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The View From the Hilltop

Will be on here on Friday from Louisville, Kentucky with a preview and prediction of Saturday's game between FIU and WKU.

Before we get to a look at the Hilltoppers from WKU beat writer Nick Baumgardner, here are a couple ofOwens practice notes that could play a part in Saturday's game.

Daunte Owens (right) continues to get more reps in practice and MC said he could see DO becoming a part of an RB rotation with Darian Mallary after Darriet Perry. DO has shown he can break some runs in the past (North Texas and Troy games last season) and with a little bigger size than DM, he could help out. MC said DM is still going to get his carries, because if he gets any kind of opening he can go for 6 from any point on the field.

Freshman linebacker Kenny Dillard (left) is seeing more practice time this week as he heals from an ankle injury. KD was the Herald's Defensive Player of the Year last season at Miami Northwestern. MC says about KD: "There is a guy that has to Kdill play."

Here is Nick's take on the WKU Hilltoppers and what FIU can expect on Saturday:

1) How much better is QB Kawaun Jakes than Brandon Smith and what has he done for the WKU offense?


In a word – infinitely. Jakes has shown the ability not only to make throws while under pressure, but also the ability to escape pressure, buy time with his feet and execute the zone-read option properly. Though he's only a redshirt freshman and Smith a fifth-year senior, Jakes seems immensely calmer and much more under control during the game.


He's got quicker feet and probably a better arm. There really isn't much of a comparison at this point. The biggest thing he seems to have done for the offense is give people some confidence. It didn't get any worse than the first three games offensively for WKU, and having a bright spot to cling onto has definitely brightened some spirits. But, he's only started one game, so we'll see how it continues.



2) Are the nearly 300 rushing yards per game given up by the Toppers D a result of a tough early scheduleWku or a lack of talent?


I'd have to say both. Navy obviously runs the ball more than just about anyone in the country, Tennessee wanted to run the ball heavily in the season-opener and Matt Grothe absolutely made a difference in the loss to South Florida. But more than that, WKU is extremely small and inexperienced up front – and has gotten virtually no production from its defensive line.


The inside linebackers play tough, but too often it seems they're fighting off two or three blockers at a time. This isn't anything new, as the Hilltoppers were basically handed their lunch on a weekly basis when it came to opposition's rush attacks last season. It's been an ongoing problem, and so far, they haven't found a solution.


Jakes 3) Who else on offense besides Jakes (left) should the FIU D keep an eye on this Saturday?


Senior receiver Jake Gaebler makes his return this week after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. He's something around 20 catches away from setting the school record for career receptions, and obviously the team's top wideout.


Outside of that, sophomore running back Bobby Rainey can be pretty electric if and when he gets rolling. Health and ball security have always been issues for him (he didn't play in this game last season), but when he gets things clicking, he's as good as any back in the league.


4) What are WKU's strengths and weaknesses this season so far?


There really haven't been many strengths to speak of. There have been flashes of strengths, but nothing consistent enough to call a true positive. WKU has been handled in basically all four games this season, and it wasn't until last week that the Hilltoppers finally showed signs of life.


If nothing else, I think for the first time this year the team has hope. As far as weaknesses go, the overall youth of the squad has presented a problem. The defense starts just two seniors and most of the primary backups are redshirt freshman, sophomores or juniors who haven't played much. And more than anything, Tywku the offensive and defensive lines have yet to put together four solid quarters of football.


5) Your prediction and score?


I think WKU is getting close to snapping that massive losing skid (now a nation-long 12 games), but I don't think it'll happen this week. FIU seems to have too much talent and too many playmakers. I think it'll be close, but I'll side with Paul McCall and T.Y. Hilton.


FIU 24, WKU 21







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24 -21 FIU... that score would suck but at this point I'll take even a 1 point win over WKU.

Not going to happen, we're winning by at least 2 TD's this week.

Not to look forward too much, but next year should be awesome. Dudley LaPorte, TY and Wayne Times, Wesley Carroll. Plus we'll see all the recruits MC brings in.

Go Gold. Go Blue. Go Panthers.

According to Manny Navarro's live blog, Pete....he says you are the man!! LOL!!

Also said FIU would take 40 players from the game between Central and Northwestern...kind of arrogant intended to be funny remark.....

lol i was the guy he was responding to in that chat!

well, earlier on, I asked him about FIU, and he answered that....he also mentioned MTSU, UM, and some other schools' coaches were there. He never mentioned FIU coaches, which is kind of odd to me, since it's at FIU....I wonder if Mario and/or any of his coaches are there?

Im diggin the FIU publicity!!
Im sure if Mario isnt there ... its because they are playing in Mario's house. So technically Mario is EVERYWHERE!!! Tape is being recorded in the FIU house and thats all thats needed. Why would you have to physically be there tp advertise your school when the kids are playing at your school. Mario is doing what he does best ... bring the BEST Florida talent and reeling it in to FIU!!!!

Mario HAS to be there in order to be the face of the FIU program. Sure, the facilities and stadium speak for themselves in the minds of these kids, but you need someone there to represent the school.

FIU Fanatic,

Either he was trying to be funny by bashing FIU, or he was trying to take the easy way out. It's pretty evident he knows nothing about FIU football.

I know how he is......BTW, Khambrel McGee, an FIU commit (a pity ESPN did not include him as one of the kids already committed) has played some pretyy good football out there tonight defensively...

WKU 27 FIU 21

wku 35 fiu 28

FIU 27 WKU 14

why would any kid go from a good high school playing in front of thousands go to fiu to play in front of hundreds?...you clowns are smoking crack

Another of the multiple personalities? LOL....

On campus stadium looking beautiful tonight on TV...

Stadium looks great! The opening at the corners and those palm trees somewhat remind me of the OB. Of course, FIU Stadium being much nicer and impressive on national tv than the OB.

The OB torn down still looks better then that High School stadium.

FIU 41
WKU 14

FIU 47

WKU 27

WKU 24
FIU 17

LonePanther - Please do not compare FIU stadium to the OB - FIU and its fans can only pray that their little on campus stadium gains half of the recognition that the OB did over the time of its existence. You sound foolish.

I gotta agree with CracyBiotch here, how dare you compare us with a stadium whose plumbing offered free mud facials for those seated underneath.

LOL....."multiple personality" speaking....

FIU 38 WKU 34

LOL...funny stuff quijote!!

I know how he is......BTW, Khambrel McGee, an FIU commit (a pity ESPN did not include him as one of the kids already committed) has played some pretyy good football out there tonight defensively...

Posted by: FIU Fanatic | October 08, 2009 at 09:35 PM

I also noticed that. He was all over the field making plays. It felt weird watching college coaches all over the FIU football fired.

FIU better win on Saturday!!!

* field

Win FIU win

Kambrel McGhee was advertised once as being an FIU commit .. so was #55 - he was Considering FIU. #7 was all over the place but they only mentioned him commited to FIU ONCE!

Representing FIU on the ESPN2 game last night was there. Wayne Times came out congratulating Teddy B after one of the TD drives. I think its just the cameras that didnt focus on them... the result of being 0-4.

FIU 35

WKU 14

The OB was a magical place for football. Best game ever...1985 Dolphins-Bears Monday Night. Bears only loss that year.

Check out the video for all you that weren't even born at the time. Joe Namath and O.J. Simpson (before he was a murderer) in the booth together calling the game. BEST game ever in the OB by far.


R.I.P. Orange Bowl....R.I.P.

FIU needs to play 4 quarters of football. I hope the coaching staff can keep our guys in line in 15 minute increments focusing on executing plays with a high motor and extreme discipline...

If they can win each quarter and not make mistakes, we should get the W and build on this heading into the Troy game.

ok FIU needs to stop the bleeding and if we cant do that against WKU quite frankly everyone should be benched and put in the back ups who actually want to play.. FIU WILL win... im goin to go 35-31

Those commits may change if FIU don't show signs of improvement. The crowd must show up or these kids will seek other places with bigger crowds and a more supportive Alumni base. As I see it, what does FIU have to offer that another big school can't double or triple down on? As great as TY is his stock will never rise above playing on a losing team in a weak conference...Its the difference between being a 3rd or 4th rounder and a top rounder.

I think I'm ready to make a prediction after two weeks of absence...here goes:

FIU 38
WKU 17

I'm nervous to even post that in public, but hopefully we reel in our first win of the season, even if it's by a one-point margin, as someone else previously posted.

Go Golden Panthers!!

quijote with that facial came the company of 70,000 fans, If you add the last 3 years of FIU home crowds up and multiply it by 2.. it still would leaves you 20,000 short of one good ,Dolphin, UM ,High School, circus, Pee Wee championship game at the OB..

You were the star in the circus attractions weren't you dan? Clowns like you are hard to find.

FIU 28

WKU 14

Lets go FIU, lets win this one!

FIU 38 WKU 28

Here come more of these multi-personality guys....

Those fans of other local school(s) pretending to be FIU fans are too dumb to think that way...

Anyways, great to see our beautiful ON CAMPUS stadium featured last night, with some of our commits being there. It's true that ESPN2 finally towards the end of the game acknowledged that McGee...who had a tremendous game...was in fact an FIU commitment. ESPN2 also had OL Stanley St. Jean, from Central, as an FIU commit, while showing Jerome Thomas and Donald Senat with interest in FIU.

Wow DAN that was quite impressive how did all that high math in your head like that. I guess that fancy edumacation finally paid off, right here, on an FIU blog. We're honored to have such a clever douche in our presence. The OB days are over. OVER. O-V-E-R. So next time you're in Joe Robbie and eject your head from Sebastian's southernmost orifice, take a glance upwards toward the upper deck and behold the beautiful orange seats, then proceed to reintroduce yourself back into Sebastian.

FIU 28
WKU 17

WKU 42 FIUHigh 14....and the misery lives on another month..

FIU 52 WKU 2

That was hilarious scUMsanitizer!!! I'm still laughing.

FIU 34
WKU 21

Go Golden Panthers!

Hey Crazy Cane,

The OB became a special place thanks to the Dolphins.

um made it theirs after:



Man i love it when i see non FIU fans post up their comments. This wouldnt have happened 3 years ago. Keep those comments coming!!!

Hey, does anyone know of anyway u can watch tomorrows game? It's not being shown on ESPN360 that i know of....and i believe its not on panther pass either. Thanks and GO FIU!
we win; FIU 24 WKU 21

Pete, i'm assuming your having the "live" blog tomorrow for the game???

Of course it isnt being shown on ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, 360 or any other station owned by a respectable company. there would have to be 50 Espn's before they carried this game.

And even then, they could show many more entertaining high school games with better players.

crazy cane/panther, etc. just answered above...LOL...

FIUer that stinking FIU defense couldn't hold a teenage girls flag football team to 2 points. Get real...your football knowledge is a JOKE a bad JOKE at that, UWK 42 FIFLUKE 14

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