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25 posts from October 2010

October 07, 2010

Q&A with FIU offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield

The GPP sat down with FIU offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield ahead of Saturday's showdown with Western Kentucky.

Q: How would you assess Wes Carroll’s play so far?

SS: Well, everyday has just been a process to try to get better. We strive for perfection, so if we fall a little bit short, we’ll still be pretty good. We’ve struggled a lit bit throughout the season thus far, hit or miss, real inconsistency throwing the football. He’s managed the offense well, though. We’ve had had some good drives, some 14-play, 16-play drives, and some of them, not just one. We’ve been able to manage the offense well. But there are times where we’ve gotten guys open and we’ve not been able to hit. But overall, I think he’s done well. He’s gotten better and better. I think he had a solid day at Pittsburgh. That was one of the better defenses we’ve faced this year. He’s protected the ball, for the most part, and I think he’s coming around. He’s learning the offense. He’s getting more comfortable running the offense. And you can’t get that just in practice. You have to play in the games. So I’m glad we had the four games before we’ve started conference play.

Q: How far along are you in learning what he’s comfortable with, and what he does well? Satterfield

SS: Again, everyday, he’s working on his accuracy. That’s the main thing. We’ve got to be accurate when we throw the football. The reading process in the passing game, he’s gotten better at, so we’re actually throwing to the right guys. Now we have to get the accuracy part. I thought Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh was his best game, in terms of throwing the ball, accuracy-wise. I think there were one or two balls where he wasn’t accurate on, but I think that’s one thing he’s gotten better with. In practice, we don’t want any balls on the ground. We’re trying to complete every pass, whether it be a walkthrough or whatever. And it think that’s one thing he’s gotten better with.

Q: Compared to other offenses, how difficult is this to pick up?

SS: It’s not that hard of an offense to learn. We basically run our offense. We’re not putting any new plays in, week-in and week-out. We’re running the same stuff, just out of some different looks. Once he gets the base down, which he has, we can start tweaking after that. It’s not that difficult of an offense to learn. We’ve picked it up pretty well, and not we’re in conference play, ready to move forward.

Q: What are defenses doing to keep T.Y. Hilton bracketed?

SS: Well, that’s a good question. Wish I knew what was going on. [Chuckle]. We always try to get the ball to T.Y. He’s a good player. There’s just been certain instances when we’ve tried to get him the ball, and whether they put a linebacker underneath and a safety over the top, he hasn’t been able to get clear. It’s not been good for us. We’re trying to get him the ball so he can do some things. We put him in the backfield so he can run the ball, some sweeps to get him the ball. Yeah, we’re constantly making an effort to try to get him the ball. I think the Maryland game, he had the most touches this season. But they have got a linebacker locked down on him and a safety over the top. Saturday, we put him on the outside and they put the corner down on him and the safety over the top, which they haven’t been doing all game. It’s making it harder to get the ball to him, but we’ve got to do some things creatively, motions, to get him free.

Q: How can you get better running the ball?

SS: Hopefully, now that we’re starting conference play, we’ll be able to run the football a little bit better, a feel. Again, we’re trying to get the five guys on the field at the same time, the O-line guys. We’ve kind of been shuffling the guard position. We’ve started three guards this year. We’re trying to find the right combination of five guys. Once we find those five guys, I think the cohesiveness with the guys up front [will improve]. Caylin [Hauptmann] just got here in the summer. Rupert didn’t play much last year. The guards have been shuffled around. The group of offensive linemen, now they’ve played four games together, they’re starting to mesh a little bit. I think the played well in the Pittsburgh game, who has one of the better D-lines we’ll see this year. I feel like, now that we’re in conference play and we have four games under our belt, we’ll start to run the football.

October 06, 2010

Sun Belt Conference report; Dasher's return marred by loss

TROY ROUTS MIDDLE TENNESSEE

Troy Middle Tennessee Football Sun Belt powers Troy and Middle Tennessee duked it out Tuesday night in Murfreesboro, Tenn. MTSU quarterback Dwight Dasher (left) started his first game, after serving a four-game suspension for accepting a loan. The fact that Dasher was playing seemed to matter little as Troy steamrolled  MTSU 43-13.

Troy QB Corey Robinson was 26 of 37 for 259 yards and three touchdown passes. WR Tebiarus Gill had two touchdown catches. RB DuJuan Harris had 80 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

The game was a complete rout from the start with Troy taking a 21-0 lead with six-minutes to play in the second quarter. 

SUN BELT REPORT

1. Troy (3-2, 2-0 SBC)

With a convincing win over Middle Tennessee, the Trojans proved they are still the SBC's best-team. Troy played a solid all-around game, out-gaining (is this even a word?) MTSU in total yards 519-207, while limiting the Blue Raiders to a dismal 28 yards on the ground.The Trojans' defense has been a concern this season giving up a 143 points in five games. Troy's offense (179 total points) has done a nice job of keep the team competitive. With the exception of MTSU, all of Troy's games have been shootouts. The Trojans have wins over Bowling Green (30-27), Arkansas State (35-28) and MTSU, losses are to UAB (33-34) and Oklahoma State (41-38). A win against Oklahoma State would have been a signature win for the SBC, but the Trojans fell short late in the game. It seems highly likely that the Trojans will make easy work of their SBC schedule and if all goes well, win their fifth SBC title in six years. Troy will next play La.-Lafayette on Oct. 16. Troy plays FIU on Nov. 11.

2. Middle Tennessee (2-3, 1-1 SBC)

The Blue Raiders are looking to turn their season around with the return of Dasher to the line up. Dasher had a rough time in his first start against Troy. It should take Dasher at least another game to shake off the rust. The Blue Raiders have been competitive in games against Minnesota and Memphis losing both contests 24-17. Without Dasher, MTSU was left with a gaping hole at QB that has really hurt the team. Against Memphis, the Blue Raiders had three interceptions and a fumble which lead to all of Memphis' scores. In total, the Blue Raiders have thrown seven interceptions. Back up QB Logan Kilgore was effective against Minnesota, completing 13 of 18 pass for 172 yards and a score. The Blue Raiders were leading Minnesota 17-0, until the Gophers rallied. MTSU will next face Georgia Tech on Oct. 16.

3. Louisiana-Lafayette (2-2, 2-1 SBC)

The Ragin Cajuns, owners of possibility the most original nickname in college football, are 2-1 in SBC play. The Cajuns have wins over Arkansas State and at North Texas and a loss to MTSU. The Cajuns' offense has shown that it has the capability of scoring points in the teams two wins. Against Arkansas State, the Cajuns took a 17-0 lead before the Red Wolves scored. Defensively, the Canjuns have struggled in three of their four-first games, the Cajuns limited Arkansas State to 18 yards rushing but gave up over 400 yards passing. The Cajuns have been outscored 89-136.The Cajuns open the season with a 55-7 drubbing from a down Georgia team. The true test will be how well the Cajuns fair against Oklahoma State this weekend.

4. FIU (0-4, 0-0 SBC)

Even though the Golden Panthers have still not recorded a win, it was hard for me to rank them any lower than fourth at the moment.FIU has shown much improvement from last season and seems ready for a strong push in the SBC.FIU has struggled lately giving up a significant amount of yards on the ground.  This week might be the most important week for FIU in resent memory. The team badly needs a win to show that they can finish a game. A 0-5 start could prove costly.

TEAMS 5-9

I think it might be still a little early to judge how the rest of the SBC stacks up. This weekend, most SBC teams have conference games and the picture should start to get clearer. I could have easily thrown FIU into this mix of uncertain teams, but I think how close they have played some tough opponents counts for something. The SBC seems wide-open with even Troy and MTSU showing they have weaknesses.

North Texas (1-4, 1-1 SBC)

FAU (1-3, 0-1 SBC)

Arkansas State (1-4, 1-2 SBC)

 Louisiana-Monroe (1-3, 0-1 SBC)

Western Kentucky (0-4, 0-0 SBC)

The Hilltoppers started the season playing three of their first four games on the road. Western Kentucky's opening schedule has been one of the toughest in the SBC. Western Kentucky lost at Nebraska, at Kentucky, Indiana at home and at USF. The Hilltoppers have struggled to keep pace with their out of conference opponents. Western Kentucky features talented running back Bobby Rainey, who has a team-high five touchdowns. The Hilltoppers open conference play on Saturday at FIU.

Justin Azpiazu

October 04, 2010

FIU Recruiting Update

No new commitments to discuss this week, but it never gets old talking about Rakeem Cato, who is absolutely ripping apart defenses at Central.

In a 33-6 win over Carol City Friday, the soon-to-be-FIU quarterback Rakeem Cato completed 16 of 25 passes for 208 yards and three scores and an interception.

Northwestern, and its four FIU recruits, remained undefeated on the season with a 26-25 come-from-behind victory over Booker T. Washington. Lyndon Edwards had a drive-killing sack in the game.

Up in Northern Florida, running back Shane Coleman pounded out 75 yards and two scores in Clay's 47-3 shellacking of Ridgeview.

Bradford High's Yakeem Griner had two fourth-down catches for touchdowns in the Tornadoes' victory against Sante Fe.

And linebacker Luis Rosado led Gainesville High to a 23-6 win over rival Eastside.

McAfee: I'm going to Auburn

Just two weeks after committing to FIU -- before quickly backing out -- Memphis Melrose guard Cedrick McAfee has agreed to attend Auburn, according to the Commercial Appeal.

McAfee, an ESPNU top 100 player, committed to Auburn after visiting the school over the weekend.

"I think they got a steal," Melrose coach Jermaine Johnson told the Commercial Appeal. "He likes their style of play. Coach (Tony) Barbee runs the triple-drive motion (offense) and Cedrick is an attacker."

McAfee's switch leaves FIU coach Isiah Thomas with three recruits from the class of 2011: forward Darnell Harris -- another top 100 talent -- and centers Chris Coleman and Yvan Ngirabakunzi.

The Golden Panthers, who open practice on Oct. 15, have seven seniors on roster, giving Thomas plenty of roster spots to fill.

October 02, 2010

FIU-Pittsburgh Live Blog

Now THIS is what football is supposed to be. Crisp, clear October afternoon in Western Pennsylvania.

Temperatures in the 50s, with a (seemingly) big crowd on hand.

The FIU Golden Panthers (0-3) look for their first win of the season, while the Pittsburgh Panthers (1-2) are looking to bounce back after an embarrassing home loss to Miami last Thursday.

Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. Check back at 3:25 for the live blog, which admittedly will be a little light, as I'm again a one-man-band on the road.

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