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On To Conference Play

From reading some of the comments about Saturday's loss, hopefully by now you've gotten it all out of your system. Whether you did it by hitting the gym, hitting your favorite adult beverage, hitting both, hitting


something or just by yelling into your computer on here....you good people have every right to be upset about Saturday's performance by your Panthers. As MC said afterward: "About the only thing we did well was play hard".

Once again, the FIU offense got off to a slow start for the third consecutive game and thus putting pressure on the D to contain the opposing offense -- in which Toledo has a pretty good one. Only problem with that scenario was that the FIU D we saw in the first 2 games against No. 3 Alabama and Rutgers wasn't the same one that played Toledo.

Unlike games against Bama and Rutgers, the D missed too many tackles with plenty of guys trying to deliver the big hit instead of just wrapping up the Rocket and bringing him down. Once again, there was a lack of a pass rush, which does not bode well against any O, especially one as potent as Toledo. And there were plenty of w-i-d-e open Toledo receivers, which could be attributed to poor coverage and/or the lack of pass rush.

Offensively, there were just too many mistakes: fumbles, dropped passes, inaccurate passes and lack of execution in the red zone -- need 6 down there and not 3. FIU seemed to be able to run the ball better


than pass against the Rockets. Kudos to the O-line and Darriet Perry and Darian Mallary, who scored his first college TD (right, thanks Sam Lewis photo). The Panthers need to run in order to keep Ds honest with the spread passing offense.

So now it's on to Sun Belt Conference play with FIU's SBC opener at Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday and a chance to start turning the season around. Although with the improved Sun Belt, every game from here on out will be a battle.

Some of you may have read the first part of the preceding paragraph and said "yeah, right", but here's the thought from Saturday's loss: most of what FIU did wrong is correctable. It's not like Toledo and the rest of


the schedule are the 1972 Dolphins (left). Well, the Gators look like the 2008 Gators.

Now it's a matter of whether or not the players and coaches can regroup and fix what went wrong against Toledo.

Yes, Toledo has a good team, but yet with all the poor play by FIU, it still lost by only 10. Yes, I know it was a 17-point deficit until the late TD.

However, if you were to tell me team X:  missed tackles, didn't have any pass rush, had leaky pass coverage, fumbled twice deep in team Y's territory, dropped passes, misfired on passes and squandered red zone chances and you ask me to predict a score on the outcome of team X's game, then I would probably say something like: 52-10.

Although this Panthers team is far from being a finished product there is enough talent to clean things up and get back on track this season.

Surely there will be plenty of tackle technique drills in practice this week. There might be a change in pass rush scheme (my 2 cents is a lack of size is prohibiting FIU from getting to the QB, because the speed is there) and there may be a shake up in playing time on D.

On the O, they will probably go back to the basics in practice learning to wrap up the ball when running with it and following the ball into their hands when its thrown at you, and PMC will focus on being sharper with his passes. When it comes to the red zone we may see next time different personnel or different plays called, because the Panthers have to take advantage of t-minus 20 yards when they are in that situation.

There is no doubt the FIU you saw on Saturday was nowhere near the team you saw most of last season and there is no excuse for that type of performance. Last week, I wrote that we could get a better idea of your Panthers this season after the Toledo game. Not sure we accomplished that since FIU had too many self-inflicted mistakes.

Maybe, we'll have a better idea after the game against a tough Warhawks team on the road. I would like to see FIU play a complete game in all 3 facets of the game (win or lose) to have a better idea. We've seen a half of offense in all 3 games. We've seen the D in just 2 games and the special teams have been hot and cold.

Most of you were already crowning this team as Sun Belt champions before the season began probably


based on last year's improvement, but this team is still a work in progress and how that progress continues this season will be determined by how your Panthers bounce back from Saturday's performance.




Congratulations to Yarimar Rosa, (thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) who in her first week back from a hand injury won the Sun Belt Volleyball Player of the Week award today. 

WIN A GPP BLOG WEEK 3 STANDINGS (FIU/ULM scores due by 3:29 p.m. Eastern GPP Time on Saturday)


FIUrulez (27); Fomenter (45); Crazy Cane (62); MIA/NY Josh (71)


FIU0406 (32); FIUPantherFan (44)

FIU Fanatic (46), Joel (46)

alt7787 (50); TheChampionUnderdog (51); NYCFIUFan (52); esteban688 (65)


Puma (26); LonePanther (38)

Golden Panther 90 (39), Quijote (39)

Baltimore Panther (43), Clawing Cancer (43), Gooch7 (43)

CarolinaGoldenPanther (44); CJ (46); Sunblazer Panther (47); SouthPaw (48); OC FIU Panther (49); FIU LOVE (53); theINTERNATIONAL (57); FIUcanesFan (63), gold (63); Hay (67)


Max (66); Tri-Panther (70); FIUer (78)

GPP: 2-1 (32)


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Pete, is there a watch party for Saturday? Are they sure there won't be any blackouts?

We will win this one.

FIU 34

ULM 24

Looks like the game will be televised on espn360 this week.

Pete is right. Calm down take the rest of these games in and enjoy some Football. We are not the Gators so every game is not expected to be a win.

On that note - Toronto Smith is an ANIMAL !!! We was all over the place on Saturday running them rockets down! TY as usual. Gaitor AWESOME PICK !!!


I think MC needs to remind the guys TDAOS!!!!!!!!

Pete....FIU sports website says Saturdays game is on the sunbelt network, what channel is that on Dish or Direct tv??? And can you tell me if position changes are going to happen on Defense?? maybe a rumor of #86 moving back to TE? thanks GO FIU!!!

Pete, thanks for the counseling but you continue to mention we've seen a half of offense in all 3 games???? When???? yes, when the defense is playing a prevent and trying to waste the clock and taking some, if not most, of the starters out so that they don't get hurt? Even in those times an OK HS team can put up some points. Your writing is needed, so I salute you and appreciate it, but I am still frustrated. I want the team to play offense, put points on the board and if they can't score with the plays they are calling then be creative and try other plays. I rather lose trying something new than lose using the same old plays. We have the Offensive coach which is suppose to be a mastermind on offense. Everyone knows our O-line sucks. So lets stop crying about it, and have the mastermind coach deal with it in a creative manner, that is why he gets paid. If he can't find a way to help the QB stay clean and get the RB holes with what he has, then what good is he???? No more complaining of what we have, time to complain about how the coaching staff makes what we have work; that is why they get paid the big bucks!!!

ULM 34 FIU 21 no more betting with my heart.

FIU Love is right and I've been speculating the same thing for a while now.

Who the hell calls an end-around when you're basically on the goal line??? And like Quijote said, who calls a running play to the short side of the field??? There's no damn space!

Bill Legg's play calling has been tremendously suspect at the least.

You are right on the play calling sucks! And the secondary needs alot of work also.

FIU 21 ULM 34


Can we blame the Herald for the lack of attendance at the Home Opener this past Saturday? I mean I read both versions of the Herald (on-line and hard copy) and in the paper version there were no real articles about the 'Home Opener' for FIU. No build up...Nothing.

This is the University that educates the vast majority of 'local' students through their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Yet Opening Night of the new season gets relugated, on game day, to some gee-whiz article on pg. 11.

Did you guys read about the Trojans' starting RB Stafon Johnson who was finishing a heavy bench lift, lost his grip and had the bar, along with all its weight, fall flat on his throat?! He was in surgery overnight and is in critical condition.

I tore my pectoral muscle a couple of years ago with a lift and, as a result, had the bar fall on my chest. While that was painful, I can't imagine having it fall on one's throat. Poor guy, let's include him in our prayers and hope he recovers and is able to live a normal life. What an unfortunate event.

Horrible thing that happen to that kid at USC. Hopefully he gets well.

My prediction this week: FIU 21 ULM 20...we need a W.


Things I think need MAJOR change:

1) when we have 3rd and a foot please dont go shotgun with the spread. How about a DRAW!!

2) Attendance was a joke at the Toledo game. Im actually scared that FAU will have more fans at the stadium then we will when we play them! That would be a sad day!!

3) D-Line just simply sucked.

4) The heart and pride they played at Alabama was NEVER shown during the entire game.

For the Try game i predict: 5000 fans and about 1000 will actually wear Black (they way you are suppose to)..

Only possitive note from the entire game: Our high school band was way better then the real band.. Way to go Central and Carol City!!

When are we going to start talking a bit about baseball?

Talk baseball during football season??? ...

We can barely concentrate on baseball during baseball season!

Didn't know about the kid in USC. Hope he manages to pull through.

Baseball wow it isnt that bad people!

I'm already nervous about this upcoming game...about as nervous as I am right before Dustin Rivest attempts to kick a field goal.

My prediction:
ULM 24
FIU 20

Make me look stupid FIU...PLEASE!!!

ULM 41
FIU 14

I'm pissed...if we lose, at least I feel that I got it right. If we win, I'll be happy.

FIU 24
ULM 14

I'll stay positive with the guess but this team better man-the-F-up this Saturday.

The boys finally have enough and want revenge for last year.

FIU 31 ULM 24

the sky is falling, the sky is falling

Does anyone think that the picture for today's article on Toronto Smith is a bad one? He looks like hes upset because he and Gaitor got beat on a play by that tall receiver.

Yeah the pic emphasizes the opposing team member rather than Smith...

ULM - 27
FIU - 17

Thisis the week the turnaround has to start. It's seems as if the ignition hasn't been working the last three games, but I have a feeling it's going to turn on this weekend. This game is going to be a mirror image of what happened last year after we started off 0-3. We're going to go in there and right the ship.

FIU 31
ULM 20

FIU - 27
ULM - 24

We gotta win or win...

ULM 30

FIU 24

I agree Bad CHOICE of picture ! I mean its a good picture to emphasize the overall feeling of FIU but something a little more motivational would have been better. Something like the FIUSports.com page has listed with T. Smith wrapping up a tackle.


Great...I've been rummaging around the ULM boards and our televised game with them is their homecoming game. Some are predicting huge victories like 42-20 and a betting agency has ULM at 84% chance of win on Saturday. This is alarming. Either they are geniuses or they are in for a rude awakening... Hopefully the latter for our sake.

Let 'em talk... maybe this will get under the skin of our players and coaches and get them to come out swinging in the FIRST HALF for once... gee wizz, I would love to see us actually start a game strong instead of waiting until it's too late...

27-24 fiu wins, hopefully they win because the dolphins have been following the same pattern and both are 0-3. So hopefully this becomes a good weekend for both teams.

I'm glad to see all the negativity's died down. It sure made for some crazy reading over the past 2 days.

Personally, I didn't want to post after reading all that you guys wrote, mostly because I agree with what a lot of you said about the team's performance. They did seem flat, did seem like there was no creativity, did seem like there was no real passion... at least, that's how it sounded like to me when listening to the radio crew. Wished I was there, to be honest. I probably would've joined a lot of you in giving the team a piece of my mind. It's unacceptable to lose to Toledo. I don't care how much better they've gotten. It's unacceptable. Sometimes, you have to call it what it is. Good teams don't lose to the Toledos of the world at home. And I still think this is a good team... they just haven't found themselves yet. If they don't real soon, it could turn into 2006 all over again, and real flippin' fast. MC and the coaches better find something that works, and fast.

Since I wasn't at the game, I'll leave the off-the-field stuff alone, except for one thing. Having personally been a PA man at FIU and having seen how the Athletic Dept. runs things from the inside, I can tell you first-hand that many of the people there are top-notch people who know what they're doing. If you guys want to trash them for what you think was a bad gameday atmosphere, fine by me. Nothing wrong with that. That's part of the game, and fans certainly have the right to do that. But if you think the solution is just to fire everyone in sight, like I've heard some suggest, think again. Learn just how little many of these people have to work with and you might be singing a different tune. Or, at the very least, be more appreciative of what they actually get done.

I think it's fairer to critize the top level admin at FIU more than the ground troops for a lot of the gameday problems. It's difficult to expect people to make things happen when you don't give them the resources to succeed AND don't have a clear vision of the goals AND of how to accomplish said goals. I don't know if that's the case now, but when I was there (pre-PG), I certainly felt like that was the case.

It's sad to me that many of the fans still feel that way. I won't say whether or not that's still the case, because I don't know. But I will say that the fact many of you come on here and believe that to be so should make a lot of the top dogs at FIU think about what they're doing. Say whatever you want about "winning" bringing fans in, but you still have to provide other positive experiences at the stadium for the fans to keep coming back, and a lot of the complaints I'm reading here should be taken to heart by PG and those higher-up. Even if they think it's exaggerated. Little things like long lines and boorish fans saying stupid crap go a long way into affecting what people think about FIU.

As for this week... well, about the only good news here is that SBC play is this week. It's a new season, and the one that really matters at the end of it all. If FIU wins the conference title, I don't think any of us will worry too much about Rutgers and Toledo. I sure won't. They better come correct, though. And get McCall healthy. If he's not under center, FIU's screwed. Hate to say it, but it's true.

As for the score... FIU 31, ULM 24.

Keep the faith, y'all.

How to pack FIU stadium

Rely on the FIU Family – Students, Alumni, faculty and staff

15% of FIU Students or 6,000 out the 40,000 student body (this aligns with President's Rosenberg's plea to get 6K students out to each game)

8% of FIU Alumni or 10,000 out of the 126,000 living alumni with good mailing addresses (according to fiualumni.com)

17% of the FIU Faculty or 500 out of the 2,974 full-time faculty at FIU (faculty stat according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_In ... University)

With these three set of constituents alone (students, alumni and faculty), we’re at 16,500 FIU fans. The stadium seats 18,000. In order to sell-out FIU stadium, we can fill the remaining 1,500 with FIU administrative staff that should number in the thousands. A small percentage of administrative staff and we’re there.

So without ever bringing one single FIU fan-at-large to campus, we can sell-out FIU Stadium. Yes, we can sell-out FIU Stadium by only relying on ourselves, the FIU Family.

Are these numbers attainable? If so, let’s reallocate all of our resources and let’s start focusing on the four key constituents that can help us not only sustain FIU Football, but provide FIU Stadium with the energy and excitement only a packed house could bring. Once the winning becomes a constant, we’ll have to throw a second deck on the stadium to meet demand. Until then, let’s count on our own family of Panthers to get the job done.

I would not spend another minute chasing down at-large members of the community to support FIU Athletics until we've achieved these reasonable thresholds within the FIU community.

I welcome your feedback. Let's move fast. The next home game is only a few weeks away.


Excellent post clawing cancer. I felt like blasting my feelings on this forum as well but I had to hold back. Game is over lets move on to the next game this Saturday. GO FIU!!

Im still hoping Dudley La Porte breaks out this game with some good runs !!!!!

The game will be on ESPN 360!!!

does anyone know if Saturdays game is on national tv, Dish network or Direct tv???

I am confused about this whole Ash Parker injury situation. After the Alabama game it was disclosed that he had a knee injury but MC said it was probable he would play at Rutgers. As you all probably remember it was kind of a shock when both Parker and Weatherspoon sat that game.

Now we find out that he tore up his knee in the Alabama game, the same injury as last year. When did they find out about the severity of the injury? Why did they wait so long to disclose it or have Parker undergo surgery? Was he actually practicing?

I'm very concerned. Either about FIU's medical staff dropped the ball (for failing to realize the severity of the injury) of MC was really fudging the truth about the probability of Parker playing. Either way it calls into question any of the comments made regarding player injuries. Is Kirchenberg really expected to be out 3-4 weeks or is this a career ending injury?

Anyone else concerned about this?


Your breakdown makes sence but reality is something different. I think the student body did a great job for the Toledo game (dont expect them to show up for the next game). As far as Alum's (including myself) there is just not enough care about FIU Athletics. I have been a season tix holder for 4 years, but how many are there. I would estimate 2000 Alum's at the game(very sad). As far as faculty that is also very sad. How can you work at FIU and not have enough pride and show up to 2 or 3 games..

Attendance: Sad story!!
Troy: 10K (I hope)
ULL: 5K (No one will show up at Noon)
UNT: 10K (just because its Homecoming)
FAU: 10K (just because FAU will bring 3K)

Im not too concerned about injury reports. Results can take some time to come in.

The problem with FIU athletics and the FIU Staff and faculty is real simple. When Pete Garcia became AD he and President Mitch bullied the rest of the campus(including other sports) for the football program.

Lots of programs were cut jobs were lost and money for project were never funding. Even Prez Mitch realized this when he left and fell out of favor with the AD that he hired. There lies the problem.

Mario Cristobal and Pete Garcia make a lot of money...more than any other coach and AD in the sun belt conference, yet FIU doesn't have enough money to fund a band, cheerleaders, marketing opportunities, etc. Its comparable to someone owning a mercedes benz, yet barely making enough money to keep a roof over their heads. Something is wrong with this picture. The really sad part of all of this is that FIU students (all 38,000 of them) pay one of the highest athletic fees in the state of Florida. Where are all those millions of student dollars going? Someone is not doing their job when it comes to allocating funds.

I love how people speculate on this forum.

MC and PG make alot of money because you pay for what you get. What other AD that you know of will bring in Isiah Thomas, Turtle Thomas and the animal recruiter Mario Cristobal. Who in my opinion is getting champions to commit to FIU. I think they are worth every penny. OK so we lost the first three games ... do you know how many year of recruiting it takes to build depth and develop talent. You expect to win every game with just two years of good recruiting ?!!!! We live in Miami dont be shocked about the fans down here. Get REAL!!!

Got that backwards *you get what you pay for.

Great post, FIURage... and like I said, I can live without a band for a little while if it means bringing in great coaches and athletes. The wins come with patience and we are already seeing a difference in the quality of our athletics programs. Just gotta put it all together. And FYI, the band barely gets funded by athletics.

FIURage, I couldn't agree more. Funny thing is that if the school wasn't investing the money it is in the athletic department, the same posters would be complaining about the University not supporting the athletic department enough. We are headed in the right direction. A few years ago, Alabama, Rutgers, and Toledo would've obliterated FIU. Patience is a virtue...

Exactly....It's Wednesday already, it's time to turn the page and focus on next game at hand...ULM...

Gooch 7,

We start at home. We must convert those with a tangible relationship to FIU first, sell-out the stadium and the rest will follow.

Has there been a professionally designed marketing plan to engage students, alumni, faculty and staff? We need less than 20% of each in order to pack FIU Stadium. These number are achievable as long as we have a good marketing plan in place that incentivize and engage.

3-0 Ladies....How about that.

I mean I am 3-0, your football team is 0-3

Anyways, this week, should be a close one and could go either way. You lose by a field goal as the offense mis-manages the clock down the stretch.

ULM 27 FIU 24


That goes to show you that never getting excited about High School players and the number of stars by their name. The player with 4 stars. Lets face it TY is the only one that has panned out. Some may say Gatior, but when you consider the fact he is a corner with 4.6 40 yd. speed he's not making schools drool!!


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