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Don't expect many changes at The Cage

Tough fall for a school's sports programs when the volleyball team's 6-6 record ranks as the autumn's Yertle the Turtle and men's soccer's 3-4 slots them as the salutatorians.

The football team's bye week means you'll be spared an embarrassingly honest analysis by professional bettors (the only people laying real money on non-AQ BCS conference games). Next week's FIU opponent, Southern Mississippi, is a 28-point underdog at Boise State.

There's still some news from La Cage. Or, perhaps more accurately, some "olds" as some things haven't changed.

Head coach Ron Turner said redshirt junior quarterback Jake Medlock practiced a bit Wednesday, should be fully recovered from his concussion by Sunday and, if healthy, will be the starter Oct. 5 at Southern Miss. "Jake's our starter," Turner emphatically stated.

Third-string freshman quarterabck Travis Wright still hasn't been cleared by the NCAA, so, with Israel Paopao out for the season with his foot injury, Akil Dan-Fodio is now the third-stringer behind Medlock and sophomore E.J. Hilliard.

Out of 123 FBS teams, FIU's offense ranks 123rd in rushing offense, 120th in passing offense, 122nd in total offense and 123rd in total offense. The Panthers average 2.25 yards per carry on called running plays (1.43 yards per carry overall because sacks get factored into team and individual rushing totals, instead of team passing yards as the NFL does it).

I asked Turner considering the offensive line and the lack of success with the run if he considered just spreading things out and flinging it around.

"No, because that hasn't been much better than the running game," Turner said. "At least we run the ball, we have a chance to get back to the line of scrimmage. We're throwing it, he's running backwards, which was the case last week.

"We've just got to run our offense. We've got to run our offense and start clicking. We had some opportunities in every game to make some plays. You make one or two of those plays, it's shocking how quickly you can gain some confidence. Going back to the Maryland game, the first third and 5, we told them what we're going to do: go up-tempo, no huddle and we're going to double move this corner because he's going to bite the hell out of it. He did. We ran right by him, it was a touchdown. We hit that thing and, it's crazy to say, I'm not saying we wouldn't be where we are, but at least you get some confidence. We don't hit that, we're punting the ball, they go down and score. Instead of us hitting a big play to get some confidence for a young team, we don't do it. We've had opporutnities like that in every game. We have yet to make those plays, at least enough of them to give us a spark, some confidence in the run game and the pass game.

"We're not going to panic, we're going to do what we do. We know what we've got five offensive linemen who've basically never played and are trying to come together. We're seeing good things, we're seeing improvement. It hasn't necessarily showed up on the scoreboard."

So, there you go.




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Wow! What game was this guy at? What does he mean they threw the ball? By the way coach, when your offensive line is being pushed back 5 yards, you're not gonna run the ball that well. You don't have the O-line for the type of offense you are running. Hopefully, you are competent enough to see that and make some adjustments.

Your running game last week got negative yards. Check your own stats coach before you make a blundering A-- out of yourself again. This guy can't tell the truth to save his life. I think he would find that his passing game is by far better than his running game thus far. Way to go coach for not making yet another adjustment, you are in a bye week when you can actually practice something different that just might give you that spark that you are looking for? What a joke!

Yeah, what a joke!

Amazing how quickly the FIU fans turn on the coach, without examining the overall program/system. It's not just the product of an incompetent coach - it's a complete lack of talent. Cristobal had a much better team, in addition to being a much better coach. Below is a list of Ron Turner's records at Illinois, with his offensive rank in parentheses.

97-98 - 0-11
98-99 - 3-8
99-00 - 8-4
00-01 - 5-6
01-02 - 10-2
02-03 - 5-7
03-04 - 1-11

Half of his wins those last 2 years? Against I-AA opponents. And no matter how you want to crow about FIU making strides and improvements academically (and in some areas it is), it's not an Illinois academically - not by a long shot. So problems with eligibility are going to continue to plague the school. In any case, shaping up to be a long season, no matter what the coach does or doesn't do.

More on Ron Turner's firing: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=1929050

All of them, Turner, Rosenberg, Garcia, knew what they'd be dealing with this year with this group of kids. They're just treating this year as an extended training camp. From that perspective, every decision at FIU makes sense. It's why Turner is sticking with his system, sticking with Medlock, why he (Turner) is just trying to get through these games without injury while playing out the string. They don't care about wins and losses this year. They probably barely even pay attention to the score. That's why Garcia won't get rid of Turner and Rosenberg won't get rid of Garcia. This year was written off before it even started. You can tell from the whole game day experience down there.

Who knows if they're going to give Turner a couple years to see if he can turn it around or if they're going to clean house. If some up and comer falls in their lap they'll take him, otherwise they'll probably just cross their fingers with Turner for another year...or two. Let's be real, do you think they're going to be directed by a couple dozen fans? Expectations were so low for this year that I don't think anyone at FIU is shocked with how things are going. It's exactly how the envisioned it would play out. Everyone wants them to blow up the program...I think they feel that that's what they did by getting rid of Mario. Time will tell if Garcia is next under the bus. They're treating FIU football like it's back to square one. Hard to take as one of those couple dozen die-hards, but there it is.

panther97, if that's true I think they owe all the season ticket holders a full refund, and all the players who are busting their ass out there an unconditional release so they can go somewhere where they actually want to try to win games.
I knew it would be hard to even match last years 3 wins, but I thought we would at least try to be competitive.

If you want to run an extended training camp and avoid injury, it would be a lot cheaper to just forfeit all the games and have the team do walk throughs in their pajama's

Did this man just say that by running the ball, at least there is a chance to reach the line of scrimmage. That's your game plan????

How are you a head coach???? Turner reminds me of Henry Wrinkler from the Waterboy.

Can't disagree with anything you wrote, never mind. Didn't say I was happy about it. And yeah, I'd hate to be one of those kids recruited in the last couple years...for this.

"Coach Turner demonstrated integrity and persistence in his work to restors the program to its top form," said AD Pete Garcia. "However, this subpar performace leads us to go in a different direction."

When will we read this? At the end of the season. David: Ask Garcia his position on the current situation. The word in inner circles is that Garcia has already thrown Turner under the bus and told trustees that a new coach can be found quickly. What a piece of work! Working now to save himself when he created this mess!!! Dig and you will find this is the truth. Call Garcia. He will hide. But not forever. Turner will go at the end of what is now expected to be a winless season. The trustees have heard and seen enough. Garcia could follow unless he talks his way out of the mess. Julie Berg could become interim AD while the university conducta a nationwide search. Trustees know that they can land a rising star whose salary is in line with industry standards for a school with FIU's athletic revenue.

Who would win in a game between FIU and Savannah State?

So you're saying there's a chance to get back to the line of scrimmage, Coach Turner????

We're doomed. This hire stinks worse and worse every day. Take out the garbage, FIU!

Get used to it, unless you have a cool million to donate. BTW, Justin Halley played pretty good coverage against a talented team and Randy Harvey not only blocked a kick, he laid some pretty good licks. Not everyone quit. Best to just watch the ones who care and forget the rest of it. No one is going to be fired. This season is what it is.

Yes, Justin Halley was playing hard. He is a good player.

So if the FIU Athletic Department has revenue of $25.4 million, most of it coming from student fees, why does SGA have a seat on the Board of Trustees? Shouldn't they be transparent in disclosing what is being spent to the students and post the Athletic Department's budget in public records.

"Trustees know that they can land a rising star whose salary is in line with industry standards for a school with FIU's athletic revenue."

Um, no.

A salary in line with industry standards for a school with FIU's athletic revenue precludes a "rising star".

Students do have a seat on the BOT. And the amount of fees spent on athletics is a matter of public record. Guess what? We don't have a very good team this year, that is the long and short of it. Do you think that FGSU spent a ton to pay its basketball coach last year? At our level, and theirs, a lot of it is just plain luck. I will guarantee you that MC had a ton of luck, most of it named TY Hilton. Sit tight. Go watch Canes games if you can't stand it. Things will get better, one way or another, sooner or later. Or they won't. But if you think bitching on this blog is going to accomplish anything other than lower (or raise)your personal steam level, you need to get your meds adjusted.

Students do not have a seat on the BOT, their opinion doesn't matter and their athletic fees buy them no input.

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