Before heading for The Cat House up north Wednesday I swung by FIU Stadium.
The only Home Depot jersey sat on the shoulders of freshman running back Alonso Randolph, still on crutches. Cornerbacks Richard Leonard and Jeremiah McKinnon were back at practice. Off the roster and the program for now are redshirt junior wide receiver James Louis; sophomore safety Adrian Jenkins; transfer running back Anthon Samuel; and sophomore wide receiver Raymond Jackson. Some might return for spring football.
I wouldn't expect many lineup changes this week. If you know one player from Louisiana Tech, it should be IK Enemkpali. That's not an architectural firm, but a 6-1, 272-pound defensive end with 5.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and -- love this -- a team-high two interceptions.
With the Indianapolis Colts having a bye this week, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton will serve as honorary captain for Saturday's FIU game.
IN THE OFFICE
I heard there's been a firing among the athletic department directors. Still checking to confirm.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Hey, FIU's got another diver besides senior Sabrina Beaupre! Freshman Lily Kaufman took home Conference USA Diver of the Week honors after FIU's trounced North Florida and senior Sonia Perez took the C-USA Swimmer of the Week award.
One of FIU's weaknesses in the Sun Belt Conference meets was volume of swimmers and divers, especially the latter. Beaupre won the last couple of years with the ease of FDR, but other schools still piled up points behind her. Beaupre and Kaufman have the top two scores in C-USA this season.
Perez, the 2013 Sun Belt 400 individual medley champion and FIU school record holder, won the 400 IM at North Florida in 4:20.93 and the 100 backstroke in 58.70.
Freshman Coralia Arias became the third consecutive FIU player and second consecutive FIU freshman to take medalist honors at the FIU Pat Bradley Invitational. Arias' 6-under 210 led FIU's third place team effort and put her a stroke up on Daytona State's So Young Hwang. As a team, FIU finished 12-over 876, behind Maryland's 9-over 873 and Daytona State's 10-over 874.
Last year's medalist, sophomore Meghan MacLaren slumped over the final two rounds to a 9-over 225, 28th. Sophomore Sophie Godley finished sixth at 2-under 214.