Staying about 2 hours away from Bowling Green (no commercial flights into there) -- home of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -- and been told the weather is the same down there today on Friday. It's sort of like the weather here can sum up the season thus far for your Panthers.
But watching the local weather bunny on TV here and she says the forecast for Saturday in both Louisville and Bowling Green is for clear, sunny skies and temps in the upper 50's to low 60's for the 7 p.m. kickoff between FIU and WKU. (What's that you say, that's not a Louisville meterologist on the left?)
So maybe the change in the weather here portends to a change in the Panthers season as well after Saturday's game.
It certainly won't be easy as we have seen that FIU does not make anything easy this season. Just in time for the Panthers, WKU changed quarterbacks from the ineffective and immobile Brandon Smith to the accurate and fleet-footed Kawaun Jakes -- which is the type of QB that has always given FIU fits. (See: Dasher, Dwight [Middle Tennessee]; Revell, Trey [ULM])
Jakes led the Hilltoppers to their best offensive output of the season last week against Navy -- 22 points and 434 yards of total offense. FIU D better be ready for this dude.
If we look at the national stats, it seems it could be a good day for the FIU O. On defense, WKU is ranked at or near the bottom of many categories.
In scoring D: WKU is No. 120 out of 120 Division I teams allowing 41 points per game. WKU is also dead last in rushing yards allowed per game (299.75) and No. 118 in total D (499.5 yards per game).
In scoring offense, WKU is No. 119 (12.2 points per game) and No. 119 in total offense.
But then you factor in FIU's poor play on D the last two weeks and check the Panthers defensive rankings: No. 120 in total D -- 513 yards per game; No. 116 in scoring D -- 38 points per game and No. 117 in rushing D -- 240.5 yards per game and this could very well be an offensive shootout.
The Panthers hope the WKU stats hold true and that the FIU D's stats justify Mark Twain: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics". Why not with a Twain reference, since we are bordering his home state of Missouri.FIU can in no way, shape or form come into this game overconfident or it will get gashed. If the Panthers play 4 quarters of football -- not 1 half or a quarter like has been the case this season. Run the ball like they did vs. Toledo and score each time they have a chance [that's TDs & FGs] and the FIU D that was last seen in Tuscaloosa and Piscataway shows up then it should be a happy flight home for your Panthers to Miami late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. If not, despite the projected 90-degree, sunny and clear skies forecast for Miami on Sunday, it could be cold, rainy and dreary along SW 8 Street.
GPP says: FIU 38, WKU 27
The GPP LIVE BLOG for the FIU/WKU game will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday night right here. It is a 7 p.m. game, so that screws with my deadlines and will have to leave the blog probably near the end of the third quarter to start writing for Sunday's paper. BUT I will leave the blog open for you good people to go at it.