Pretty effective rushing game on Saturday against the Mean Green. FIU rushed for a Dolphin-like 173 yards -- the second highest total this season after the 206 rushing yards they put up against Western Kentucky.
Kendall Berry (right) is made for the WildPanther. KB is a former high school running quarterback. Or as he put it, "I like going back to my roots". And did you notice what Daunte Owens can do when he gets a little blocking?
Although, it was not the WildPanther, backup quarterback Wayne Younger (below, left, thanks Sam Lewis photo) showed he has got some moves in the open field.
If you haven't seen Younger since Saturday, he has dropped a ton of weight after all those "people" got off his back. No, he ain't Peyton Manning, but who is? Will you now cut WY some slack? MC and Bill Legg played him in the right situations Saturday.
Some creativity on offense with the use of both PMC and WY. Might be a peek at the 2010 offense with the 2 Ws -- Wesley and Wayne. Who knows, because if the FIU O-line is sub-par next season, the Panthers might need more creativity when they have the ball.
Obviously, the offense had to score the 21-unanswered points against NT, but it was the FIU D and special teams that set everything up.
Tip the hat to DB Peter Riley (below, right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo), who started it all with a pick 6. Then Jonathan Faucher with the blocked punt and Trenard Turner with the recovery. Anthony Gaitor and Jonathan Cyprien finished it with a forced fumble and recovery.
The FIU D which has been hurt pretty bad with the run this season held NT to just 61 yards rushing in the 2nd half.
Big plays along the D-line to Andrew Mattox (below, left, thanks AJH photo), who is only a walk-on in name. We're seeing the reasons he was the Osceola Defensive Player of the Year last season at Spruce Creek.
Aaron Davis with another big game (13 tackles) and Jarvis Wilson with 9 stops. Tyler Clawson had another big game. Now, FIU needs to take all this up to Gainesville.
FIU has been listening to you good people as Saturday's gameday experience showed. Led by UltimateFIUFan, you people have been clamoring for "Zombie Nation" piped into the stadium and FIU responded Saturday.
There was even the quiet sign on the jumbotron when FIU had the ball. I know a bunch of you are not fans of the "Ole, ole, ole" chant, but when it's done in unison by the largest home crowd of the season after an FIU TD or good play -- it's not that bad and unique in college football to FIU.
Nice crowd at Saturday's game after I called it a Marlins crowd in the first quarter. The 11K plus stayed until the end -- then again your Panthers gave them a reason to stay. And yes, 11K is good for FIU considering there is no winning tradition or consistent fan base.
This is an abbreviated post today, because I've been assigned to a hockey marathon all day today covering the hockey Panthers.
Don't forget LIVE GPP BLOG tommorrow night (Tuesday) of FIU's hoops home opener against Florida Memorial. Will be on-line around 7:45 p.m. for the 8 p.m. tip-off. Like the 7 p.m. football kickoffs, might have to leave you a little early to write game story for Wednesday's paper.
You can check out a story on FIU's best team -- the lady Panthers volleyball team -- in Thursday's Miami Herald as the ladies play their first Sun Belt Tournament match on Thursday morning. About the only way a Sun Belt team can stop these ladies is to wrap a net around them like in the photo on the right.
FIURE: Pete, Is there any news on if the Big East is really looking at FIU.
PP: Not right now, need the big 3 FIU sports to start winning some Sun Belt titles before any of that happens. Yes, we'll call the FIU volleyball ladies as one of the big 4 FIU sports. They certainly deserve it.
pikedanny: Pete, Not sure if anyone has asked this already, so here goes. Any word on who we might schedule in place of UCF for next year?
PP: Word is it will be another home-and-home series with another Big East team (not South Florida, they want nothing to do with FIU after the Rutgers football deal. The Bulls cancelled the baseball series with FIU this season after the football deal.) The UCF series is still a 4-game home-and-home, but it will now start in 2011. The first game of the new home-and-home with the unidentified Big East team (possibly the fighting Wannstaches of Pitt) will be on the road so FIU has 5 home and 7 away games next season. In 2011, is the first season FIU has 6 home and 6 away games.
FIUFPL: Pete, can you find out if there will be an FIU hosted tailgate.
PP: Yes, it will be at the O'Connell Center (UF hoops arena) at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Congrats to TheChampionUnderdog and OC FIU Panther, who with their predictions both nailed the exact score of FIU's 35-28 win. Even though OC dropped out after not giving a score for the MT game.
WIN A GPP BLOG WEEK 10 STANDINGS (FIU/Florida scores due by 12:29 p.m. Eastern GPP Time on Saturday)
FIU0406 (168), NYCFIUFan (188)
CJ (173), BaltimorePanther (187), theINTERNATIONAL (189), Joel (191), CrazyCane (197)
TheChampionUnderdog (184), FIU Fanatic (192)
SouthPaw (207), FIUer (345)
GPP: 8-2, (158)