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As Promised...1st Spring Scrimmage

We're down to 5 spring practices before the Spring Game. FIU will hold its second spring scrimmage this Saturday at 12 noon at FIU Stadium. A 12 p.m. scrimmage?? Could it be to get a feel for opening the season Sept. 11 at high noon in 90-degree weather against the northern-based Rutgers?? Something to think about.

Harden So to get you ready for Saturday's scrimmage, here's what went on in the Panthers first spring scrimmage back on March 12.

A HARDEN DAY'S WORK

Two of the most important units on the Panthers team this fall will be the offensive and defensive lines, because both are relatively young and inexperienced. In the scrimmage, each line got the upper hand on the other during different times in the 100-play workout.

The O-line carved up some nice holes for the FIU RBs, but some of the FIU RBs made their own holes such as newcomer Jeremiah Harden.

In what might be a sign of things to come later this fall, Harden (left) had a punishing 22-yard touchdown run in where he broke three different tackles. On 2 of the tackles, JH powered through 2 pairs of defenders. JH doesn't look like a big, bruising back, but as former high school teammate and current FIU teammate Wesley Carroll put it: "Jeremiah will run into a pile of players and when you think he's stopped, Jeremiah will pop out of the pile and break one."

On this TD run, JH did not encounter a pile, but on 2 different occassions it appeared JH was going down. Instead he broke free. The run brought to mind when Darriet Perry carried three Hooters defenders on his back for 13 yards in the 2009 Don Shula Bowl at Dolphin Stadium. JH finished the scrimmage with 6 carries for 35 yards.

Speaking of DP, he had some tough running too. DP looks a lot lighter than last season and my 2 cents think that will help him more this season. DP also made a nifty 1-handed catch on a pass thrown behindTimes him.

THE TIMES IS NOW

Wayne Times (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) was the featured receiver in the scrimmage as T.Y. Goodbye sat out with bumps and bruises -- nothing serious. He is expected back for Saturday. Tight end Dudley LaPorte will miss the remainder of spring ball with a small fracture in his foot. DLP is wearing a boot and should be healed by the time camp rolls around in August.

Times showed some sticky hands and his new muscles helped him break some tackles that he probably does not break last season. WT led all receivers with 7 catches for 44 yards.

Although the O-line paved the way for 145 rushing yards on 27 carries (5.4 yards per carry), they had a couple of false start penalties that were bug-a-boos last year.

Future FIU O-lineman David Delsoin and future FIU QB Jake Medlock took in the scrimmage.

GAITOR, BEAR, and CHESE

Sound like maybe a Cajun dish? Nah, just some of the defensive standouts in the scrimmage. And that's how you spell chese for this particular post.

The defense got going once the offense entered the red zone.

Kasey Smith had a sack and defensive back Dez Johnson, who is back after getting a medical redshirt from last season, broke up a pass in the end zone that ended the possession on 4th down.

We won't really know how much the D has improved under new DC Geoff Collins until they start playing against an offense with a different color jersey and helmet, but one thing that has been prevalent through spring ball is that the D looks more physical than last season.

Gaitor DB Emmanuel Souarin, who is having a good spring, had a big hit to stop a short pass. Safety Jonathan Cyprien is not making it comfortable for receivers to go over the middle.

Anthony Gaitor (left, thanks AJH photo) is healthy and he's shown it on pass D. He knocked away two passes.

The Pooh Bear Mars you have been waiting for is starting to be unleashed working at middle linebacker. PBM broke through the O-line and got the tackle for loss on a screen pass. You could tell on the play that PBM has some quickness.

Walk-on DB Jose Cheseborough had a sack. Everytime I look over at No. 27, he seems to be making a play.

Linebacker Aaron Davis made 2 consecutive plays: making a tackle in the backfield for a loss and on the next play, AD broke up a short pass.

CAN'T CORRAL THE COLT

The quarterbacks played pretty even in the scrimmage. Wayne Younger was 14 of 28 for 100 yards. WC was 5 of 15 for 75 yards and a TD.

WC connected with Colt Anderson (right) for the only passing TD on a pass down the middle. CA made the playCa when he faked out 2 defenders on his run into the end zone. The move got the rest of the team hooting and hollering on the sidelines. The TD went for 38 yards.

Keep your eye on Anderson, because he can be a big part of this offense. He has the size, hands and athleticism to play tight end at the Division I level.

Yes, DLP is a huge part of this team's offense, but CA is developing as a solid tight end and you can't forget about Jonathan Faucher and Joey Harris, who have become 2 big bodies that can catch the football.

Toward the end of the scrimmage, Kendall Berry broke off a 23-yard run. KB led all RBs with 54 yards on 6 carries.

The scrimmage ended with the D stopping the O inside the 5-yard line. Cyprien had a pass breakup and redshirt freshman Terrance Taylor deflected the pass on 4th down to end the day.

After the D denied the O, DC Collins dove into his defense's celebration pile.

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

Aaapaw Thanks again to all you good people for the kind words. Let's get to your questions:

Q&A

alt7787: Since you're back I've got a question on top of my L.A. Fitness one, but answering that one is at your discretion. Haha. Josh Johnson has been somewhat weak this spring training, is it anything to be legitimately concerned about or will Josh be good to go opening day?

PP: The L.A. Fitness reference in the previous blog was about a husband and wife who yelled from theJj second floor of that gym asking me where have I been for the past week.

Josh Johnson (right) will be fine. Most every player has a bad outing during the spring. The Marlins have bigger concerns than JJ such as who will be their 3-4-5 starting pitchers and will Leo Nunez hold up as the closer. It could be a long season if the Marlins starting pitchers struggle early like they did last season and wear out the bullpen.

gpantera: In order to write informative FIU Blogs, will the Herald allow you to cover FIU in person by attending practices, games, travel with team, etc?

PP: I will be at games. We're still ironing out the schedule as far as how the beat will be covered between me and TBA or his cousin TBD. You'll keep getting the daily blogs on here that have won Oscars, Tonys, Grammys, Emmys and Espys and there will be times when I'll also be covering on the print side.

chrisfiu: On a side note, great to hear the Dazzlers will also be at the baseball games. Will the dates be given out in advance?

PP: I'm going to get more info for you on when the Dazzlers (left, thanks AJH photo) will be performing at baseball games. Maybe they will break out new baseball outfits. Just not the baggy throwbacks the baseball team wears for Sunday home games.

Dazz Gooch7: PETE: Since there is ONLY one week till the Spring Game will the Herald and FIU advertise the game so we can have a good turn out.

PP: I'll find out more for you about what FIU is planning for the Spring Game.

ThePerfectFan: OMG it is so good to have you back PP!! I want to ask a question about pitching for the FIU Baseball? Why do all the pitchers start such a wonderful season and all of a sudden they start falling like flies in such a short time? Are they been overworked, not given them enough confidence? Given them too many innings to pitch? What is it can someone please explain?

PP: The lack of depth on the FIU pitching staff is one reason. FIU has to manage the way it uses its pitchers carefully this season, because whether it was losing 2 of its top pitchers (Ebert, Mejia) to the major leagues or injured pitchers (Garcia, McVay, Leith) and another not being eligible (Dodds) the Panthers are playing without a full staff this season. That's the hand they were dealt and you try and make the best of it.

I don't think it's a case of pitchers not having confidence, but sometimes they pitch a little more this season, because of the lack of depth. And at times it has worked fine such as Daniel DeSimone (right, thanks AJH photo) pitching a complete game last week and giving FIU 7 innings in Tuesday's win vs. Jacksonville -- both outings helped the FIU bullpen get some much needed rest. At other times, the opponents catch up to FIU's lack of depthDd such as last weekend vs. Troy and hot-swinging Rutgers from 2 weeks ago. It's going to be interesting to see how FIU fares down the stretch against a tough-hitting Sun Belt where 14-12 games can be the norm as the weather gets hotter and as the season heads down the stretch.

*BTW, FIU is not changing its colors to green and white, what DD is wearing in the photo on the right is the green hats and socks the Panthers wore on March 18 vs. Southern Utah in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

josh: Pete anything new about the Norwegian bball player Torgrim Sommerfeldt? I know you mentioned a few weeks back about him possibly coming to play?

PP: Nothing new on Torgrim. However, there is another top player that might be popping up on FIU's radar. Need to double check what I'm hearing before posting on here. Let's just say if all of Isiah's commits and the players he is recruiting end up signing with FIU, then you might be watching the 2011-2012 All-Sun Belt First Team wearing FIU across their chests and playing at the Bank. Stay tuned.

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Thanks for the info Pete! BTW, great pic of the dazzlers, what a great way to start my day...that eye candy works wonders! Just wow...

Interesting that WY is still on par with WC...I'm getting mixed feelings here, don't know whether that's an improvement or if we should be concerned...I'm hoping WY is showing flashes of brilliance now that WC is threatening for the starting role.

Thank you, PP!! Great and logical info. Hope they go all the way to Regionals!

GO PANTHERS!!!!!

So you'll be "covering on the print side", attending the practices and running the blog reporting? hmm...why don't they just admit their mistake, give you a raise and call it a day.

BTW, good stuff as usual on the football performance and how baseball is shaping up.

Pete, it was a pleasure meeting you this past weekend. Had a chance to tour the Field House with some loyal Panther fans and it got me excited for football season even though it's 5-1/2 months away.

They're going to be doing a few more of these tours in the coming months. It sort of a grass roots campaign to turn Panther fans into Panther Advocates in the Community. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but lets spread the word about this growing program and get this stadium filled against Rutgers.

man! can't wait for the 2010-11 FIU sports year... I expect some good improvements (especially in basketball).

Im excited to hear that Younger is actually competing with WC, but that also scares the heck out of me. As we all know Younger's athletic ability and arm strength is second to no one, but his decision making, and accuracy is way below expectations. I hope we see Younger and a couple other guys run the "Wild Panther" this year. And I hope they dont wait till the last 3 games of the season to get some creative plays on offense. Expand that damn playbook for once! We have TOO MANY good athletes on offense to continue calling the same 2 running plays and the same 5 passing plays. Change the formation every so often..

Go FIU!!

Thanks for the info, Pete..as usual. Love to hear, finally, as to what is going on with the football team through your blogs.

Interesting setup, from what you are writing here, and what Mr. Rojas espoused in his letter. However, I didn't read that you were going to be able to go to practices and/or events, press conferences, etc. That's needed as well, I would assume, so that you could give in-depth information on what's going on. It's greatly appreciated.

Now, another one big time hoops player perhaps looking our way? Guys, this hoops program, provided IT stays for 4 or 5 years, might become a monster sooner rather than later...I can't wait to find out more, Pete...and it appears that the first year we might be able to see all of these stars would be, like you pointed out, the 2011-12 season!

Pete,

Thanks for getting back on my question. Torgrim really opened some eyes at the Nike Hoop Summit, if he comes great, if not nothing lost. IT is doing some damage, hopefully he is sincere about wanting to stay here and building FIU into a power. Rakeem is a huge get. IN terms of next years team, I'm anxious to see Richaud Pack play, I believe he is leading the nation in scoring in HS at over 31 a game. Ferguson I have seen before, he is gonna be a nightmare to guard for any four. Think Christian Watford from IU this past season, long, rangy and athletic as hell. Bball will be much better next year, and the year after sky is the limit. THanks again Pete.

Gooch7 - Can you please expand on this comment as it relates to WY - "As we all know Younger's athletic ability and arm strength is second to no one..."

Really? I think we need to give the hyperoble a break for a little.

LIVE BASEBALL BLOG!!!!!!... Thanks Rojas

Ray shipman from Pace left UF bball...hmmmmmm...could he be coming this way perhaps?

Baseball wins again tonight, 14-6 Final... 2 mid-week wins over a regional team last year. Good start to the week.

I was thinking the same thing Josh...

Nice to dream

CC, not hyperbole on Gooch's part. Younger hasn't been a consistently good passer, but he has 4.4 speed and a very strong arm.

pikedanny, I was there as well, amazing meeting, def. got me anxious. Guys if you could please attend the next one, if you need anymore information let pantera know. Coach Cristobal is a class act and I'm happy to have met him and hope you all get to see the kind of person he is and the vision he shares with us about OUR program.

F-F, I-I, U-U, FIU.

I like the Heralds commitment to FIU sports when the FIU sports link still has an old story from Sunday. Yet, the baseball team played twice during the week?
pete, you are welcome to a cold one on 3/31 for the scrimmage game..

Glad to have you back Pete!

Could you update us on the McVay and Leith injuries? I remember you wrote a few weeks back that Leith would possibly come back in March. Did he have a setback? Thanks

That expanded coverage is sure working out! The FIU baseball team has played 5 games and not a single mention of it on the Herald.

OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND!!! Unfortunately that is where we are headed with "The Miami Herald".

GO FIU!!!!

Mr. Rojas, where's the updates on baseball games? Obviously Herald is not covering FIU sports the right way. People, go to fiusports.com to get your FIU information. Herald is becoming a joke.

Where are the stories on the Spring football? No baseball stories? Women's softball is kicking butt.

Is it time to start picketing outside the Herald Building? Does a newspaper have a responsibility to its community anymore? Or does it just play political favorites. If so, then how can they give their opinion about anything with a straight face.

JulesFIU07 - not hyperbole? He said that his arm strength and athletic ability is "second to no one" If this were true, why is he not better? I mean, Tebow was not the most accurate of passers and he was alright in college playing against a lot better talent. If his athletic ability and arm strength are "second to no one" don't you think he would be, at the very least, starting at FIU. I mean, if his athletic ability and arm strength are so much better than WC, why is WC even in the convo as a potential starter.

Maybe you need to look up the definition of hyperbole again JulesFIU07.

Crazy,

What I ment by:
"As we all know Younger's athletic ability and arm strength is second to no one..."

Is that there will not be anyone on the team and possibly in the conference that is playing QB with speed that is 4.5 or faster, and an arm that can go 60 yards with no problem. I honestly will trade all of that talent for more accuracy so dont think that I was Pumping up WY at any point. I just think (from reading what Pete has posted) that he might actually be a great backup, and possibly go into games for play action, or wild panther, or safe short passes.. Competiotion will always make everyone on the team better. Im happy that Cristobal and the rest of the coaching staff have not said who the starting QB or RB is as of right now.
In other words, you better bring your "A-game" everyday or you will ride the bench! I hope that answers your question..

GO FIU!!

SEASON TICKET HOLDERS,

Has anyone received anything about renewing their tickets for next year? I have not received or gotten a call from the Ticket office. They usually send you so many things through the mail that I thought they would have done that already.. Dont want to lose my seats from the last 3 years..

I would appreciate any info!

Go Golden Panthers..

Pete- you do a great job. Thanks for all the info... Lets go FIU!!!

Gooch,

I'm hearing that the season ticket renewal campaing kick-offs at the spring game next wednesday... they'll be sending out renewal brochures in April/May

and Mr Rojas, good job on your "expanded coverage" nonsense.

FIU just swept a Regional team (JU) and not even a peep, a scoreline, an update to be found on the Herald.

I guess it's back to www.fiugoldenpanthers.com message board and www.fiusports.com

Can't wait for the Spring Game next Wednesday! I wonder what type of "expanded coverage" we'll see from the Herald then.

take it easy FIULoyal.. they are prob still searching for the TBA reporter..

F - THE - HERALD!!! .... Can anybody on here get a blog created on FIUsports.com? And can they get pete to write on there?


CrazyCane - I was around college football for about 5 or 6 years and saw guys with serious arm strength that werent even close to ever seeing the field. Just because you have top notch arm strength or speed, doesnt necessarily mean they are good Football players... According to what you're saying, then Danny Wuerffel shouldnt have even been on the UF football team because he had the worst arm

CrazyTropicalDepression, all the athletic ability in the world means nothing if you cannot channel it properly. The biggest problem for Wayne is that the talent has historically been there, but he has been unable to use it properly.

Yesterday and today there was a small story about FIU's baseball wins under the "college baseball" section. Today's story was linked with a UF one. "FIU Rolls" was our heading.

Honestly, college baseball doesnt get a lot of attention in general. Until its regionals time, dont expect to see college baseball on the front page.

As for the Wayne Younger competing with Wesley Carroll stuff. Im scared. The truth is that no matter how well Younger performs in practices, he lays an egg during game time. He had a few good moments, but a 3-9 record speaks for itself. Im looking forward to Wesley Carroll and its nice to know that Colt Anderson is playing well, albiet at an another position.

A bit of information: Barry Jackson will not be our new beat writer. So that rumor can go out the window...

Good win for the baseball team in sweeping the Jacksonville Dolphins....but....where's the "increased" coverage?...I don't know about you guys, but it doesn't look like good and trusted words from the Herald brass...at least for now....

Geez...just give back the full job to Pete as beat writer....easy!

Fanatic...good point!

Isn't it easier and cost effective to keep Pete as the beat writer? Pete already has the experience and contacts; a new beat writer has to learn the ropes and getting him/her up to speed means readers will be given outdated information...that's exactly what's happening...as the Herald searches for its new beat writer, FIU updates go unwritten.

Give Pete back his beat job! Make it happen Mr. Rojas!

Baseball story goes up on the web at 1:39 pm after much consternation and knashing of teeth. Who wrote the story? no one is credited.

Funny how they pull the beat-writer in the middle of Spring Practice. Just another 'coincedence'; right 'alt?

Chrisfiu, its decision like this that has the Herald in the excellent financial condition they are currently in. It makes absolutely ZERO sense to bring in a new beat writer and stick pete to blogs. This whole situation is bs after bs and i can bet that Pete is probably not too happy about it as i def wouldnt be.

Look, Im not happy about it either. I wish Pete was out there doing everything we were accustomed to, but we have no idea what's going in at the Herald.

Everyone here is beating up the Herald, but we dont know anything about whats going on. We dont know the business aspect of all this. We FIU fans have earned a reputation of being whiny and the things that people are writing on here only add to that perception of us.

Lets just wait and see what happens.

alt, i'll respond to that by saying that some of us DO KNOW what's going on at the herald through having relationships with either PP, Herald staff, FIU coaches or FIU staff. And those that have heard whispers of what's going on know that the situation is messed up, been brewing for a while, and brings to light the blatant anti-FIU bias by the local newspaper.

I'm the first one to say that we as a fan base need to stop whining about everything, suck it up, show up to games, and take ownership of our program. But by "taking ownership" it also means to defend it when it's being treated unfairly or unjustly.

My .2 cents

Alt, how could this be a good business move for them? Ive heard some about it, but whether you have or havent heard about the situation, its obvious to any dumb person that this is not about business. How could picking up another salary or paying 2 people to do a job 1 person used to do be beneficial to the Herald? These people are a joke. we arent whining, we are calling them out on their Bull chit!!!

Move it to FIUsports.com, start a blog with Pete on there and have him write articles there.

Excuse me but I don't think that article was written by the Miami Herald, the exact same article is posted at fiusports.com

Golden Panther fans, Let's get real. We all know the Herald made a mistake. The Herald knows they made a mistake. But did you seriously expect Mr. Rojas to come out and say: "Sorry GP nation, we were wrong"...? Of course not. That's why he wrote what he wrote.
But we need to stop complaining and give it time for things to be sorted out.

What we SHOULD do is make a commitment to generate such a "buzz" around FIU that the Herald is gonna have no choice but to cover FIU more and more, regardless of how much they resent us. Spread the word about the Spring Football game, show up to the game, cheer these guys on as if it were the home opener vs Rutgers, attend some baseball games bc damn these guys are fun to watch. We're always talking about how football and bball are gonna start winning in the near future. Guess what? Baseball is winning RIGHT NOW! When these things come together, people are gonna notice FIU and talk more about it. And if there's one thing that we know about this town is that if people are talking about a team and there's a buzz going around, they'll jump into the wagon. Also, the Herald is gonna feel really stupid for the deicision they made last week. This should be the way of "getting back" at the Herald. Whining, complaining, and starting a blog somewhere else will do nothing.

OMG....such a sad and terrible thing happened tonight...Kendal Berry died, got stabbed. Feeling so terrible right now. My prayers go out to the Team/Coaches/and his parents! RIP....:((

alt7787 - Patience is almost irrelevant in a consumer-driven reality. The Herald is not immune to the realities of business decision-making. Every other business bends over backwards to attract and retain customers/clients, and when they don't, dissatisfied consumers will go to the next best alternative.

Patience in this context requires waiting for FIU news, yet just a few days ago we fans were promised expanded coverage of FIU sports. One of two things happened at the Herad: 1. Poor planning in phasing out Pete; and/or 2: indifference towards FIU sports (only to be followed by pressue from the fans causing a change of heart).

Neither of these situations reflects well on the Herald and neither of them justifies the late and delayed updates that has occurred in the past week. You're a newspaper for crying out loud; you're in the business of delivering relevant news in an objective and timely manner! What's timely about the way this was handled? Nothing.

KJ - that's terrible news...how did it happen?

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