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Rutgers breakdown; FIU scouting report; prediction of the game

GYI0061476927LIVE BLOG

Live blog starts at 7:45 Saturday night. Tune in for MY UNFILTERED TAKE on the FIU-Rutgers contest. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.

Rutgers scouting report

The Scarlet Knights ride into FIU Stadium as 17 1/2 point favorites over the Golden Panthers. Led by sophomore quarterback Tom Savage (left, Savage has to be one the best names for a college QB), the Scarlet Knights beat up Norfolk State 31-0 last week. Savage completed 10 of 19 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. Savage started the game a bit shaky completing three of his first nine passes for 43 yards. 

It is important to note that Norfolk State (a MEAC team) sacked Savage three times.

The Scarlet Knights' running game was anchored by junior running back Joe Martinek GYI0061476884 (right). Martinek finished last Thursday's contest rushing for 109 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. Last season, Martinek was Rutgers' leading rusher with 967 yards on 206 carries and nine touchdowns. Martinek averaged 4.7 yards a carry. Against FIU, Martinek rushed for 126 yards on 23 carries. 

GYI0061476831 WR Mohamed Sanu (left), a preseason All-Big East pick, is a multi-talented threat that has been used at different offensive position. Sanu caught three passes for 68 yards and a touchdown against Norfolk State. Sanu also rushed the ball six times out of Rutgers' version of the "wild cat." Last season, Sanu rushed for 346 yards on 62 carries and had five touchdowns.

Scouting report FIU

After waiting all fall camp, FIU fans will finally find out who the team's new starting quarterback will be. And guess what folks? Chances are both QBs will see considerable playing time against Rutgers. Adam Beasley has a story in Saturday's paper advancing the game, here.

Wesley10 FIUfoot MHS TMC Beasley quotes offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield as saying that, "we'll probably see both guys out there." While this may not surprise some fans, I find the decision a little concerning. I expected Wesley Carroll (left) to outshine Wayne Younger during fall camp. If Carroll is not clearly the starter, then frankly, that did not happen. It will be interesting to see how Cristobal and Satterfield handle the rotation. Will each get a series? Or will he yank one at the first sign of trouble?

Another possibility is that Younger, a senior, showed something nice during fall camp and Cristobal wants to test how far he has come. (A word of caution: FIU has been so quiet about the QB situation - that I can honestly say - I do not know what is going to happen for sure.) Carroll might come out and be the starting QB after all. So, like so many things in life, I guess we will have to wait and see.

COORDINATORS Satterfield 03 Fuifoot MHS PAB

Another interesting side story in Saturday's game will be the debut of offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield (right) and defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.

Satterfield, a former quarterback for Appalachian State, brings with him to FIU a variation of the Mountaineer's spread offense.

What will the new 2010 Panthers look like? That remains a mystery.

If FIU wants to get the season off on the right foot, Satterfield will need to find a way to move the ball against a tough Rutgers'  defense. The Scarlet Knights feature a talented core of defensive backs that can give any opposing offensive coordinator a tough time.

Hilton4(SL_081011_D3A2343) This is the part where it becomes tricky for Satterfield and FIU. To run a successful spread offense you need to have the right weapons. The Golden Panthers already have a rising group of wide receivers (like T.Y. Hilton, left), but do they have a quarterback that can successfully run the offense? I really hate to stress that fact. Saturday's game will say a lot about this team and where it is heading this season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Collins brings his own changes100 fiu SPTS ADD to FIU. From what I have had a chance to see during fall camp, the defense seemed to be clicking quicker than the offense. Early in camp, Cristobal spoke about how the defense was indeed ahead of the offense, but after a few weeks said, both units had caught up.

FIU is going to have to hope its' defense (Toronto Smith, right; Anthony Gaitor, left) can hold down Rutgers long enough for the offense to score some  points. I have a feeling, the FIU defense is going to be much improved this year and will give Rutgers a hard time moving the ball early.

500 fiu SPTS ADD Last week, both Satterfield and Collins said they were excited about how the team will look this season. I know that a lot of Golden Panthers fans out there feel the same thing.

INJURY REPORT

Rutgers injuries: Questionable: WR Phil Lewis (upper extremity), RB Casey Turner (leg). Doubtful: UT J.T. Tartacoff (leg). Out: OL Devon Watkis (ankle), WR Quron Pratt (shoulder), WR Timothy Wright (knee).

FIU injuries: Questionable: LB Larvez Mars ankle), TE Dudley LaPorte (foot).

PROBABLE OFFENSIVE STARTERS

QB: Wesley Carroll; RB: Darrian Marrary; TE: Jonatha Faucher; WR: T.Y. Hilton; Greg Ellingson; Willis Wight (why not); C: Brad Serini, LT: Caylin Hauptmann, RT Rupert Bryan Jr.,  OG: David Istanich, OG: Giancarlo Revilla.

PROBABLE DEFENSIVE STARTERS

LB: Toronto Smith, Winston Fraser, Aaron Davis; CB: Anthony Gaitor, Emmanuel Souarin; S: Ash Parker, Jonathan Cyprien; DL: Tourek Williams, James Jones, Andrew Mattox, Joshua Forney.

PREDICTION

The Golden Panthers will have to come ready to play if they hope to stop Rutgers. Unfortunately for FIU, I see the Scarlet Knights taking an early lead and not giving it up. I look to the Rutgers defense to limit FIU's chances in the first-half. FIU will find its offensive rhythm early in the third quarter but it will prove to be in a losing effort. RU 21-14.

FIU MEN'S SOCCER TEAM

Coach Munga has been hard at working trying to rebuild FIU back to a contender. I have a story in today's paper about his efforts, here.

FIU WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL

FIU plays UM in the 10th annual Hurricane Invitational Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

Justin Azpiazu

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The odds for FIU to cover in the game went down to +16 1/2 probably lower by tomorrow a lot of ppl don't think rutgers will cover.

"lower by tomorrow" I meant lower by later today.

Strong, nice blog, Justin. Thanks for your info and perspective.

As always.....Go FIU!!

Unfiltered? Cheap shot Mr. Justin! :)

Defining moment for FIU. The PANTHERS will pull this off in GLORIOUS FASHION and MAKE STATEMENT. This game means TOO MUCH for our program. A loss, ohhh well nothing changes....However, a BIG WIN sends a huge message to our alums, students and community at large. FIU FOOTBALL is for REAL.

80% think FIU will win? What are you guys smoking- Panama red, Grape ape, rhino?

Willis Wight (why not)?
Cause he is not the third best WR on this team right now. Yes, he will be great but FIU is very deep at this position and I do see him playing but highly unlikely he will start. Plan on seeing JR and Times more so as times is a great slot guy and JR is fast gets open and can caught the ball.

P.S. JR has been the starting since he arrived as a freshmen, and since I played with him in high school and this team, I think I know what he can do.

JR= Junior

if you you talking about Junior Mertile O'daris then i would agree 100%... he showed last year (before injuries) that he can be a big-time threat if he gets in space.

I think with the bad weather as of 5:30pm we are going to see a little less then the 15K people I thought would show up.. I just hope the boys play a smart first quarter. Keep the score close for Halftime (no more then a 7point lead) and hope that the humidity and hot weather effects them more then us for the final 30min.. It does not have to be pretty just the biggest "W" in school history!

JUSTIN:
This is what ALL your Blogs should look like.. By FAR your best blog since you took over Master Pete's job.. We want MORE FIU!!

Go FIU

weather is not too bad, i live next to the stadium it's not even raining just kinda cloudy but doesn't look like it will rain again.

Good job Justin, I agree with #20, Junior to start over WW, but maybe towards the end we will see more WW and less CE.
Also I am concern about WY starting, but I would not be surprise to see both WY and WC at the same time on the field.

Thoughts about yesterday:

NEW HOSTING BAR - The "S" Sports Bar:
Very nice bar and the wings are very similar to The Sports Grill. Also much bigger than The Sports Grill and great deals too. I’m glad this is the new sports bar for hosting FIU games.

TAILGATING:
Not a lot of tailgating, but I assume this is because everyone went to a bar to watch the UF / FSU / UM games before our game instead of tailgating.

BAND/PRESENTATIONS:
The fly-over timing was way off.
The band was hard to hear from the other side of that stadium (I was sitting in student section and they were playing on the other side during the flag presentation). One of our goals should be to grow the band, twice as big over the years.
I liked that this year the band was sitting much closer to the students. That way we can fill students to the left and the right.
The band was more involved in the game and with the students. I really like the Faster-Tempo music they play during a kickoff. Do that everytime it rocked!!! And during chanting sometimes a Tuba player chants along. Do that everytime too!

ATTENDANCE:
Most packed I’ve ever seen the student section. I walk into the stadium at 8PM and could not find a seat. Last year it would not get packed until 30 mins into the game.
Forcing everyone to leave the stadium through one exit IS DUMB!!! Let us use the other exits damn it.

GAME:
I’m so upset. We were the better team and yet manage to lose the game. Rutgers was our best chance to win out of the first four games. And when you have a chance to beat a BCS and breakthrough to another level you have to take it! RUTGERS WAS NOT GOOD! We have to close them OUT!!! Now all we have is a chance to beat SunBelt teams because we are not gonna beat the remaining BCS schools. Extremely upsetting.
Why are we playing Younger at the end of the game DAMMIT? They could not stop our deep throws, so bring Carroll in and let him pass it!!! Last play we need 9 yards and we try a short pass and have them run it the remaining 6!??!?!? Give yourself a chance by throwing it at least to the First Down marker. DMAN ITITII11!>>!>!>!>

Good news is our O-line is finally holding up. And the defense looks amazing.

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