« Verdict: Guilty | Main | A few thoughts from Bethune-Cookman 34, FIU 13 »

Game Day III: FIU vs. Bethune-Cookman; volleyball takes two

 

Time to get it together, FIU. Let Saturday be your day of atonement for last week’s home opener.

I’m not talking about the football team, much as they might feel the need for redemption after the Central Florida skunking. They’re not at a good stage of the program right now and nobody looking with anything other than FIU beer goggles thought it would be different. Anybody saying they lack “hunger” or need to “care more” needed to stop watching Rocky movies after Rocky I. Put down the
try-hard myth. Vince Lombardi’s considered a great motivator, but Lombardi himself said you can have all the motivation in the world to beat Joe Louis, but what does motivation matter once you run into the reality of Louis’ superior speed, punching ability and skill?

No, I'm onto things like...time to get the FIU Stadium scoreboard together. A 2008 stadium shouldn’t have a scoreboard looking and working like it came from Fishers High by way of Sanford & Son
Salvage. An paint-flaking scoreboard with a faulty video screen flashing scores like “87-0” and “4-0," as happened last week for extended stretches, does nothing for the idea that progress lives at FIU.

Time to get FIU Stadium together. Enclosing it removed the Carmel High School look. Now how about some new signage that doesn’t look more faded than my $10 1996 Tom’s Restaurant t-shirt? And properly equipped restrooms? I’m not even going to discuss the press box.

I'm betting the stands say it's time to get the marketing together. The only name listed on the athletic department’s staff directory in marketing is a graduate assistant. Going into your highest profile sport’s season so anorexically staffed equates to going into a game with one healthy wide receiver.

On the field, as they said in GoodFellas, everybody takes a beating sometime. There’s not much shame in that. But these other things don’t take any time, money or energy not available to FIU. Do it right.

Now, on the field, FIU should be able to be able to muscle an undersized Bethune front line, especially if they spread the Wildcats defense out enough to limit the run support from the safeties and outside linebackers. Also, quarterback Jake Medlock hasn’t been Mr. Precision lately so working the run, rotating backs unless one gets truly hot, seems not only the most productive but prudent approach early.

Bethune loves the run, but threw the ball 20 times in each of its first two games. Last season, the Wildcats averaged 20.6 throws per game. I don’t think they throw it as much here unless they get behind big early. They’re not a big time of possession team, averaging 32:27 per game last year despite being a 9-3, run-based team. So when their offense gets on the field in this heat with a
defense spending the night battling FIU’s size, I’d expect them to call plays with defensive rest in mind more than usual.

Too, I see the Wildcats having success on the read option and on quarterback scrambles. Expecting
FIU’s containment issues to disappear in Game 3 is foolhardy and, once confusion enters the Panthers defensive huddle, the pace of Bethune’s offense could keep them reeling.

I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams put up some points (the over/under line of 47 feels
low). Besides moving the ball, I also can see each offense getting a layup score from a fumble. Bethune has committed 24 fumbles and lost 12 in the last 14 games. FIU’s lone touchdown this season came off a fumble recovery and they’ve lost two themselves, leading to 10 opponent points.

Go to special teams and you find the same stalemate. Neither team does anything special. FIU wasn’t happy with placekick snaps last week. Bethune’s placekicks and punts apparently look like a One Direction concert with festival seating – four field goals blocked last year, two punts blocked last year, two extra points blocked this year. That could be the difference in the game.

I’ll take FIU in overtime 31-28. But, that’s one black man’s opinion. I could be wrong.

VOLLEYBALL

FIU swept both Tennessee-Chattanooga and South Dakota State, 3-0 each Friday, and finished the FIU Invitational 2-1. Senior Kimberly Smith banged home 12 kills in the first match and 15 in the second along with six blocks. Senior Jessica Mendoza had 14 digs in the afternoon, 16 digs and three service aces at night

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

David J
You may need to bring your lab coat today. Is going to be a science project.

Good column, DJN. I intend to send a copy to the Prez and to Coach Turner (I don't think the other obvious recipient would bother to heed a call of "Fire" in a crowded theater.) Now, in advance of tonight's game, might I suggest a few ground rules for posters who are moved to write in the aftermath? Why don't we just agree that no matter what happens tonight: 1) not to lament the fact that St. Mario of Cristobal is no longer the head coach--I think it has been well established that he in fact is gone and that he was not only the best coach that FIU has ever had, he is the best one we will ever have. Okay guys? 2) likewise, unless Pete Garcia takes the field and does something to directly impact the course of the game (streaks the field during a kickoff, let's say), there should be no posts using the words "fire" and "Pete Garcia" in the same sentence. It has been clearly established that Pete Garcia is the anti-Christ and only due to the fact that mankind is cursed to contend with evil as a condition of existence is he still the FIU athletic director. 3) may I also suggest that no matter how paltry tonight's home attendance is (I do worry that the BCU band will outnumber home supporters all by itself) that no poster be allowed to say "no one cares about FIU football." It has been well established by at least one inveterate poster that this is a true fact and that the few dozen of the rest of us inveterate posters are in fact "no one." Nonetheless, what say we please allow us few dozen the fantasy that we in fact do exist and do find it more interesting to root for the perpetual underdog than to be insufferable front runners whose apparent fondest experience is to roll about in Ibis dung. 4) that basically all posts on tonight's game be confined to what happens on the field and the coaching decisions that seem to affect the course of the outcome for good or for ill. In other words it would be ok to say "Ron Turner is the worst coach who ever lived," so long as that were followed by a "because of xyz that happened in the BCU game." Any reference to the fact that Ron Turner was responsible for the sinking of the Titanic, the Black Sox scandal, and Tim Tebow should be automatically forwarded to the "If only Mario Cristobal were still the Coach" thread. Just a few ideas, DJN. I'm sure they will go over big.

Okay, here we go. 0-12, back to square one. This program takes 2 steps forward and 12 steps back. I don't know if this team would have been better off with Coach C as opposed to Coach T, but we are 126th in scoring in the nation. Coach T is suppose to be an offensive guru huh? Looking more and more like Don Strock part II.

I would like to see a change in the direction of the athletic department. I think in our close circle we gravitate towards traditional hires, i.e. people with local ties or local institutions. I think we need to think outside the box a little .

I can honestly say we are on the rise, because we can't be more pathetic then we are now.

This was the "mad Dr. " at work this science project blew up. The locker room has lost confidence in Coach T. There is no direction, no leadership. Say what you will but Cristobal was and in many still is well respected. Hay! "Mr. AD" put your ego to the side time to put the call in. What fun DJN will have with this game. NYCFIUFan, we are so far out the box there's not one.

"please allow us few dozen" Diagodog?

That seems like a gross exaggeration.

Yep, Buc, just guessing that after last night we can strike "dozens" after few and add "very" before it. Gloat on.

The comments to this entry are closed.