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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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