some alumni are partial to other teams since they followed them when fiu didn't have a team or some are still upset over fiu not having the right classes at the right time. rosenberg is right to address the customer service issues, especially registration, at fiu. bottom line is that enough will come around when we start WINNING consistently.

finally a lot of the programs from the south are in cities where there are no pro teams. in baton rouge, gainesville, tuscaloosa, tallahassee, etc. the local team is the dolphins, marlins, heat, panthers and hurricanes all rolled into one.

besides this 15 k is an arbitrary number established by the ncaa only within the last decade to perhaps slow down the number of new d1 programs being established. remember back in the early days of college football there were no requirements. no one could have predicted how popular and profitable this would all become and i'm not sure they're keen on sharing the riches. just witness how reactionary they are when it comes to establishing a playoff system and be rid of this incredibly asinine and anachronistic polling system. california really looked like a #6 team yesterday.

the point of all this is to say while we have potential and our share of challenges, YOU GOTTA BELIEVE. for christ's sake FSU used to be a women's college up until almost the 50s and look where their athletics program is today.

let's keep supporting them. the goal should be to reach a bowl game and to do that we need to win the sun belt and we need to have a winning record to be bowl eligible. if we accomplish that by the end of the season then we'll all have forgotten this lousy performance last night.

also, let's try to chill with ratcheting up expectations at the slightest improvement. remember it's an incredibly thin line between winning and losing sometimes (think of the hilton heave from last year).

in the meantime, let's all say our prayers and ask for divine inspiration for our offensive play calling, some more discipline around tackling fundamentals, assignment football, how to hold onto a football and avoid penalties. and sprinkle in some luck (which we'll need b/c the conference is much improved this year and every game will be a fight to the finish). .and you might even want to get some of the merchandise they had for sale at last night's game. for the first time the caps and shirts for sale actually looked sharp.

keep the faith.

Maybe #86 keeps getting moved from position to position and not playing because he is not good enough to see the field, and on a team as bad as FIU, he must need A LOT of work.

PUMA INSTEAD OF US PRAYING FOR ALL THE THINGS BELOW WHY NOT GET A REAL COACH? HOW LONG DOES MARIO GET THIS HALL PASS?

in the meantime, let's all say our prayers and ask for divine inspiration for our offensive play calling, some more discipline around tackling fundamentals, assignment football, how to hold onto a football and avoid penalties. and sprinkle in some luck (which we'll need b/c the conference is much improved this year and every game will be a fight to the finish). .and you might even want to get some of the merchandise they had for sale at last night's game. for the first time the caps and shirts for sale actually looked sharp.

GPP, I too am disappointed, however perspective is needed here. Last year we played Kansas & Iowa and got SMOKED. We were not even competitive for half of one quarter! Then the third game was a spirited affair vs. USF, where there was a late FIU comeback yet lost and we stood @ 0-3.

This year we go punch for punch for 3 1/2 quarters vs. Bama (#4 at the time) have another late charge against Rutgers, who BTW SMOKED Maryland (ACC team) Sat. and lost by 8. We then lay an egg vs. Toledo. I'll give Toledo some props for being improved, however we made TOO MANY mistakes to beat them and we definitely have some deficiencies in our O-Line. But for us die-hards FIU fans please try to remember last year's first three games and this year's first three, have we regressed? I don't believe so. While I am disappointed with Sat's result, we are 0-0 in our SBC record. The rest of our season is at hand! Sure get angry, however NOW the games TRULY count for our goal of challenging for the SBC crown. Move forward to Sat!!!

GO FIU!!!

I agree with a good deal of what's been said. The team does not look better. Period. It doesn't. Last year we won games because TY snuck up on people, he was winning games single-handedly, that's not happenning any more and we cannot compensate. That's the big difference in my opinion because no other unit seams improved. In fact, some (secondary, linebackers) seem worse and less mature if you can believe it. I don't know what to make of this team. Expectations were high, yes, but this team has managed to significantly squash them in just 3 games. What an unimpressive feat.

As far as the stadium, the Athletic Deparment SEVERLY erred in their pricing of the club level seats. In this economy, with this product on the field, price your club seats APPROPRIATELY so that you can sell EVERY ONE of them. These are prime seats that are WIDE OPEN right in the MIDDLE of the stadium. DUMB DUMB DUMB. Open them up for single game purchases then. Geez. Think!

I hope these men have even the smallest bit of pride left, because this season is ALREADY dangerously close to being writted off...and that does not bode well for MC, sorry to say.

Hey CrazyCane,

How about you go back to Broward Community College and lick your wounds after "your" canes got steamrolled by a slightly above average Virginia Tech squad.

Attend a school with a football program before you start making assumptions about our roster shifts.

Where did the figure 11,000 come from? Did anyone who went to the game attend the Columbus-Belen game? The number announced that night was 11,000 and it was COMPLETELY full. The FIU administration either lied that night or it lied last night. Either way, it's an embarrassment that two high schools with a combine enrollment of 2,600 will outdraw FIU.

Shame on the marketing and PR departments.


Can someone tell me why Mario decided to execute an onside kick with three seconds remaining, down by 10!? Also, who whacked that Toledo player at the end of the onside kick and game? Mario lost class/respect points with that decision, absolutely no need for that kinda stuff.

I told gpantera at halftime that we were going to lose that game. The team was very reminiscent of our blowout, losing streak days of 2006 and 2007. The entire nation knows who TY is, so our only hope at offense is now being covered like white on rice.

And instead of adjusting and finding the empty man, our offensive coaches call STUPID, REDUNDANT runs. How many times did they call run routes to the right when they were on the right side of the hash mark?! Why are you going to run into the wrong side of the hash mark where there is absolutely no space to work with!? Why didn't they run left when they were on the right side of the right hash mark?! This happened CONSISTENTLY throughout the game, and frankly its 101 stuff why its taking place on a DIV1 field is beyond me.

Any suggestions guys!? I'm going to BARF

All this excitement about LaPorte and he fumbles on his first opportunity...its almost funny, lol

I've kept my mouth shut about the P.a. guy until now, but we really need to scrap this whole "club" mentality and present the game like a real college football game with a band, cheerleaders, and a p.a. guy who just mentions the player's names and what down it is. Bless his heart, but this whole thing is really bush league. Have you heard the complaints from all of our opponents??? This has to stop now.

Everything about FIU is so unprofessional...

I feel bad for T.Y. for being on this crappy team in the crappiest D1A conference in the entire United States. If he was at West Virginia, him and Devine would be tearing opponents up right now. But instead, he's playing the likes of FAU and University of Louisiana-Munroe at the cage in front of 11,000 screaming fans.

I'm as much as an FIU fan as the next guy (Heck, I've never missed an FIU home game in the last four years) but I am so glad I'm leaving this school next year.

I was at the Belen-Columbus game and the FIU game on Saturday. The Belen Columbus game was not completely full as you stated. The 11,000 announced seems right for both games. (I sat in the same area for both games).

Golden Panther 90, The Belen-Columbus game was completely sold out accordingly to FIU administration. Columbus, this year host,was prohibited from selling more tickets because of the attendance restriction.

I sat on the same area and I don't think it was even close, but I'm not here to argue your perspective. I just think it's sad how two local small schools (Belen 1200+ and Columbus 1300+) can sell a High School game better than a 35,000+ university.

Do you agree?

Pete Garcia the AD has been known for lying about the attendance numbers at FIU games. He claimed that we made the 15,000 average last year. The whole department needs to fired from A to Z..

jonathan... do us all a favor and SHUT UP! You are a troll and a tool! Go home and do something constructive, maybe go get an actual education from a local high school!

Wow....venting is good for the time being. But, let's turn the page soon. I feel a little bit better now after that demonstration on missing tackles last Saturday, among others.

However, while I'm now a lot more concerned about this season than I was prior to it, I share Ultimate's thoughts at to where we are and what lies ahead. After I watched Toledo completely destroy Colorado, I had a real bad feeling for this game. The Alabama game, obviously, erroneously raised expectations for most of all...for some more than to others. But, for me, the bottom line is that we are 0-3, rather than the 1-2 I expected before the season started.

We need to regroup now, keep playing hard, and find ways to get back on the winning side. Unfortunately, it really doesn't get any easier as we go to ULM, who just beat FAU at FAU....I'm not pressing the "panic button" yet....however, I'm looking at it...

P.S. some obvious non-FIU fans (or MC and/or PG haters) are finding their moment now to bash our team and coaches. And for cabin....I've never had to say this about any FIU "fan" but....good riddance. We certainly don't need "fans" like you at FIU with that kind of attitude towards FIU....your attitude is that of a bush league fan....geez...

Its hard to be proud of FIU when:

1. It gets rid of its band and tried to get rid of the cheerleaders, thus eliminating the only semblance of a college atmosphere it had at the games(but hey, Maidique got a $50,000 bonus two months ago)

2. Alienates the fans by making them pay a high price to come see a team that has never had a winning season (Most people who paid probably won't come back after this showing)

3. Shows up unprepared for a game (both on the field and in the press box)

4. Is always described as "unprofessional" by visitors

Cabin, you have a great point about Maidique getting a HUGE bonus while the band gets canned.

I know you're upset and probably will follow this team even after you graduate.

Having said that, I think is time for us, (the fans, alumni and followers of this program), to demand more. It is the only way this program will get better. Let's stop justifying every mistake our administration makes. There's nothing wrong with that FIU Fanatic

I'll always root for FIU no matter what...they could lose the next 500 games and I'll still don my FIU gear and go out and watch them. They were the first football team I have ever followed religiously. I was here for 0-12 in 2006 and for 1-11 in 2007 so nothing will get me to stop following this team. I think as fans, we have an obligation to criticize whoever is at fault for this lack of school spirit and preparation by FIU's staff for this game.

I'm more mad at the administration and the people running the "show" than the football team right now. Those guys leave their hearts out on the field and I bet they are reeling as much as we are from these losses.

I just can't believe that only 11,000 people showed up for a home opener at an on-campus stadium. Thats pathetic and we all know it.

Well, everyone is entitled to their opinions, obviously, and a lot of the criticism is warranted, I agree. And I don't question the urge of fans, alumni, and others to demand more, especially if those "demands" are reasonable given the realities of the school. However, if you feel....or anyone feels so desperate to leave FIU because of a result of a game...or a collection of games for that matter....then leave. Don't make comments like that ("I'm so glad I'm leaving this school after next year"), if you truly love FIU. It doesn't make sense, and makes you look bush league as well.

I don't think there's nothing wrong with my opinions as well, FIYOU2006.

BTW, since you are a new (or haven't posted much or in a while) poster here, welcome!

Im glad I'm leaving because most things at FIU are done half-ass. The administration does a half-ass job of promoting the game, a half-ass job of trying to raise money to keep the band, a half-ass job at preparing the dancing and cheerleading teams for their shows at the game (They were on the field when Toledo was ready to kick off, TWO TIMES for Christ sakes!)Thats why, not because of the football team's performance. I'm sick of things being done unprofessionally by the guys who are supposed to bring FIU sports back from the graveyard.

Maybe I should put it this way so you understand: I love FIU sports, but I'm tired of FIU's lack of commitment and poor managment.

Pete,

I would like to get your opinion on the game day atmosphere.

How many fans do you think were actually at the game? Any ideas on how to get more support other than "start winning games." The stadium is on campus and should be full of students just from those that simply want to tailgate and hang out. How can the administration do away with the student +1 policy using the reason that demand for games is too high to support such a policy???

Is there a schedule of which high school bands will be playing at each game? Were there any of the high school players from each school band at the game? That might actually help recruiting, assuming the product on the field improves.

Thanks

Why are my entries being deleted?!?

We draw just 11k to our home opener simply because we are not winning. People will follow teams through bad times if they can look back and remember the good times. We've had no good times yet! I'm actually surprised we are still able to draw 11k fans after annual losing seasons. I give credit to the fans that were out there. They will be the core fan base when this program does start to win, and win big, whenever that happens. All I'm saying is it is painful most of the times being a fan of this program, and I've been a season ticket holder since day 1, that's a lot of losing. It's only natural that people get tired of religously following a loser. If these players, coaches, athletic dept, and school, want an increase in attendance and overall support, they must do just one thing and do it often - WIN!!!

What the hell is going on here??? So we lost two games that everyone automatically assumed we had in the bag, keyword ASSUMED, and now everyone is jumping off-ship?

Who are you guys, UCG fans? It's pretty embarrassing that you guys are the so called "FIU faithful". I am as disappointed as any of you, but for most of you to be digging up a premature grave for this year's season before we even enter conference play is ludicrous.

Cabin, I agree that this school has a broken system. When I was a freshman at FIU, no one knew anything about our games. Now as a senior at FIU, with an AD that is on the rise, no one knows anything about our games. Not when they're being played, not the final score, NOTHING! I don't understand what the problem is, but obviously, some revamp has to be done.

That being said, for you to say "I'm so glad I'm leaving this school after next year" is throwing your alma mater under the bus, and for what reason? To me, it sounds like you have some misguided anger.

Joel - very funny post!!

cabin001 - if you're so glad to be leaving FIU, why don't you start your going away party by leaving this blog. This blog is for FIU fans, true fans through thick and thin.

So let me get this right...If you point out the obvious, Mario is not a head coach and Pete Garcia and the Ath. Dept is doing a terrible job. You are not welcome to post on this blog?..If this post is for only the delusional who thinks things are great there will be only 5 people here. Take a look at the UM or UF blogs hundreds of comments per article. Now look at ours on a great day maybe 40 with all the student and Alumni this horrific!! And you clowns are worthless..

When I was in the west coast of Florida a few weeks ago and went to the mall, every athletic store had USF stuff front and center. The problem is we are in Miami, and even though there are a lot of FSU and UF fans in the Tampa-St Pete area, people there, I think, are more attached to the local commuter school as opposed to FIU in Miami. The UofM has cornered the market on fans, and actually I think most people in Miami don't want FIU to succeed (even FIU alumni) since it will take attention away from UM.

FIU has an uphill battle in getting fans and fighting apathy!

LonePanther - I don't think we're throwing in the towel just yet. However, our awareness level has been raised and for most fans, predicting any wins for an FIU team who's only consistency level thus far is putting up "L"'s in the win/loss column is not an easy task.

I hope we perform better in conference play, but I'm hesistant to predict a win against any of our opponents. I think we have to be ready to play each team as if each game were a bowl game. FIU does not have the luxury of going in thinking highly of itself by underestimating our opponent. I get the feeling over-confidence played a factor in our losses against Rutgers and especially Toledo.

jonathan you are a moran

jonathan - you're an IDIOT!

Golden panther90, that's Moron. Use your spell check.

ChrisFIU, Prepare like a bowl game? How would they know how to do that? FIU has never been near a bowl game and most of the time you have a month to prepare for one. YOU IDIOT!!

Numbnuts - physically and psychologically preparing for a bowl game doesn't necessarily mean you have to have played in one. Did the Marlins play in the world series in 2002 before winning it in 2003? But putting that point aside, my point was to emphasize on building a winning attitude for the team which will hopefully turn into actual wins on the field.

As far as preparing for a bowl game, obviously we don't have a month to do that. So compressing a month-load of work into one week will have to suffice. It's not as hard as you think.

ChrisFIU you are clueless..OK Guys let's practice as we are preparing for a bowl game. Turn on your bowl game practice switch this week...You are clueless x's 3

LOL it's a mentality...wow I hope I don't have to spell it out for you...

MC to FIU:

"Sorry guys, I've just been informed that we can't play in a bowl game this year since we've never been in one."

Or even better:

"Great guys, we made it to a bowl game, but we can't prepare for it because we don't know how to...we've never been in one before"...

And I'm clueless?!?

jonathan (or who ever you r) thanx for picking up spelling mistake better things to do than spell check.

Panther90 Moron is a 5 letter word, yet you struggle to spell it? Why post in public if you are illiterate. Why not take time to learn how to spell correctly?
ChrisFIU Why would you even use the words bowl game when talking about FIU? That's equivalent to mentioning sweet 16 and FIU basketball..oooh ohh no..you can't believe..DELUSIONAL read your mess.."Great guys, we made it to a bowl game, but we can't prepare for it because we don't know how to...we've never been in one before"...


cabin as the prodigal son you are welcome back into the flock but we really need to temper expectations and compare apples with apples.

our first step is to become relevant. this is happening slowly with greater coverage in the herald and greater acknowledgment that there is interest in fiu sports. yes the gators, noles and all the other top programs have greater coverage but please uf was founded even before dade county. these programs have been around a long time and have won championships and have given their fans something to bond around. so don’t compare blog responses.

next step is to win consistently. that will help bring older alumni out of the closet if you will by giving them something to rally around. fiu was right in establishing a football program because in florida nothing rallies the alumni look football.

then if we’re lucky we can upgrade to a major conference. it was only in the last 20 years that fsu and um went from being independents (playing anybody, anywhere) to joining the acc and/or big east.

you can’t expect with all the challenges we have in this town, that we’re going to be like michigan bringing in 110,000 for each home game overnight. yes you bring up usf but usf has defeated several ranked teams and rose to #2 in the rankings last year. that will bring out the pride plus they don’t have a team with 5 NCs in the last 30 years sharing their city.

even the belen – columbus comparison is wrong. columbus was founded in the 50’s and belen’s been around for a long time as well. fiu was founded in 1972 and even then could only offer uppergrad courses for the next ten years because of da u and mdcc. it’s a young institution faced with the daunting task of having many people in the community against us, be it the media, local sports fans and heck let’s face it even some of our own alumni. however, we just need to butch up, make it happen, and stake our claim. all of that negativity will melt away with success. like I’ve said before there’s no reason why people can’t root for both the panthers and hurricanes (or whoever else they want to root for).

as for cristobal, bill legg, and the rest jury’s still out but let’s give them till the end of the year before declaring the season lost. one game at a time.

gotta believe.

Chris - just so you know - the Marlins won the World Series in 1997 - so the answer to yur question is yes. Did you really not know that?

I apologize to everyone on this blog if they were insulted by anything that I said. I was mad before and said some things that I wish I could take back and I did not really mean. Like everyone else, I was really frustrated with how this whole thing played out. I am as much a panther fan as anyone on this blog (except for those people that have been following FIU since 2002) and the one thing I would love is for FIU to get to the big stage. Sorry again if I offended anyone.

Marlins won in 1997 and 2003 Crazycane

The 2003 Marlins team was not the 1997 world series team. The '97 team was completely dismantled and sold at auction for a hefty gain. Essentially, the '03 Marlins team had literally no World Series experience. So your argument is flawed and irrelevant in this context. Next...

Great posts by LonePanther and Puma....It's time to move on, set aside unrealistic expectations....or even realistic ones....and focus on what the team can do from now on.

Cabin...I understood very well what you wrote, and some fellow FIU'ers obviously understood it the same way I did. I even agree with most of the points you bring up. I can see you were upset when you wrote that, but if you still feel that way about FIU (not just sports..but overall), you must agree, there's no point in rooting for us anymore. I think you made a poor choice of words in a heated moment, and you are now trying to rectify that now that you are a bit more calmed.

It's cool....you are an FIU guy and fan, and also want us to succeed, as is evident by your last several posts. I just think the way you expressed it with that sentence is utterly wrong....

Cabin001 - We're all frustrated with the 0-3 start. Believe me, my expectations for this team were probably higher than anyone else's. Having pride in your school doesn't necessarily mean you have to agree with how it's being managed. I agree that Athletics did a piss poor job of marketing the Toledo game, especially to the students. But to say that you're glad to leave FIU because of its mismanagement issues wasn't the best way to approach the fans on this board.

In any case, feel free to vent with the rest of us. There's plenty to go around. Although FIU Athletics has come a long way, there's still many more areas where we can improve. So aside from sporting venues, I hope you at least enjoyed some aspect of your experience at FIU. It's a great school with so much to offer.

I just can't deal sometimes with the ineptitude of some of the employees that work at FIU. But its something that I cannot change and we all have to deal with.

No more negativity from me...I'm done venting.

It's cool cabin...trust me, we're all frustrated. I'm so disappointed, hopefully we start getting some W's.

cabin - my argument is flawed - u compared the FIU football team to the world series championship Marlins? Get a clue man.

huh? you must be referring to someone else?

LOL Candy Cane was referring to me...

Yes, your argument is still flawed. You stated that the '03 Marlins had prepared for their championship year by playing in the 1997 World Series. I simply pointed out that the '97 Marlins team was not the '03 team, thereby dismissing your argument as flawed.

I am a big UM fan, but I bought season tickets to the Golden Panthers with my wife (who is an FIU alum.

I went to the Toledo game.

The stadium is pretty cool. It would be better with a few more fans, but that will come in time.

One obvious obvservation...FIU's defense is slow, poorly coached, and undersized. If a school like Toledo lights FIU up for 41 points, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the season.

I will be rooting for the Panthers througout the season. There is definitely enough local talent for them to field a competitive team...eventually. It's going to take some time...gotta be patient.

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