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Friday at La Cage; Men's soccer picked 8th in C-USA

Distant lightning delayed Friday morning's practice for about a half hour.

Word had it that after I stepped away from Thursday's Ron Turner media session to talk to a player, Turner said there would be no scrimmages as well as no tackling during fall camp. So, the first full-on tackling of the late summer would take place Aug. 31, at Maryland.

I asked Turner about this Friday.

Turner said, "I think what I meant to say -- and I probably didn't say it right -- we're not going to have a Saturday like we do in the spring, "this is an all-scrimmage day." We're going to practice. Some of the periods might be live. A good portion of the practice might be live, might be tackling, whatever, but we're not going to have a scrimmage. Depends on our health situation, we may or may not do that. But we're not going to have a day devoted to nothing but scrimmage. We'll put them in a lot of game situations."

No tackling in full pads Friday didn't mean freshman running back Silas Spearman couldn't take a couple of serious shots, one from junior linebacker Matt Larrubia, another from redshirt junior safety Demarkus Perkins.

In the run game practice, redshirt sophomore Shane Coleman broke off the best run, starting a stretch left, then slicing hard back, almost all the way behind right tackle and catching half the defense unprepared to be part of the action. The offensive line opened some holes in red zone work, too. Turner said having enormous guard Jordan White back after he sat out spring ball makes a difference.

FIU can't count clean snaps and handoffs as givens yet. Jake Medlock, E.J. Hilliard, Travis Wright, placekick holder Chris Ayres all made surprise visits to Adventureland on handoffs or snaps Friday.

In the kicking game, Serge Sroka hit from 30 yards off the right hash and was wide right from 41 off the right hash. Karson Dietrich hit from 41 off the right hash. Austin Taylor was wide right from 30 off the left hash. Kickoff return work saw junior Richard Leonard and senior Sam Miller as the first duo.

Last night, finished my game-by-game for our preseason section. It came out 3-9. Two years ago, I was one game off, 9-3, and picked the upset at Louisville. Last year, well, I whiffed like A-Rod in the playoffs without any clinic visits. 


One Conference USA coach voted FIU his preseason favorite. The other nine differed strongly.

FIU was picked eighth, ahead of only Marshall and FAU, in the coaches' preseason poll and didn't have a single player considered worthy of preseason all-conference notice. Interesting, considering junior forward Quentin Albrecht earned Second Team All-Conference USA honors last year.

Tulsa topped the poll, although New Mexico received four first place votes to Tulsa's three. 


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