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2 posts from October 29, 2013

October 29, 2013

Hilliard to start vs. East Carolina

FIU football coach Ron Turner said after Tuesday's practice that sophopmore EJ Hilliard will replace redshirt junior Jake Medlock at quarterback Saturday against East Carolina.

Turner wanted to make clear that the 1-6 record falls on the team, not just on Medlock, and he just hopes this will give the team a spark.

Hilliard gets no easy assignments. East Carolina (5-2, 3-1 in conference) was the preseason Conference USA favorite. The Pirates only losses were 15-10 against Virginia Tech and 36-33 to Tulane in overtime. Hilliard also started against Louisville this season and got hancuffed by an offensive game plan so run-based -- after FIU failed to run effectively against even Bethune-Cookman -- that the television announcers made fun of it.

Last season, Medlock injuries sent Hilliard into the second half against Louisville; made his first start on the road against Louisiana-Lafayette (bowl team); second start five days later against Arkansas State (bowl team); came in for the final play against Western Kentucky (bowl team) and started the season finale against Louisiana-Monroe (bowl team).  

Also, Turner made clear that sophomore outside linebacker Davison Colimon has not quit the team, but has been dealing with some family issues. Fifth-year senior Derrick Jones Jr. will start in his place again this week. Markeith Russell should be fine also for Saturday's game.

Ideas, anyone?

Now, let's say you were in the marketing or business part of FIU's athletic department and you got called into an emergency Sunday meeting (as actually might've happened) to discuss how to get enough people into FIU Stadium so that the actual attendance exceeds the nearest quinceanera party. And FIU doesn't get completely embarrassed during the nationally televised game against Marshall.

What would you say? Here's my thoughts, just off the top of my head...

Bus to the Beach: Park buses outside one of the gates. Only those coming out of the stadium after the game can board the buses, which will take the occupants to South Beach for a night of whatever wackiness they desire, then back to campus. Now that Bryant McKinnie's in town, get him involved and you could have a serious party bus, handy for entertaining visiting recruits (no Twitter allowed during or after, of course).

Busing School Children: OK, I know I'm on a mass transit kick here. But a few buses down to Florida City, over to Liberty City and to the Miami Gardens/Norland area, bringing kids and their parents to FIU Stadium wouldn't be a bad idea. Give them FIU hats and shirts, a coupon for food and drink, remind them that some of their neighbors are on the field (such as freshman linebacker from Norland High Treyvon Williams, who could be starting this week in place of injured fifth-year senior Markeith Russell).

Free Beer for Dads, Free Cosmo for Moms: Parents who bring their kids receive coupons entitling them to two free beers (for fathers) or two free Cosmopolitans or rum-and-Cokes (for moms) with the other parent getting unlimited water or Coke. It's sort of like a Date Night...or might be later after a few drinks.

Thoughts anyone?

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