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Cristobal "very optimistic" about Hilton; Faciane Sun Belt Defensive POW

Operating on 10 hours sleep over the last three days (lots of writing, late blogging, kid with cough). Please forgive any latke flat writing. I'll try to limit the errors...

Mario Cristobal said after Monday's practice he was "very optimistic" T.Y. Hilton's right hamstring would allow Hilton to play Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. He said Hilton suffered a "mild strain" and would be re-evaluated midweek.

"The stuff he did yesterday, today and tomorrow is going to be game plan-oriented, just about full speed," Cristobal said. "Very optimistic. He came back and played the latter part of the game."

Well, Hilton played a few plays, was thrown to once and didn't exactly dig out his patterns on the other plays. It still wouldn't surprise me if Hilton saw limited snaps Saturday just to make sure a mild strain doesn't become a full blown hammy.

In TV news, FIU's Oct. 1 game with Duke is now a 7 p.m. game on ESPNU. It had been an ESPN3 game at 6 p.m.

The line on this game opened with FIU as 19-point favorites. It's already down to 17 with an over/under of 51.5. 

OK, it's not 56 consecutive games of hitting or 47 straight games with a touchdown pass, but...

For the third consecutive week, an FIU player gets one of the Sun Belt Player of the Week awards.

Sophomore defensive tackle Isame Faciane's 51-yard fumble return touchdown, the biggest play in FIU's upset of Central Florida, got him this week's Defensive Player of the Week nod. Faciane had only one tackle otherwise, but the play of he and the other defensive tackles occupied enough blockers inside for linebackers Winston Fraser and Jordan Hunt to combine for 21 tackles as FIU sat on UCF's running game.

Faciane said the team wouldn't have any trouble focusing on Sun Belt foe Louisiana-Lafayette after the last two weeks: "Louisville and UCF were games to get us more out there. The only thing that really matters is the conference."

Fraser won last week's Defensive Player of the Week and Hilton won the first two Offensive Player of the Week awards.

FIU ranks No. 2 in the nation in sacks at 5.00 per game. Not saying FIU blitzes a little bit, but their sacks leader is cornerback Sam Miller with three. Fraser, Tourek Williams and Greg Hickman have two each. Williams and Hickman each have a team-high 4.5 tackles for loss. Fraser leads in solo tackles with 18 and total tackles with 29 and has the only interception.

They're doing a good job of getting their hands on players like UCF quarterback Jeff Godfrey and other slippery people...



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