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Nick Saban On Your FIU Panthers

The first game week of the season is upon us and FIU's first opponent's coach had his weekly press conference today with the Alabama writers. Below are questions from the Alabama writers and what Nick Saban Saban had to say about your Panthers....

Saban (left): "I think FIU is a young team and has a lot of players coming back. They made a significant amount of improvement from year one to year two. They actually have a lot of speed, a lot of team speed. They are a wide-open throw the ball vertical passing game. The quarterback is back and he had a good year last year. Their receiver No. 4 (T.Y.) Hilton (below, right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) is as good a player as anybody in the country. I think he was way up there in all-purpose yards or led the country in all-purpose yards last year. They haven’t had a game and there are some differences in depth chart from last spring to last year to where it is right now. I think they might have had some guys out last year that are going to come back and play, especially defensively. This is one of those games that we need to focus on what we need to do to improve as a team. It’s going to be very important that we make a significant improvement from week one to week two."


Coach, given it’s location in South Florida where there’s so much talent, is FIU the type of program where you can see maybe building what others in the past have if the resources wereHilton there and they were able to keep some of that talent at home?

NS: "Well, they have. I think 90 percent of their team is from the state of Florida; maybe more than that, I did not count it all up. They have good players. They have a lot better players than what you think they have. They have lots of team speed and they have made significant progress -- as I mentioned from year one to year two -- and they are going to have a better team this year in my opinion. So, this is going to be a completely different challenge for us. They have a lot of great skill guys, a lot of speed on the field. They are wide open, spread out all over the place, guys getting the ball that can run with it in space. It will be a challenge for us defensively and they’ve got really good team speed on defense. I do think this is a program that can be successful."

Coach, heading into this week’s practice and the game on Saturday, how confident are you that this team, this program, has the ability to stay on an even keel and not have any kind of letdown from when you go from an opening game against Virginia Tech to an FIU?

NS: "I don’t have confidence in anything, OK? I just know what we need to do to go about it so they don’t have a letdown. And we’ll certainly do our best from a technical standpoint. Because it really isn’t about who we’re playing. You know, if you’ve got the right kind of attitude on your team, it’s about who you are and how you want to play. And I’ve talked about this over and over and over again.

"If you’re playing against someone who’s really good, that means that that person determines how you play. And if you’re playing somebody that – and I’m not saying this about FIU, I’m just saying – the other guy is not quite as talented, so that means you played poorly. Well, that doesn’t speak very well to the kind of competitor you are and the kind of player you are. I think the great players (don’t care who they play). I don’t think Kobe Bryant (right in photo) cares who he plays against. I don’t think LeBron James (left in photo) cares who is Nba guarding him. He’s trying to be the best player he can be and that’s what we want our team to do, that’s what we want our individual players to do. What do I have to do to be the best player I can be and how can I do that and how can I do it on a consistent basis? It shouldn’t be determined by the opponent, whether it’s Virginia Tech or whoever it might be. That shouldn’t matter. Just like the scoreboard shouldn’t matter. So what you’re asking me is, if we’re 14 points ahead, am I confident that we’ll keep playing? And if we’re 14 points behind, am I confident we’ll keep playing? That’s how we should be conditioned because that shouldn’t matter.

"If I want to be a great player, I should be playing my best on every play. Six seconds, every play like it has a history and a life of its own in a game, to execute, do my job, do it with effort, do it with toughness, do it with discipline, execute the technique and all those things necessary to be successful on that play. That’s what good football teams do and if we’re going to be a good football team, that’s what we need to do.

"So I’m not confident of anything. I just know that’s the plan and that’s what we’re going to try and get implemented to the players. And we need to have that personality if we’re going to be able to improve andTy make the progress that we need to make.

"I also want to say in no uncertain terms you’re a typical fan, which you all can be. That’s fine. But I respect the people that we’re playing, I respect our opponents. I want our players to respect our opponents. And this guy, No. 4 (T.Y. Hilton), (right) is a better offensive player than anybody that we played against last week. You understand that? Whatever your perception is of what they ought to be, I don’t think it’s that. And I don’t want our players to think that, either. Now, as fans, you all can think that as much as you want. And you create that perception, which just creates more problems for me because the players read the paper, too.

"Now, is that a good one to end on or you want to ask something else?"


That's a good one to end on, Nick.

Aaapaw Log on and join us on our preseason LIVE BLOG tommorrow (Tuesday) at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time as we'll go over the first FIU depth chart of the season and at the same time test out the new LIVE BLOG program we'll be using for games this season.

We'll go LIVE BLOGGING from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. or until the last possible question if we got a goodLive preseason blog going. I will play more than just 1 quarter in Tuesday's blog.

By dropping a comment, any comment during the LIVE BLOG, your name can be cleared for posting comments on LIVE BLOGS for the remainder of the season. The new program requires me to clear each screen name that wants to post comments.

Aaapaw The 3rd Annual Win A GPP Blog Predictions contest is open and will be taking your scores for FIU/Alabama until 6:59 p.m. Eastern GPP time on Saturday, Sept. 12. For contest rules, regulations and prizes information read the previous post on the GPP.


CarolinaGoldenPanther: Pete, any news on the "huge" recruits PG was talking about on the radio last week? Any idea when they'll announce these recruits?

PP: Nothing new. Word on these guys could come anytime between now and signing day in November. Knight is definitely on FIU's radar.


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Good stuff Pete...Hopefully, I'll be able to join that new chat room...Curious to see that first depth chart of the season.

Interesting comments on Brandon Knight....the larger question is...Is FIU on Knight's radar?

Wow. Is Saban scared of TY? I guess it speaks to the level of TY's skill that a defensive minded coach like Nick Saban continuously calls him out. I bet they've disected everything TY over at Alabama.

Btw Rutgers was terrible today. Anyone still certain that we wont get that W? Well lets see how we play on Saturday and then we'll make that assessment.

Saban is just handing TY the respect he's earned!! Nice job TY, all eyes are on you in Alabama.

As far as Rutgers, yeah what a blowout! Wasn't expecting that against Cinci...FIU can take this one...after they crush Howard, Rutgers will overlook FIU and lose!

Florida State is about to blow this one wide open...23-14 against our crosstown foes!!

Florida State sucked... it was a game of barley any defence. I would like to see how they fair the rest of the season... but UM took it, FSU kept giving them opportunities and they finaly capatilized.

Got to give it to the Canes tonight. You guys played well and have a STUD QB. Here's to hoping we see you guys again in the ACC championship game. Congratulations to crazy, 7/11 and the others. Good luck to FIU this coming week against Bama, you're going to need it. They look sharp, which sucks to say considering the type of person Saban is.

Damn it. Bad, low throw at the end cost the game.

Dude was open.

Ah well.

very good win by the canes... congrats to the canes fan on the board


That one hurts... FSU had SO many opportunities to win that game... the game-changer? 3rd and 15 in the first series after Jacory appeared to get hurt, crowd was into it, defense was pumped up... and then UM got a crucial first down... in the pit of my stomach I knew FSU was in trouble after that. If they stop them there the game would have effectively been over. But alas, in the end we gotta take care of our own business. And as much as I would like for FIU to get a shot at UM, we all know that ain't happening anytime soon outside of a December date... makes me so angry!


Has the time and channel for the 'bama game been posted? If so, what is it please? Thank you.

Alabama game is 7 p.m. and on pay per view. Watch party for FIU fans is at Sports Grill on Bird Rd. and 114th avenue in the shopping center with the publix

Thank you for the information. Is the place alright?

Wow tough loss for FSU! I thought they had that one, but UM proved to be a little too much in the end. JH looked very impressive last night, mostly on his passing game. Will be interesting to see how they do against their next three opponents. But congrats to UM nonetheless on this big win!

Fomenter - thanks! And you're right, we'll need it this Saturday. Bama is a solid team. I hope their size and speed don't kill us in the first half. If FIU can make this a game through the 3rd, that's good enough for me. Ofcourse, I would much rather a huge upset...

We'll have to wait and see...

Go Golden Panthers!!

Well, looks like TY aint going to be sneaking up on anybody this year but that's why it's a team game.

Congrat's to the canes, even though I don't think they were the better team, they had more heart.

After watching bits and pieces of the Rutgers Cincy game, I wonder if the Rutgers game is winnable? If we have an amazing game, we could upset Rutgers. They looked BAD the other day.

hopefully we can pull a lousiana-monroe repeat...

i watched a good deal of that Rutgers game... and let me tell you i see some serious similarities b/w FIU and Cincy... and rutgers d was BAD (except for that one LB who made that one handed int)

FIUrulez the place is new and just opened up. It is the official site of the FIU watch party and Roary will be there with some of the dazzlers is my understanding.

Apparently Sports Grill is gonna be the place to be this Sat!

EVERYONE should go there so we can pack the house and represent!

The dazzlers are enough of an incentive to show up!!

FYI - That venue holds about 125 max. From what I saw on Facebook, the RSVPs are close to 300, someone needs to call their local bar/grill and ask them if they have ESPN Gameplan ? Most sports bars have it, call ahead and they'll show it.

I'll be at the game in BAMA, I am sure the owner would love to have everyone inside, but it's just not possible. The Village Tavern in Kings Creek are FIU Alums, The Ale Houses' is also an option.

It would suck for over 200 people to be turned away at the door because there is no seating. Just something to consider if you plan on driving more than 20 minutes to the FIU Sports Grill....have a PLAN B.

The back and forth has started on ESPN conversation link, check it out:


Thanks FIUPIKE!! Sounds like it will be a packed night at the grill.

BAMA 35-FIU 17 too much for the Panthers to handle this week

Pete here's my prediction:

BAMA 34, FIU 17

Sports Grill will be packed, everyone should have back up plan...i think Dave & Busters may have game also.


Bama 31

FIU 13

They have great defense, i really hope we can hang with them and that i'm wrong in my prediction.

We will be making the road trip to Alabama Sat. to cheer on my son #86 Harris!!!! Can't wait! GO FIU!!!

The Ale Houses usually have the FIU games on if the Sports Grill becomes a fire hazard. :)

Let's go!!!

Anyone else read Cote's blog the other day? He called us the "The International". Obviously taken from "The Ohio State University"... but I like it!

I never agree with anything Cote has to say, but I say we take this and run with it!

If we can fill several bars in the area that would be amazing. I am working on getting the guys at Finnegan's to start supporting us at their Miami River location. It is great to see so many people decide to show up to the Sports Grill though.

I like that Saban, personality faults aside, has so much respect for us, and I hope that we show why on the field this Saturday.

As for recruiting, Pete you get the feeling that Brandon is the guy PG is talking about.

Bama 34

FIU 16

I must be missing something on this coveritLive application. How do I get in?

The Village Tavern will be playing the FIU game.

Can't wait until Saturday, GO PANTHERS!!!





I love our Panthers but I have to give it to Satan and the Tide

FIU - 10
Satan - 47

I hope I am wrong

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