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29 posts from April 2010

April 09, 2010

155 Days til Season Opener

Spring practice is done after Wednesday's Blue/Gold Spring Game and now the countdown begins for the 2010 season opener vs. Rutgers on Sept. 11 at FIU Stadium. Just 155 days.

The next time you'll see the Panthers on the football field might be for one of the few open practices when camp rolls around in the second week of August.

The last time we saw FIU on the field was Wednesday in the spring game and what came out of that was: an aggressive, faster defense, a stud running back in the making and an offense that took some time to getWilson going, but when the QBs got time to throw and the playmakers got a hold of the pigskin we saw what FIU is capable of when it has the ball. Now they just have to put it all together when Sept. 11 rolls around.

You can take to the poll question at the bottom of this post.

THE CHILI WAS CERTAINLY HOT

Yes, it was against an offense they see everyday in practice and yes, the offensive line was missing some key cogs (Brad Serini, Rupert Bryan and Austin Tottle on Wednesday), but the Panthers D certainly came out in the spring game like they just ate a 5-alarm bowl of chili from new DC Geoff Collins's kitchen.

What was most encouraging of the D's performance was that many of the young defenders (sophomores) were the ones making plays. FIU will rely on a lot of these young guys this season, because that's what the majority (18 sophomores) of FIU's D is comprised of in 2010.

Although it was old man -- if we can call a senior that -- Jarvis Wilson (above, right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo), who unleashed havoc in the O's backfield early with 3 sacks of Wayne Younger. Sophomore LB Winston Fraser (left) had a hand in 1 of the 3 sacks. It seemed like Jarvis is a lot quicker this year.

Wf WF also got in on a QB hurry later on and with DL Tourek Williams chased down Younger which is not easy to do considering the QB's elusiveness. DL Kasey Smith, who coaches expect big things from, had a tackle for loss.

Other sophs who made plays early on were Markeith Russell and Josh Forney with some tackles in the backfield.

Although both GC and OC Scott Satterfield kept the play calling very simple, the FIU D did blitz a lot.

Probably, one of the sophs you have been expecting to breakout, did so Wednesday. Pooh Bear Mars (right) had 6 tackles in the game and about half of them were for a loss using his speed and power to get into the backfield. It seems like the game is slowing down for PBM this spring.

DB Chuck Grace made a couple of plays: batting a Wesley Carroll pass and CG also went over the middlePooh and batted a pass away intended for Wayne Times. Emmanuel Souarin, who has had a good spring, kept it going in the spring game with a couple of tackles at the line of scrimmage on pass plays.

Senior Kreg Brown had a pick and defensive lineman James Jones almost had a pick that would have gone for 6 if he holds on.

One thing that might have had GC hot when he watched the film later was that there were a handful of missed tackles -- which was an issue last season even though GC was not here in 2009. Although on some of those plays, we have to give credit to No. 6.

HARDEN MAKES IT LOOK EASY

No. 6 would be new running back Jeremiah Harden, (left) who made the spring game his personal showcase.

Jh What will stand out for most about JH's performance Wednesday will be the 69-yard TD run that only the Youth Fair was able to contain him from running onto SW 107th Ave. 

But more than that is what JH showed when he first gets any handoff. As you may have read in a previous post on here, WC -- JH's high school teammate -- described JH as a guy that gets lost going into a pile, but somehow always finds his way out for extra yardage.

Besides that ability, what I've noticed from JH is his vision of knowing where the blocks are going to be and knowing when to cut it back, because there are no open running lanes in front of him. That's what makes JH a special back.

On the long TD run, we saw that once JH got around the right corner he put it into an extra gear and then some to out run the D.

Now FIU has to develop another back to complement JH. A slimmer Darriet Perry has the ability to be that back. He needs to get back in the flow after missing half of last season with an injury. 

Freshman Kedrick Rhodes could possibly be the Ricky to JH's Ronnie -- if you will. If you're looking for a sleeper in this position battle come camp look toward senior Trenard Turner, who has a knack for breaking tackles, but has been injured most of his FIU career.

SPREADING THE WEALTH

Like you've read a zillion times on here, the FIU spread O will go as the O-line goes. Missing 3 key OLinemen Wednesday didn't help, but still the O had some trouble getting going early on which occurred in some games last season.

However, once the O got some rhythm we saw what the playmakers can do.

TE Jonathan Faucher, who along with Colt Anderson has improved, caught a 16-yard TD pass from WC.Jm

WC also hit Junior Mertile (right, thanks AJH photo), who looks fully recovered from his knee injury, for a 56-yard TD.

Again Times continues to look better and better. WT led all receivers with 4 catches for 73 yards and what makes him dangerous are his moves in the open field. The moves are T.Y. Goodbye-like.

WC had the better day of the 2 QBs throwing the ball and directing the O. But at the end of the day, the stats were similar between the 2 QBs. WC was 8 of 11 for 90 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT. WY went 8 of 15 for 80 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT.

Future FIU playmaker Willis Wright and future FIU safety Randy Williams and many of the Miami Springs Golden Hawks took in the spring game as they sat near the 40-yard line.

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

Apaw Will have a mid-season look at the FIU baseball team on the next post. The Panthers are in Murfreesboro, Tenn. this weekend taking on a tough Middle Tennessee. Saturday's game is on TV on CSS's Sun Belt Game of the Week.

Apaw The lovely Golden Dazzlers are putting on their annual variety show on Saturday, April 17 at U.S. Century Bank Arena. As we saw last season, the Dazzlers can put on a show with their tribute toDazzz Daz Michael Jackson (left, thanks AJH photo) and their salute to Harley Davidson (right, AJH photo) Here is some more info from an e-mail sent by the Dazzlers:

The Variety Show is an annual fundraiser (and biggest) which we have done in the past. This is the 5th one.

It is an all dance event featuring the Golden Dazzlers performing various dance routines showcasing many styles of dance such as lyrical, jazz, pom and hip hop. Group numbers, solos, duos and all sort of combinations will be involved. In addition, we have guest performers from the community, giveaways and2010 Variety Show interactive crowd games. 

After spending all year performing at football, basketball, volleyball, and baseball games (not to mention the appearances and community events) this is finally an event where it’s only about us, by us. It’s the Dazzlers turn to shine!

We would love the fans’ support on this one!!!!

Tickets are now on pre-sale for $ 8.00 at the football fieldhouse and at the door at the arena on show day for $ 10.00.

Apaw As you may have noticed by the photo on the left in the rail, Adam Beasley is joining the FIU beat and will handle the print duties.

A little about Adam: besides bringing plenty of writing experience from Syracuse and working in newspapers in 5 states, Adam is a busy guy at the Herald.

In addition to FIU, Adam also covers soccer for the Herald and works in the news department. In news, Adam will be a charter member of the breaking news team. Adam will continue to split his time with the continuous news desk, writing breaking news and 1A takeouts for the daily newspaper and the Sunday newspaper.

Q&A

O'darris D'haiti #20: How did saloney joseph do as I worked out with him before he tried out for the team. He is a small guy but the kid has heart. You think he will stay with the team by what u seen so far in practice and the spring game?

PP: Saloney looked quick. He's not that big of a back at all, but he might surprise if given some extra reps. Not sure if he will be back for fall camp. All depends on the health of the RBs.

Xmas You Got Gold: Pete, the regular signing period for college hoops should be starting soon, right? I think it's mid-April til mid-May. Does Isiah have any scholarships left for 2010?

PP: IT does not have anymore scholarships left for this season, but you never know if all the players from last season will be back and maybe a scholie or 2 opens up here or there. Will have any updates if they happen. If anything else, check back in October when practice begins.

Last I heard, we might find out around mid-summer if it will be an early "Christmas" season for FIU.

April 07, 2010

LIVE SPRING GAME BLOG

Welcome to FIU Stadium on a splendid Wednesday afternoon with sunny skies and just a few small whiteHelmetlogo clouds.

If you're stuck in your cubicle or can't get out of that meeting that will decide if the office will go with blue or black pens, then just kick back and follow along here.

The FIU Blue/Gold Spring Game is about to kickoff shortly as the Panthers finish stretching and pre-game drills.

Check the previous post to follow along what we'll be looking for this afternoon. This will be the last time the Panthers will be on the field until early August. Let's go LIVE BLOGGING....

April 06, 2010

Blue/Gold Preview

Helmet FIU will kickoff the annual Blue/Gold Spring Game on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and while most of you will be at work -- unless you get George Peterson to call your boss for you or if your boss is Michael Scott -- don't worry the GPP has got you covered.

The GPP will channel its best Al Michaels and deliver you a play-by-play LIVE BLOG from FIU Stadium beginning with a 2-minute pre-blog show at 3:28 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.

To get you ready for the spring game whether you are planning on attending or will follow through cyberspace, here's what to look for:

BATTLE LINES

Like last season, the continued development of the offensive and defensive lines will determine how successful FIU will be this coming season.

This spring it's pretty much been a draw when the two lines have gone at it. If anything the D-line might haveMattox a slight edge on the O-line right now. Of course, when looking at any position this spring you have to factor in the injured players not participating and the newly-signed Panthers that won't be on campus until July.

One key cog to the O-line that has missed this spring is Rupert Bryan recovering from a knee injury. He started non-contact drills late in the spring and is expected to be 100 percent come fall camp.

Tourek Williams and Andrew Mattox (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) have carried their strong freshmen seasons over into this spring. Keep an eye on No. 97 and No. 93 on Wednesday as well as James Jones, who has recovered nicely from his two surgeries.

If you're at FIU Stadium see who controls the line of scrimmage on Wednesday.

Outside of Brad Serini and Cedric Mack, there aren't any other seniors on the O-line. Same thing goes for the D-line outside of senior Thatcher Starling.

TIGHTENING THE OFFENSIVE STRENGTH

With Dudley LaPorte sidelined this spring with a foot injury, Colt Anderson and Jonathan Faucher have taken Ty advantage of the extra reps.

As we saw last season in limited duty (1-handed TD catch vs. ULM) before he broke his foot, DLP will be a big part of the O this season. However, the emergence this spring of CA and JF have given the Panthers another pair of offensive weapons.

CA, in particular, has had a terrific spring. The two tight ends appear ready to join what is FIU's strength -- receivers. And the receivers have gotten stronger. If you haven't been out to spring practice this season, take a look at the new muscles on Wayne Times and T.Y. Hilton (left, thanks AJH photo). Times stood out in the first scrimmage.

Another receiver who has had a good spring is Ariel Martinez. The walk-on from Coral Park started making some tough catches last fall.

YOUNG AND YOUNGER

Some of the heralded young defensive players that didn't see much playing time last season have been getting more playing time on D this spring and have shown some of their potential.Mars

Linebacker Pooh Bear Mars (right), defensive back Emmanuel Souarin and safety Terrance Taylor have had their moments this spring. Walk-on defensive back Jose Cheseborough has also made some plays.

Aaron Davis also continued his strong finish to last season and can be a pass rushing threat this coming season. FIU needs to get more pressure on the QB this season.

I think the Panthers have really taken to new DC Geoff Collins and you'll see a new energy with the FIU defenders this season.

One area where the Panthers need more of the younger players to emerge is along the D-line to go along with Tourek and Mattox.

Quarterback Wayne Younger might be the Panther that has shown the most improvement this spring. Besides looking like he's taken to the weight room, WY has more zip on his passes and as usual can move with the ball in his hands. WY might be making the starting QB decision a lot tougher on MC and offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield later this August.

Fiu PANTHER PAWSE

Apaw Pi Kappa Alpha and the FIU Football Team are organizing the Kendall Berry Memorial Flag Football Tournament.
 
The 7-on-7 tournament will be taking place at FIU Stadium at 9:00 AM on Sunday, April Kb 11. Teams will consist of 7- 10 players each. Registration costs are $10 a player, with 100% of the proceeds going to support the remembrance of Kendall Berry through a memorial and banner at FIU Stadium, and possibly an FIU scholarship.

For more information you can contact: Francis Aguilar (Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Philanthropy Chairman) at (305) 542-8343 or fagui007@fiu.edu

Q&A

Jsuarez88: Pete, can you help me undertstand why they wouldnt play this game on a fri-sun??? Why would they do it mid-week at 3pm??

PP: Because of the 30-day window each college team has to complete spring practice. Also about 28 players have classes or exams on Wednesday night so they had to move the game up to the afternoon.
 

April 05, 2010

Spring Game Time Change

Clock The FIU Blue/Gold Spring Game is still on this Wednesday, April 7, but now the game will be played at 3:30 p.m. at FIU Stadium.

The game has been moved up two and a half hours, because a lot of the players have class schedule conflicts.

Will have a LIVE BLOG of the spring game right here on Wednesday. Will be on-line at 3:28 p.m.

BASEBALL MID-SEASON

It was Opening Day in the major leagues today. FIU reached the mid-point of its 2010 season afterRaiko Sunday's 15-6 win over Louisiana in which Raiko Alfonso (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) homered from both sides of the plate and drove in 6 runs. RA likes Cajun cooking. He had 12 RBI in the 3-game series.

The Panthers stand at 18-10 heading into their home game against Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. Right-hander Daniel DeSimone is expected to start Tuesday despite pitching two scoreless innings of relief on Sunday. DD will be looking for his third straight quality start after having won the last two against Jacksonville and Southern Utah.

Will have a mid-season look at the Panthers later this week on the GPP.

DAZZLERS VARIETY SHOW

Got a text from the Dazzlers today and some of the pictures from the ladies appearances at FIU BaseballDazzlers games this past weekend.

I know you'll probably look straight at the pictures before reading this part so here goes: the Dazzlers will be holding their "Variety Show" on Saturday, April 17 at 7 p.m. at U.S. Century Bank Arena. Waiting for the ladies to provide more Dazzling details on their "Variety Show". For now here are the Dazzlers at FIU Baseball this past weekend.


 

April 04, 2010

Spring Game Set for Wednesday

The annual FIU Blue/Gold Spring Game has been set for this Wednesday, April 7 at 6 p.m. at FIUFiuhelmet Stadium.

Will have a LIVE BLOG of the spring game beginning at 5:54 p.m. on Wednesday.

Louisiana vs. FIU Game 3 LIVE BLOG

The series finale and rubber game between the Panthers and Cajuns today. The teams have split the first two games of the series.

April 03, 2010

Louisiana/FIU Game 2 LIVE BLOG

FIU took the series opener 8-1 last night with a brilliant performance from Scott Rembisz. The Panthers look to win game 2 of the 3-game series with R.J. Fondon getting the start tonight. R.J. takes the rotation spot of Corey Polizzano, who was moved to the bullpen. CP pitched two scoreless innings in Friday's win and struck out 4.

The Dazzlers are back in the stadium tonight. So far FIU is 1-0 with the Dazzlers in attendance. The Panthers keeping win and the Dazzlers may never leave the stadium.

April 02, 2010

Louisiana/FIU LIVE BASEBALL BLOG

Ul First of 3 games between Louisiana and FIU this weekend. The Panthers come into theLogo series 16-9 and 3-3 in the jumbled Sun Belt Conference standings. FIU is currently in sixth place 3 games behind SBC leader Western Kentucky.

The Ragin' Cajuns are 13-12 and 3-6 in conference which puts them in 7th place right behind FIU.

Scott Rembisz takes the mound for FIU tonight. UL ace Zach Osborne starts. Osborne has pitched back-to-back complete games and is second in the SBC in ERA with a 2.05 mark and leads the conference with 47 Ks.

When these two teams get together on the diamond it usually turns into a football score. Could be the same this weekend with the expected sunny, windy weather. Let's see.

April 01, 2010

2nd Spring Scrimmage

The Panthers went through their second spring scrimmage on Thursday afternoon at FIU Stadium.

The scrimmage like all practices this week was closed to the public and media, but after speaking to someTw sources, here is some of what happened during the scrimmage.

The defense got after it with four sacks. Tourek Williams, (right) who continues to shine this spring, got a sack on one play and a tackle for loss on another. Was told TW really stood out on Thursday.

Little Canada, James Jones -- recovering nicely from off-season surgeries -- and Andrew Mattox had the other sacks.

Was told on his sack, Mattox chased the down the quarterback across the field showing off some of the quickness that earned him Volusia County Defensive Player of the Year two years ago. Mattox is turning into one of the better walk-on additions in the program's 8-year history.

Wayne Younger (left) got the majority of snaps on Thursday, because Wesley Carroll had to leave early for a class. WC threw just one pass and completed it for nearly 40 yards to Ariel Martinez.

Wy WY continued his strong spring going 15 of 23 for 168 yards and 2 TDs.

Among WY's top throws on Thursday, he connected with T.Y. Goodbye for a 38-yard TD. WY also found T.Y. for another good gain and Ty Frierson as well.

No shocker here, Goodbye led all receivers with 6 catches for 90 yards. Yeah, No. 4 is pretty good.

WY's other TD came on a short pass to emerging tight end Colt Anderson. That's CA's 2nd TD catch in as many scrimmages.

Although from what one source said, CA did not have to make his video game move to score this time, unlike the XBox move he made on his 38-yard TD in the first scrimmage.

Trenard Turner led the running game with the only rushing score from inside the 10-yard line.

From what another source tells me, after the offense did its work, the defense took over again to end theWf scrimmage.

Word is defensive back Emmanuel Souarin again made tackles for loss and played good pass coverage. Defensive back Antwoine Bell had a pass deflection.

Linebacker Winston Fraser, (right) healthy again, ended the scrimmage with an interception that he almost returned for a TD.

From what I was told, Fraser played very aggressive Thursday and looked as quick as ever. WF is one LB that can really be a difference maker on this defense in the upcoming season. You all saw what he did when he was on the field last season.

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

Aaapaw LIVE GAME BLOG is back tommorrow (Friday) and all through the 3-game series this weekend between FIU and Louisiana. Will be on-line at 6:54 p.m. tommorrow. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

While the Panthers will be playing baseball Friday. The Golden Dazzlers will be playing babeball as they make their baseball debut at Friday's game.....The photos -- such as the one on the right never get old.

Aaapaw No word yet on the spring game. But it could be sometime in the middle to latter part of next week.Dazz

Q&A

FIU observer: Is Jonathon Jackson still on the team?

PP: Yes he is and he's made some plays this spring.

c-UM: Dont sell us short now Pete, we have 16 wins, not 15

PP: Yes, FIU has 16 wins. My mistake.

SouthPaw: Pete, what's the status of Edgar Theliar and Derrick Clark? Are either expected to be back for Fall practice?

PP: No, neither will be at FIU.

You Got Gold: Hey Pete, Could you update us on the McVay and Leith injuries?

PP: Leith is still expected back at some point this season to give FIU another lefty out of the pen. McVay is not pitching this season as he recovers from elbow surgery.

Thanks to Alex J. Hernandez photo gallery for pictures

Time for a spring poll question:


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