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Conversation with Mario Cristobal

Caught up with Mario after Thursday's practice. Here's what he said ...

So what did you get out of Wednesday’s scrimmage?

“A lot. We did it all. We went two-minute, four-minute. We put the clock at 4 minutes, 30 seconds. Our offense needed to get two first downs, our defense needed to get the ball back. One coming out from our own 1-yard line, the defense trying to stop us and make us punt from our own territory, the offense trying to get a first down, create more room and churn time off the clock as well. Then we went different scenarios in the two-minute; down by three, down by six. Worked every personnel group, three tights, two backs; five wides. It was our last full scrimmage before Rutgers. Then it’s Rutgers preparation. We started a little bit yesterday, and then it’s full-bore today.”

What’s the status of Jonathan Faucher?

“Faucher looks great. He’s full-go.”

How about Dudley LaPorte? Is playing against Rutgers a bit of a stretch at this point?

“I think it might be. It hasn’t been great progress with him. I know he’s frustrated. We feel terrible for him. He’s a real good football player, and he’s waited a long time to play football. But unfortunately, that thing hasn’t healed the way we’ve wanted it to yet.”

Is his foot just experiencing inflammation, or is it structural?

“You’d like to think it isn’t, but since it’s been broken twice before, you have to be real careful. He’s going for more tests, more MRIs, and hopefully it’ll be a good result.”

Do you think at some point, you might want to shut him down?

“We have in the past 10 days. What he got out there was minimal. We go with what the doctor tells us, and we definitely don’t want to risk anything with him, because not only is he a valuable football player, he’s had a couple of freak injuries. We hope and pray for the best. We want him playing football. We’re a better football team when No. 17 is out there playing with us.”

With the assumption Pooh Bear isn’t ready for the Rutgers game, what does your depth look like at linebacker?

“We’re OK, depth-wise there. We’ve still got [Gregory] Hickman, still got Aaron Davis, Kenny Dillard’s done a good job, Markeith Russell is doing a real good job, Chris Edwards is playing real good football for us. A good number of athletic guys that can run, are real smart football players. We want Pooh back. Make no doubt about it. That was a guy who was a co-starter in the springtime. But it’s not fair to throw him out there right now. He’s getting closer. Will he make it to Rutgers? I don’t know. I know it’s being approached aggressively, because structurally, he is fine. It’s a matter of flexibility, range of motion.”

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laporte has had some bad luck with foot injuries.

Nice blog update. Really looking forward to seeing both LaPorte and Pooh Bear on the field this year. I hope they both heal up fast.

Just win Mario the clock is ticking, you have been at FIU 4 yrs now and last year you took steps backwards. each year you have brought in new coaches and promised the fans success..this year it's on you. The lack of experience shows....win or go home

@Chinapanther or is it Chiapanther ?

You are an EPIC Moron.

Mario has not been at FIU for 4 yrs. Secondly, he was hired with less than 8 weeks to put his first class together. We have yet to sign 25 kids a year because of NCAA probation. FIU should have at least 15 or so more schollies, but we don't. Next year we should sign a full class. Even top BCS programs don't HIT on all their recruits. When you are FIU and can only sign 18 kids in 2007 after the disaster that was 2006 and only 8 remain with the team from the 2007 class for various issues (some never even made it campus) - then you are clearly at a disadvantage and not playing with a full deck of cards. You cannot generate a depth chart with the classes of 2007 and 2008, while limited in schollies.. We have 2 dozen walk-ons trying to fill out a true roster. The injuries of 2009 exposed our lack of depth. It takes 4 full classes of 25 kids a year to build program depth. MC is still another year away from having 100 kids under scholarship. We are probably near 87 right now.

Get a clue, you're comments are increasingly ignorant. It's embarrassing.

Toss in the fact the program did not have a REAL weight room for all of 2007, 2008 and 2009...and our academic support apparatus was a joke as well.

FAU took care of business last night on the road and MTSU nearly pulled it off against Minnesota sans Dasher. Sunbelt was looking good last night, lets hope FIU can add to it with a win over Rutgers.

FIUBlueandGold: I thought the limit on players under scholarship is 85? If FIU is near 87 scholarship players right now they may be in for some additional sanctions. Also, i thought the scholarship penalties were over a year ago and this most recent recruit class was with full scholarship limits restored?

I understand your frustration with people calling out MC, but if he fails to get the team to 6-6 this year we need to really evaluate his performance. Of course we need to wait till the end of the season to pass judgment.

Jimmy,

Yes you are correct my math was off, I counted some guys that were walk-ons that do not have schollies...We are probably around 77, but this number is inflated, because of walk ons that earned a full ride. Keep in mind, the rules are structured to cap total 85 rides per team, but some teams carry higher numbers because of enrollment/schollie award date.

Just look at BAMA and Penn State, they have close to 100 kids on full rides, it's tricky...

Bottom line, we have been under sanctions and had some attrition. MC has used plenty of walk-ons to complete a team. You get what you pay for and if we are building depth with walk-ons, then you'll most likely be limited.

Unless of course our walk-ons turn out like Toronto Smith ??

FIU Hoops schedule is up at The Prowl:

http://fiusports.typepad.com/the-prowl/

I didn't think LaPorte was going to miss the Rutgers game.. I predicted him Player of the Year for 2010.. That is a VERY BIG loss.

Justin
Do you have an idea of who will be the starting and back-up RB? All 4 guys have gotten their opportunity. I personally think its a 3 man race (Harden, Mallary, Perry)

Go Golden Panthers!

Whoaw! Im critical of MC's personell management but you read my posts I've yet to call for his head. I'm not chi-n-aPanther!
Clear?

http://www.fiugoldenpanthers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1586&start=30

Read the last post... read all my posts on rutgers at fiugoldenpanthers.com, Im not a MC hater, critic yes, hater - never.

I will never hate a man who takes a job knowing that failure is unavoidable for 7 years. In fact hes ahead of schedule by 2 or 3 yrs.

Even if I think WW should be ahead of GE, or get pissed when MC is "surprised" by WT.

Its chia not CHINA..... go Panthers

FIUBlueandGold not only is your math wrong your limited knowledge is wrong. How can Pen State have 100 schoolarshp players? This is MC 4th year who care when he took the job?..he's not getting it done. Strock had better results with no weight room or stadium and starting the program from scratch. So don't give that Mario had no weight room crap.

The NCAA allows each division IA college football program 85 scholarships and each division IAA college 63 athletic scholarships. In division 2 there are 36 Scholarships.

To retain division I status, a football team must have 76.5 football scholarship players and can carry 85 active scholarship players. In division I-AA, schools have 63 scholarships, usually divided among 85 players.

We made a huge mistake by signing Schnelly instead of Strock. Former AD Mello was a true bonehead. MC has till next year when we have a semi- sane schedule.

ChinaP,
Please follow the link...
http://www.sundaymorningqb.com/2008/5/8/6498/42752

Please read past the loathing in the writers voice... see the status of our program under the strock-mello administration.

I too have wrestled with the MC vs. DS
All 6 nfl panthers came from strock.... strock gave us the killer B's and josh P. But at their best he won 5 games.
I think the major players were from his second/third class...

MC will give us just about the same #. AG, TY, but its on the sophmores where he'll hit a hr.

CONT.,

Comparing records is not fair, as DS played D I-AA for three yrs.

The key comes in remembering that prior to the brawl with UM, ds was 0-5 on his schedule. So, he was going to have a sub 5 win season after winning 5 in '05, sound familiar. Ds termination came at a perfect time...right before the dreaded ncaa apr report.

Keep in mind, many of the 18 guys suspwnded never made it back.
Thank you ds for doing what needed to be done, dont know if fiu football would exist if not for your early move to D I-A.
Mc thanks you what ever happens we are better now than when you arrived

Can't we all just get along!!! Saturday afternoon, chia panther, you will bow down to the chili master!!! 112!!

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