Extremely tough task awaits your Panthers when the Trojans arrive in Miami later this week. The most complete team in the Sun Belt is FIU's next opponent.
A much needed win against Western Kentucky last Saturday provides some momentum for FIU going against Troy.
It was good to see other playmakers pick it up when No. 4 was not around. Greg Ellingson and Ty Frierson (right, thanks AJH photo) are reliable targets for Paul McCall despite not having the breakaway speed of Goodbye -- but then again not too many people have that Road Runner elusiveness and speed that No. 4 possesses.
Saturday also showed what a healthy Daunte Owens can do. We saw sneak peeks of DO last year at Troy and North Texas and DO showed more of it vs. WKU. DO provides size and speed carrying the ball and is a very nice complement to Darriet Perry. And you cannot forget Darian Mallary, who has yet to be given that little space to break one for 6.
Although they won't be mistaken for the "Hogs" of the Redskins glory years, the FIU O-Line has gotten better as the season has progressed. They kept PMC clean the past few games and opened holes in the running game on Saturday like they did vs. Toledo. If they can do that against Troy, then maybe we'll give them mulligans for the first two games of the season.
Not everything is to be lauded from Saturday's win. The ineffectiveness of FIU's run D is still a mystery to be solved and it needs to be fixed for Troy, because another mobile QB is ready to face the Panthers.
Troy QB Levi Brown and backup QB/Wildcat operator Dantavious Parker have the abilities to split the FIU D. The Panthers need their D-linemen to get off those blocks and with the linebackers help stop the run. FIU also has to shore up the tackling. There were some more missed tackles against WKU and those are killers in trying to stop the run.
The FIU D did come up with timely stops when it had to against the Hilltoppers. Probably the biggest stop was after WKU recovered the surprise onside kick in the second quarter. Big Ontario Smith and Jonas Murrell had a key sack on that possession to end the WKU drive.
Just as important was kicker Dustin Rivest (left, thanks AJH photo) nailing 3 of 3 FGs -- 2 of them from 39 yds out. Unlike, the previous week when a missed FG against ULM stopped the momentum FIU had built from its 1st quarter TD, this time a made FG gave FIU a 10-0 lead.
DR won the Sun Belt's Special Teams Player of the Week.
We'll get more into the FIU/Troy matchup as the week progresses, but already a 10-point underdog at home (according to Vegas), the Panthers are going to have to play their most complete game of the season to upset the Trojans.
Just go ahead and name the award after her already....FIU's 3-time All-American Yarimar Rosa (right, thanks AJH photo) won the "Yarimar Rosa Volleyball Player of the Week Award" for the third consecutive week, the Sun Belt announced on Monday. The award was formerly known as the Sun Belt Conference's Volleyball Player of the Week Award. Rosa has won it a conference record 12 times in her illustrious career.
CNN will be broadcasting live from FIU's Graham Center Pit tommorrow (Tuesday) from 3 to 4 p.m. Former local news anchor Rick Sanchez will be doing his show at FIU and is expected to interview Isiah Thomas and Pete Garcia. Sanchez accompanied FIU to its season opener at Alabama to do a report on MC and PG. You can see a preview of it tommorrow during the show.
For all those posing as other readers screen names, your comments will be deleted when I get on-line that particular day. Through the MH's blog tracking program, I get all your e-mail addresses and IP numbers so I know when you are an impostor or when you are using multiple names. Keep it clean and your comments will remain, otherwise you will be clawed out.
CarolinaGoldenPanther: Pete, any updates on FIU basketball recruiting? Also, what's the story with Chris Coleman in the '11 class? ESPN shows he decommitted from FIU?
PP: Coleman did decommit, but still has FIU among choices. With Coleman, you have the same problem that was here with FIU's previous center -- a meddling handler. The handler keeps saying that CC is not going to FIU, even though the kid did originally commit to FIU. He's still 2 years away for 2011 so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Remember, high school kids have a tough enough time trying to pick a flavor of Gatorade to drink. Always have said you have to wait until they sign on the dotted line.
LonePanther: Pete, What is going on with the rushing defense? Is it a problem with the D-line having a push, are the linebackers overpursuing, or is it a coaching/discipline issue?
PP: Looks like the D-line is not shedding blockers, there are too many missed tackles and several times the D is getting fooled by the quarterback's fakes. Against ULM and WKU, there were times when the D would follow the back without the ball while the QB took off running outside with the ball. If FIU can get the run D fixed, this team could take off.
PP: FIU 37, WKU 20....You're welcome>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
WIN A GPP BLOG WEEK 5 STANDINGS (Troy/FIU scores due by 6:59 p.m. Eastern GPP Time on Saturday)
FIU0406 (68), FIU PantherFan (85), FIU Fanatic (86), NYCFIUFan (88), CrazyCane (125), MIA/NY Josh (126)
Puma (66), quijote (79), Joel (81), BaltimorePanther (83), SunblazerPanther (85), TheChampionUnderdog (88), FIUcanesFan (102)
LonePanther (67), Clawing Cancer (77), CJ (84), Golden Panther 90 (87, SouthPaw (94), OC FIU Panther (97), theINTERNATIONAL (99)
Tri-Panther (104), Max (110), FIUer (156)
GPP: 4-1, (67)