Defensive tackle Isame Faciane, who had to be helped off the field twice Saturday at Troy, will play this Saturday against Western Kentucky. Faciane and the rest of the interior defensive line need to be dominant or FIU's offense could spend the game playing Monopoly on the sideline.
Western tends to line up in the I and pound the ball, although quarterback Kawaun Jakes threw for 308 yards Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe. That was the first 300-yard performance of Jakes career and of any Western quarterback since 1994. Western once again has the Sun Belt's leading rusher. This time, his name's Antonio Andrews. According to Bowling Green Daily News writer Chad Bishop, Western coach Willie Taggart said Andrews tweaked a hamstring against ULM but would play against FIU.
The line on the game opened at Western by 4.5 and quickly moved up to 7 across the board. The early line setters clearly looked at FIU's last two games (close losses in which the Panthers covered the spread), looked at Western's last two games (a close win, an overtime loss), noted the game was at FIU and set the line. Alert bettors jumped on Western quickly, forcing the line to get a bump.
In answer to a question on a previous post: I plan to talk to defensive coordinator Todd Orlando this week.
On the Sun Belt coaches weekly teleconference Monday, North Texas coach Dan McCarney used the phrase "respect the football." I couldn't help but think of this...
SWIMMING & DIVING
Junior diver Sabrina Beaupre qualified for the NCAAs in the two diving events and senior Marina Ribi broke a school record that's hung around since 2004 in Saturday's tri-meet against FAU and Florida State.
FIU beat FAU 160-134 and lost to FSU 189-101.
Ribi's 2:04.36 in the 200 butterfly erased Claudia Barsi's record. Ribi won the 100 fly in 56.78. Junior Sonia Perez's 4:21.83 in the 400 individual medley was the 12th fastest time in Division I so far this year. FIU also went 1-2 in the 200 freestyle relay. Klara Andersson, Valeriia Popova, Becky Wilde and Kelly Grace got it done in 1:38.51 to beat Danielle Meara, Courtney VanderSchaaf, Colleen Quinn and Ribi by 1.29 seconds.
Reader's Digest version: a 5-1 loss to Kentucky Sunday in which they avoided a shutout only by senior Lucas Di Croce's goal with less than three minutes left. FIU fell to 0-4-1 in Conference USA, 7-5-2 overall.