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Panthers In The Swamp

OCALA -- Will have your FIU/Florida game preview, prediction and Jackie's gameday forecast later tonight.


Been told the FIU ladies just swept New Orleans to get into the Sun Belt Volleyball Championship matchVolley on Saturday afternoon. Win, win, win, win.......it just gets boring with these ladies. That's 23 straight wins for the FIU ladies, if you're scoring at home.


The conference move talk on here is already out of hand, but could you imagine if one of the other FIU big 4 sports teams went off on a 23-game win streak? We'd have to shut down the GPP.


BTW, been told by the MH higher-ups that the FIU Volleyball story I wrote will be the main sports story in next Wednesday's, Nov. 25 newspaper. Looks for this photo of coach Tomic, Yarimar Rosa, Olga Vergun and Natalia Valentin (right) on the front cover of next Wednesday's MH sports section.


Back to the current post at hand, thanks to a little more rental car trouble (rentals & yours truly = oil & water), you good people get another 2-for-1 blog deal and 3 blogs in less than 24 hours with our LIVE GAME BLOG from the Swamp on Saturday beginning at 12:15 p.m.


Check back on here later tonight for the second FIU/UF blog.


Jo For now, here is Miami Herald Gators beat writer Joe Goodman and his thoughts on Saturday's matchup:



1) How can FIU score on the No. 1 ranked Gators defense?


JOE: Better hope T.Y. is healthy. The Gators haven't shut out an opponent this season, so FIU will probably score. How much? That probably depends on Hilton. He's a legitimate talent and might be able to get behind the Gators' overly aggressive defense once or twice. Of course, that all depends on FIU quarterback Paul McCall and how much time he's given in the pocket.



2) Do you think the Gators and especially Tim Tebow will use this game to pad their stats?Tebow


JOE: If the game is close in the second half, then Tebow will be in the game. If it's a blowout by the second half, backup quarterback John Brantley will be in the game. That's usually how Meyer has done it in blowouts. I don't think UF has enough quality receivers to help Tebow pad his stats. UF's receivers drop touchdown passes when they're open, which isn't that often. If the Gators build a 35-point lead after halftime, then Tebow probably won't be in the game. If he is, then they're trying to pad his stats. I wrote today in the Miami Herald (click the blue) Tebow needs solid showing vs. FIU about how FIU's defense has the chance to seriously damage Tebow's Heisman campaign.



3) How have teams that have had success stopping the Gators offense this season done so?


JOE: Force turnovers and get tough in the red zone. Arkansas had a chance to upset UF after the Gators lost four fumbles. If FIU can create points off of turnovers, it would certainly help the Golden Panthers' chances. Florida's offense is pressing right now. If FIU can keep the game close, the Gators' fans might Uffans have a collective mental breakdown inside The Swamp. The Gators have been under a lot of pressure this season because media and fans have expected blowouts and that hasn't happened.



4) Being ranked No. 1, I would imagine there are not too many, if any weak links on the Gators. If there is, where would FIU have the best shot of attacking UF?


JOE: The Gators' weak links are their receivers. Good thing for UF, they have some of the best running backs in the country. If FIU's defense can play man coverage, load up the box and respect the chance of an option, then they'll have a chance. Tebow has been sacked 22 times this season, so the Gators' offensive line is vulnerable. A true freshman is starting at left tackle.


5) Your game prediction and final score?


JOE: Gators don't cover the spread but still win convincingly. Gators 42, Golden Panthers 10



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