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Football & futbol in Mobile; the team of the fall

Darian Mallary will continue to get the majority of snaps at running back Saturday at South Alabama with Kedrick Rhodes spelling him occasionally. Don't look for senior Jeremiah Harden.

The game won't be televised or streamed. So, it's FIU radio or Twitter (I'm at http://twitter.com/DavidJNeal)


Last Friday night, the Western Kentucky football team turned out en masse to support their volleyball sisters at The Branch against FiU. A 7 p.m. start will be a little late for the FIU football team to do the same Friday night in Mobile for the women's soccer team against Middle Tennessee State in the Sun Belt Tournament semifinal.

Middle, which tied North Texas and FIU for the regular season title, dropped the Panthers 3-1, FIU's last loss. Beating Middle Friday would set up a Saturday showdown with the winner of No. 1 seed North Texas and Western Kentucky, which FIU beat last year in a shootout for the Sun Belt championship.

"North Texas for us is always more of a physical battle. It's always more of an aggressive game," junior forward Chelsea Leiva said. "Aganist Middle Tennessee, you have to keep the ball a lot more. If not, they will create opportunities." 

"Middle Tennessee is far more of a possession team. whereas North Texas just likes to hit the ball forward. They don't look to possess the ball, they just counterattack," sophomore midfielder Nicole DiPerna said Monday, still dressed as a Star Wars stormtrooper and as "Stayin' Alive" played in the background.

I fought off the 1977 flashback to ask how she analyzed the loss to Middle and the 1-1 with North Texas.

"I don't think either of them were our best game," DiPerna said. "We didn't keep possession as much as we'd like nor were we getting open as we have the past several games." 


So far, the most successful team of the fall has been women's golf, which won its third team title at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational on the 6,2228-yard Leilehua Golf Course in O'ahu, Hawaii. Junior Shelby Coyle was medalist, the third such one for FIU this year.

Wouldn't have guessed that as November began women's golf would have more team event wins and more medalist wins than the football team would have wins. 



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