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Healing Up, Holding Up

Several of your Panthers are on the mend, others are ready to play Saturday against Rutgers and a very important offensive player is still awaiting word. Here are your player updates after Tuesday's practice:

Jw    FIU safeties Jeremiah Weatherspoon (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) and Ash Parker are probable to play on Saturday at Rutgers, according to coach Mario Cristobal.

   Weatherspoon left the second quarter of the Alabama game with a strained hamstring, but returned to practice on Tuesday.

   Parker, who hurt his left knee against Alabama, did not practice Tuesday. Parker had surgery last season on his left knee after tearing it in the season opener at Kansas.


   Cristobal said the Panthers will have tight end Eric Kirchenberg back on Saturday. The senior missed the opener last week with a knee injury.

   However, it is still unknown if starting tight end Dudley LaPorte will be available to play against the Scarlet Knights.

   LaPorte, a junior college transfer, was not cleared by the NCAA last Friday the day before FIU’s game against the Crimson Tide.

   LaPorte did take snaps with the first team Tuesday, but Cristobal said: “We’re still awaiting word from the NCAA.”

   It will be a day to day wait with DLP as we all know the process Cedric Mack (right) went through.


   MC said C-Mack has a chance to play on Saturday. Mount Mack, who is down to 330 pounds from 360, wore pads in practice Tuesday, but was limited.

   When C-Mack finally gets in a game it would be at left guard. Andy Leavine is at left tackle after beatingCmack out Ula Matavao for the starting spot last week at Alabama.

   MC did say Ula is fighting to work his way back into the starting lineup.


   Defensive back Jarrell McGee, a junior college All-American last season, was cleared by the NCAA and returned to practice Tuesday. McGee will play against Rutgers.

   Other players expected to be at full strength for Saturday are linebackers Kenny Dillard (ankle), Markeith Russell (hamstring) and Aaron Davis (knee).


Aaapaw Saturday's game: FIU at Rutgers at 5 p.m. is on SNY, Channel 639 on DirecTV and there are no blackouts anywhere and there will be another watch party at Sports Grill.


Here's a tough poll question for you. Of the players mentioned above, who are still not 100 percent sure to go on Saturday against Rutgers, which one is the most important for the Panthers to have back:




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For those of you with AT&T U-verse cable, the game will be showed on channel 704. Let's do this FIU!

Hey guys, do any of you know if the game will be blacked out on ESPN360?

LG C. Mack... or IHOP as they called him back at Palmetto & El Camino. He will give McCall some of the protection he desirves. That's not an easy guy to move.

Weatherspoon and Parker are soo valuable to us right now. I have the upmost respect for Parker... i will never forget that he gave up his WR (he was our most productive at the time) position to play saftey. He was our best defensive stopper @ Bama until he got injured.That guy does not believe in soft tackling!! Everytime he tackles its a HIT!

From what Ced tells me... Laporte is very good. He can block, catch, and is very fast for a TE. They are all important...

I can beat Ced Mack in a hot dog eating contest.

Then you must a heafty dude. Haha!

There's gonna be another watch party at Sports Grill location(s). It should be a fun game to watch surrounded by plenty of FIU fans...Hopefully, we can pull off the upset....

Can you imagine FIU lining up with Ellingson, LaPorte, and Hilton simultaneously?!


BTW I'm here in Jersey.... gpantera is right, this really is the nation's armpit. NJ transit's trains make Miami's metrorail seem like the Eurostar.

Thanks for the update Pete. Glad to see that Cedric Mack is playing. He definitely will help O-Line.

Incase you haven't read, FIU got commitment at QB position.



Quijote, please buy your gameday ticket.

Also, easy on Jersey. I'm from there. Although I do realize that some parts of north Jersey only a native can love.

The ideal scenario - FIU defeats Rutgers. FIU proceeds to win every consequent game and so does Rutgers, thus validating the quality of FIU's victory on Saturday.

Go Panthers!

Get TY about 13 touches... That should be the goal everyweek... have guys get free because TY is the Target not the DECOY!!!
Go Panthers

Pete, do you think Mcgee would start opposite gaitor? is it possible he could fill in for parker at safety if hes not ready to go?

I am in agreement that da Mack Truck, will be needed for the rest of the season and I hope he will see meaningful time this Sat. I think we really need to sure up the interior line. After replaying the 'Bama game you could see that our o-Tackles were pushing their DE up field but they were getting too much pressure up the middle with Cody and others so PMC could not step up in the pocket.

I do doubt that Rutgers will have the kind of Rush that 'Bama had but they are still a Solid program. I believe we can contain the run against Rutgers and #7 needs to shut down Tim Brown. You know Gaitor is going to love coming up against his old Northwestern Teammate.

I am also looking forward to a Big day in the running game and waiting for the crowd to say "ohhh"

On Dudley, I think he is the most important receiver apart from T.Y. he is essentially a Big bodied Wide receiver who is going to always have a mismatch on most LB in the county. I think he was sorely missed in the last game and I hope he can get cleared before Saturday.

We really do need Dudley. On those Bama blitzes we needed a big fast TE to slide off the line for a PM dump instead of PM scrambling all over the field looking for receivers. That could have eased Bama off of their continuous blitzing and bought the offense some more time of possession that would have provided our defense with some much needed recovery time on the sidelines. Could have been a lot closer in the 4th qtr.


Are these kinds of clearinghouse issues common at other Universities or is this a case of FIU picking up kids who were "on the bubble" as far as their grades go? I know some teams shy away from some kids because of their grades. Is this what is happening here? We took a risk on these guys being eligible and now it's coming back to haunt us or am I just thinking too far into this?


As far as recruiting goes, Rivals.com has us down with three 3-stars so far. Coach Cristobal isn't letting up with his job in building up the program for one second. Gotta admit the new stadium and fieldhouse does help.

i was wondering the same thing as pikedanny as well...

Here's a video of our new commited QB. He appears to have a laser for an arm. A lot of good ball clubs were recruiting him; I am very proud the Golden Panthers got him.


It's a toss up between our safties. I voted for Weatherspoon, but in reality, we need both safties. Parker is really underrated, even by us, the FIU faithful.

The news on McGee is great. It adds a little depth to our suddenly thin secondary. I also think he might get a chance at saftey if our starters can't go.

Over the long haul, however, I agree C-Mack will be the most important player to get back on the field.

Dudley is going to be a stud when he gets back. If Rutgers is able to get any pressure on us at all, then we're going to need Dudley or Colt to really step up.

Tough call on this game, I believe FIU has a legitimate shot. But something tells me that they are still in a let down. I hope I am wrong:

Rutgers 35
FIU 20


Im also sticking to my prediction that we will beat RATgurs.

How we will win:
Perry and the rest of the RB's should be able to rush way more then what they did at Alabama (about 125yards rushing).

Thats only going to make the Play action and the passing game that much easier. To many weapons on the receiving part of our team.

As for Defense, if they play the entire game the way they played the first half of the Bama game then I have no idea how RATgers will score more then 20points.. Just ask Alabama..

Special Team, I just hope we start every series at the 40yard line since they rather kick it out of bounce before handing the ball to #4. Cant blame them for that.

Coaching: Cristobal should have an easy time outcoaching who ever the RATgers coach might actually be..

I do have one question:


Go FIU!!

That RATgers coach is Greg Schiano who Cristobal worked under as Recruiting Coordinator. I think Cristobal has a lot of respect for Schiano so maybe we should show him some as well.

Gooch - Pete noted above there are no blackouts, so if it's available on espn gameplan then you should be good to go.

Schiano ia a good coach. What he's done with that century old dump of a program is impressive. It's been bad enough being bad for the few years FIU has been around, I can't imagine being that bad for over 100 years!! They should make Schiano governor of that state...but he's probably not corrupt enough.

TOA (Team Owners Association) is meeting with MLS this week and both groups are trying to make some deal that might create MLS2.


We really need all these guys to show up. I hope that Laporte can join McGee on the list of guys to be cleared by the NCAA. It would be great to have both Laporte and Kirchenberg out there so that we could rotate the two. C-Mack is a guy we really need on the field. He is huge, hard to move, and can provide serious pass protection and penetration for the run.

It looks like we will have most of our weapons out there, and therefore I anticipate a better team than the one that showed up against Bama, as long as we bring the same intensity that is.

Give me our Golden Panthers in a 31-17 win.


Carringtons Sports Bar - 955 South Dixie HWY (old holligans)


1- HUGE HD Projection Screen that takes up one whole wall.

$1 Budwiser (KICK THE KEG---- there getting 5 kegs- its $1 until the kegs are dry)

$0.25 WINGSSSSSSSSSSSS thats right 25 cent wings!!!!!!!

6 Pool tables and PLENTY of seating

Good to see Miami sports bars hopping on the bandwagon after finding out Sports Grills were PACKED. However, its important we show the original FIU supports this year our appreciation and make sure the Sports Grills are packed.


We need to show the Sports Grill love, but there are 40,000 students and 153,000 FIU alums out there, obviously not all alums live in South Florida. We need to fill up as many bars/restaurants as possible with FIU faithful. I, for one, am going to talk to the people at Finnegan's on the River to see if they would show the game so that some of our students and alums that live downtown and on the beaches have a place a little closer to home to go to.

Hmm, not sure why my post didn't show up. Anyway I was saying it is important to support the Sports Grill, but with over 40,000 students and over 150,000 alums we need to fill up as many bars and restaurants as possible. I am working on Finnegan's on the River as a possible location to service FIU students and alums located downtown and on the beaches.

As was said before....we need to show the original supporters love...SPORTS GRILL ON BIRD!

That's were I plan to be and I live near Broward!

FIUFloridaPower&Light, I know what you're saying, but as the fan base grows we will need more locations. If we have a stellar season, that includes a WIN over Rutgers then we will need quite a few locations.

Does anyone have any info on how the other Sports Grills that were hosting the game did (in terms of attendance)?

the sunset location was full... lots of fans... some of the FIU football players. Not as loaded as the bird road location, but every table was taken my the middle of the first quarter. I went to the Bird Rd first, i was in a party of nine so i knew i wouldn't be seated anytime soon. So we sent someone to check out the one on sunset and we were seated in 10-15 minutes. The TV's are better in the Bird road Sports grill though.

Pete: Any update on Rosa's injury and playing status for this weekend?

The atmosphere was great, the food was good and the beer was cold at Sports Grill on Bird...hoping to make it there again this weekend when we beat Rutgers!

My game prediction:

FIU 24
Rutgers 17

I was blessed to follow the team to Tuscaloosa, however spoke to my wife and kids from the Bama stadium and they told me Bird and Sunset locations were full. Only complaints from my kids was that if the Bird location is the "Official" site for Panther fans then that sports bar needs to be "PANTHERIZED", which means FULL of FIU paraphernalia! My kids said that there was only stuff from the other school down the road.

I'll be at Sports Grill this Sat @ 5 pm, hope I see that establishment PANTHERIZED with people and FIU stuff on the walls!


Hey I found a picture of RutgersDan...


The orange one in the background. LOL.

The bird location has two or three FIU posters that I counted, there definitely needs to be more stuff!

Pete, what's the deal with the basketball schedule? Wasn't it supposed to come out a LONG time ago already?

Glad to be in campus today and see the Bama game being played in GC. Good stuff. Why FIU doesnt host watch parties at the stadium I will never know!

I get concerned about the play calling sometimes. It seems we keep sticking to the same 2 or 3 plays and we need to switch it up a lot more and keep throwing the ball if our runs keep getting stuffed.

Another commitment...I know it doesn't mean anything until signing day, but this staff keeps working hard.


I'm going to stick with my season prediction and say the GP's beat Rutgers. The real key for the GP's will be generating a pass rush and the O-Line preventing McCall from being used as a pinata. If FIU can do both, no question in my mind that they leave Piscataway with a program-changing W and some nice pub on ESPN. Not a lot, but some.

FIU 31, RU 24

I'll stick with my preseason predictions... but let's put it this way I am increasingly optimistic and would probably mark this one as a win if I knew then what I do now!

Rutgers 24, FIU 17... but I am expecting an upset!

FIU 35, RU 28

Mine... Rutgers 34 FIU 28

FIU 28
Rutgers 26

Lots of Florida International Recruit commitments on ESPN ticker. Any of them good?

FIU 31
Rutgers 27

This will be a close one, but FIU hauls in a win.

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