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33 posts from October 2013

October 16, 2013

No Lalonde, but very newsy day at Camp Mitch

Sheesh, come back from pseudo-vacation and the news showers down...

That men's soccer goalie Robin Spiegel, last year's Conference USA All-Freshman goalie after starting every game for FIU, was even available to do some kicking for the football team after Tuesday's practice might say more about his status with his first sport. After all, men's soccer is on a road trip now, which means a Spiegel healthy enough to kick for FIU coach Ron Turner was left home.

Turner said neither Spiegel or the FIU student who kicked with him, would join the team this year but might in the spring. Longtime FIU folks will recall that Karl Kremser, who built the FIU soccer program into a national power, also was a German native who did football placekicking.

As for this year, Turner said he wasn't happy that FIU was the only team in Conference USA without a touchback on kickoffs but he did have confidence in freshman Austin Taylor on field goals. FIU averages 52.6 yards of length per kickoff, exactly five yards fewer than opponents and 32.4 yards net kicking average, 7.9 yards less than opponents.

Turner said FIU's punting frustrated him more than the kicking because that's killing FIU in field position. Redshirt freshman Chris Ayers averages 35.0 yards per punt with one punt over 50 yards. FIU's 12th in net punting among the 14 C-USA schools and 14th in gross punting.

Also, about that scoreboard going Superdome lights late in Saturday's game, FIU assistant athletic director for facilities and operations Wes Hardin e-mailed me, "the transmitter that wirelessly sends signal from the controller to the board malfunctioned on Saturday night. It was unrelated to the issues we experienced during the UCF game and is something that we have been able to remedy."

FIU athletic director Pete Garcia said $150,000 to $200,000 of new equipment is coming for the four-year-old scoreboard.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Fred Porter is now on scholarship.

The new bowl at Marlins Park will be the Miami Beach Bowl.
was

October 14, 2013

Moses parting?

There wasn't a postgame blog off Saturday's loss to UAB because I've been at a headstone unveiling out of town. But before I left, FIU posted on the NCAA Job Market site an opening for Director of the Student Athlete Academic Center (SAAC), though Dr. Phil Moses is still listed by the school as the occupant of that job.

The academic production of FIU's athletes outstrips their athletic production except for football and men's basketball.

 

October 12, 2013

Gameday VI: Blazers fit the Panthers

 

After ekeing out a win against Southern Mississippi with the first decent offensive performance of the season, FIU would best be served by getting an opponent that just changed its defensive coordinator, plans to play a defensive scheme its not used to playing, has health issues and is no Kaopectate when it comes to stopping the run.

Hello, Alabama-Birmingham.

UAB gets up and down the field. FIU coach Ron Turner's worried about the speed that's gotten the Blazers 4.5 yards per rush and 14.4 yards per completion. Granted, their numbers include a 52-28 win against Northwestern State, but UAB scorched Troy and FAU's defenses in those losses. FIU's defense is better against both the run and the pass with Demarkus Perkins, athletic and physical, at safety. With Sam Miller covering and tackling well lately, expect UAB to target either the linebackers or cornerback Randy Harvey in passing situations.

UAB's problem comes in stopping folks. Neither Jake Medlock nor E.J. Hilliard moves like FAU's Jacquez Johnson, who accounted for 405 yards of total offense last week. Both, however, rank wtih Troy's Corey Robinson and Robinson flambeed the Blazers with a 30-of-32, 319-yard performance. And UAB allows 193.2 rushing yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry. Reportedly, UAB plans to change their front to deal with FIU's one-back, double-tight-end and basic I-formation sets. I can see Silas Spearman III breaking off chunks of turf, then Medlock or Hilliard working play action and bootleg passes to the tight ends.

Turner felt the team's Wednesday practice included too many errors for this time of the season. A lack of focus, he said, typical of a young team. That's the major worrisome aspect I see from the FIU side -- after playing better and getting a win last week, the team relaxes too much and feels a little too good about itself.

Tough call. The sportsbooks like UAB by 7. I'll say FIU 28, UAB 24.

But that's one black man's opinion. I could be wrong.

 

 

October 10, 2013

Couple of things

First, let me reiterate what the parking and traffic gods have to say about the next couple of days at Camp Mitch:

No entry into Lots 6 and 7 after 10 p.m. tonight. You better have your car out of there by Friday, noon or you'll be getting the bad kind of hookup -- the kind from trucks driven by people not nearly as witty as Lizard Lick Towing and almost as ugly as the South Beach Tow group.

And don't have your whip in Lot 24 at noon Friday, either. The Cuban Memorial parking lot (no, that's not a nickname for Hialeah at 5 p.m.) will be closed at noon Friday, too. Get your wheels out of Lot 9 by 7 p.m. Friday.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, 17th Street from the Performing Arts Center to the baseball stadium will be closed as will Campus Drive from Southwest 11th Street to Southwest 14th Street. It'll be open to local traffic before the parade and reopen to all traffic after the parade.

ON SILAS

I asked freshman running back Silas Spearman III about his high school academics. I'd heard it was the reason he wasn't more heavily recruited despite a stellar senior year at Loxahatchee Seminole Ridge. I'd also heard from a couple of folks that it definitely won't be an issue at FIU.

“Freshman year, I was at William T. (Dwyer High School), academics wasn’t pushed that hard by my coaches. It’s always pushed at home” – Spearman smiled like a teenager a year or two beyond the moment he understood what mom and dad were talking about -– “but it’s different coming from coaches, telling you, 'you need to do this, you need to do that.'

"When I transferred to Seminole Ridge, Coach (Matt) Dickman, he wasn’t so much as 'I want you to play. I need you to play.' He was 'you need to get it in the classroom, then you bang it out here.' He pushed acadmeics first. He was like a mentor, like a second father. He really helped me with being accountable and being mature about what I need to handle.”

 

October 08, 2013

Medlock OK

Though redshirt junior quarterback Jake Medlock appeared to be wearing something akin to a flak jacket around his midsection, FIU coach Ron Turner declared him "full go" for this weekend's homecoming game against Alabama-Birmingham.

Otherwise, FIU came out of Saturday's win against Southern Mississippi with nothing other than the normal hurt-not-injured ouches. 

Hoop Streams

Today, Conference USA holds its basketball media day in Dallas. Coaches went. Players didn't.

This morning, there were studio interview sessions that were streamed online with a moderator asking the questions and three or four coaches at a time.

FIU coach Anthony Evans said of forward Tymell Murphy, "He's one of the first guys into practice. He's an athletic kid who gets to the basket. He can make the tough shots look easy." Evans also said Murphy was working on his perimeter game and hit four three-pointers in a game at Valencia during the August Spain swing.

The moderator noted FIU's nationally televised games against defending national champion Louisville and Florida Gulf Coast, then Evans piped up with "Don't forget South Carolina and Georgetown."

The moderator asked, "What was your AD thinking when he scheduled these people?" Evans laughed. 

I think the obvious answer to the moderator's question is "money." The Louisville and Gulf Coast home games could be the two most attended home games of the season, although Louisville comes in during holiday break (then again, it's not like most of FIU's students and alumni are that far from campus on Dec. 21).

Women's basketball guard Jerica Coley is the preseason Conference USA Player of the Year and on the watch list for The Wade Trophy, women's basketball's national player of the year award. If you want to call it women's basketball's Heisman Trophy, OK. FIU coach Cindy Russo sounded like she was channeling the late Ohio State coach Woody Hayes talking about the only two-time Heisman winner, Archie Griffin when she talked about Coley: "She's just an amazing person. She's even better off the court than on the court, if you can imagine."

(Hayes used to say of Griffin, "He's a better person than he is a player and he's the best player I've ever seen.")

In explaining FIU's high free throw shooting percentage, Russo said it's a facet that's important in European ball, where several FIU players learned the game and, "Three, four, five, six times a practice, we'll stop and put them on the line under pressure."

No questions were asked about the court.

October 06, 2013

A Two-Loss Weekend

Junior Johanna Volz's overtime goal gave the women's soccer team a 3-2 win Sunday afternoon against Louisiana Tech to get 4-8 and 2-2 in Conference USA. The men's soccer team crushed Marshall 4-0 Sunday to even the overall record at 5-5 and the Conference USA record at 1-1. The swim team gave FAU the what for Saturday.

OK, volleyball went zero for Texas, losing 3-0 each to Texas-San Antonio and UTEP.

In the NFL, T.Y. Hilton blazed to five catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns for Indianapolis. Jacksonville lost again, but safety Johnathan Cyprien had a team-high 12 tackles, all solo.

The opening line on Saturday's Homecoming game against Alabama-Birmingham is "pick 'em."

A few thoughts on FIU 24, Southern Miss 23

During spring break my senior year in college, current ace NASCAR writer Dustin Long and I
decided to attend a high school basketball tournament sectional (first round) final. I put one qualifier when we were picking out which one we’d hit – I wanted one where neither team was likely to go much farther in the tournament. This sectional final likely would be the summit of their season. The previous night, we’d seen excellence, the No. 2-ranked team in the state. That night, I wanted to see desire and desperation.

I wanted what I saw from FIU and Southern Mississippi Saturday.

There were several times you could tell this game featured two teams ranked in the nation’s bottom 10. The final field goal attempt was 5 yards more makeable because Giovanni Francois jumped offside on a clock-stopping spike a play earlier. The whole sequence that took FIU from first and 10 on the 22 to safety – 4-yard loss on a blown block, too many men in the huddle, snap through quarterback
Jake Medlock’s arms – could’ve been a California Atoms outtake from Gus. Passes get dropped by Southern Miss like they were cell phone calls in West Virginia. The home side can’t get out of the way of punts, their own or opponents’. Four turnovers, a bumbling fortnight for most teams, is a Saturday afternoon shift for Southern Miss.

But both sides played hungry. Before the fourth quarter, FIU gathered as a team on the 10-yard line in the enclosed end of the stadium, bounced and yelled, getting themselves jacked up almost in a pregame manner. The energy and want was palpable.

“We were both fighting for a W,” sophomore quarterback EJ Hilliard said. “We were both
willing to do whatever it took to get a win.”

That produced some plays and hits that made you smile with “Ah, football.” Guys got clocked. Some
of the violence you’d think might wear down a small-to-mid-size back such as freshman Silas Spearman III. Spearman ran bigger and stronger than he looks and did so 29 times. By the end of the game, FIU’s maligned offense line opened holes on a weary Southern Miss defense and Spearman burst through with alacrity.

“During the week, our coaches had me in the game plan,” Spearman said. “They didn’t say
when I would get in or what plays I would get. They just told me I needed to
stay ready so I wouldn’t have to get ready.”

Smart move by the coaching staff to realize Spearman was the hot back and the one with some boogaloo. Sophomore Lamarq Caldwell fits better as a fullback, which is what he played at times Saturday. Whether using Spearman and Caldwell in a traditional I-formation tailback/fullback pairing will work as well in the future is up in the air. But it did Saturday and should get a look the next
couple of weeks.

Playing hungry also meant nobody went into a shell in the face of mounting momentum or
diminishing time.

Example: Southern Miss ate FIU up all day on the play action pass over the middle to Markese Triplett, usually matched up against fifth-year senior middle linebacker Markeith Russell. The play action would freeze the linebackers better than Captain Cold’s gun and Triplett would stride by into an open area. Triplett beat the frozen Russell for the game’s first score, a 13-yard touchdown reception. He beat Russell’s replacement, freshman Treyvon Williams, for a 6-yard touchdown that put Southern Miss up 23-21 in the third quarter.

But Russell bopped Triplett to break up a third-and-10 pass from the Southern Miss 27 on the final drive. Triplett beat Russell the next two plays, for 13 yards on fourth down and 12 yards, but the third down breakup cost Southern Miss that most valuable and irreplaceable commodity – time. Who knows what happens if the Golden Eagles have time to run one more play before the field goal attempt?

Southern Miss made sport of the Panthers on the Golden Eagles first possession and responded to FIU’s first touchdown with one of their own on the next possession. But FIU rebounded from the lousy start to tie the game at 7-7 and 14-14. After that safety sent Medlock to the sideline permanently, FIU twice took the ball from Southern Miss, on Randy Harvey’s interception and Isame Faciane’s recovery of a Greg Hickman-caused fumble (that’s seven for Hickman, an FIU career record). In two minutes, the game went from slipping away from FIU at 16-14 with Southern Miss having the ball at the FIU 49 and driving to a 21-16 FIU halftime lead.

When Medlock went down, E.J. Hilliard came in and guided the offense not to everything they
wanted, but they got what they needed. Coming in mid-game against Southern Miss should be an hour in the bouncy house for Hilliard compared to coming in at halftime against future Sugar Bowl-winner Louisville; starting against bowl teams Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe last year; and starting against Louisville this year. Plus, this time, the play-calling actually gave him a chance.

Hilliard’s biggest completion might’ve been the fourth-and-2 throw to freshman tight end Jonnu
Smith. Smith broke a tackle and got 17 yards down to the Southern Miss 17. That got FIU into Austin Taylor’s range for what turned out to be the game-winning field goal.

Hilliard still seems to be a one-read or one-and-a-half-read quarterback. Of course, some of that is dealing with the pocket pressure. FIU sometimes limiting him to throwing on third and long doesn’t help, but it made sense to run Spearman as often as they did Saturday.

What didn’t make sense to me was the 45-yard field goal attempt by freshman Austin Taylor that missed and gave Southern Miss the ball with 1:00 left in the game. Taylor hadn’t shown that kind of range, at least not in a game. FIU coach Ron Turner said the original thought was to go for it on third and 8 from the Southern Miss 28, but he went for the points to extend the lead so that Southern Miss would need a touchdown. That seems perfect pooch punt territory.

Safety Demarkus Perkins added an element of violence to the secondary for FIU.

Sophomore Chris Ayers averaged 33.8 yards per punt. The first time Ayers did a rugby punt, FIU wound up getting a bounce-off-the-return-team fumble. At least that gives him the roll as he hasn’t been getting enough distance the usual way.

Senior cornerback Sam Miller led FIU with nine total tackles, including a tackle for loss, and got flagged three times for pass interference -- one doubtful, one questionable, one clear cut good call. It was that kind of day for everyone.

October 05, 2013

The Ron Turner Overflow

As I did with the preseason Q&A sitdown with Ron Turner, here's some of what didn't make the paper.

A couple of things I found interesting: his "there were a few things I didn't know" points to his surprise at the way things are done at FIU. Sometimes, the school works like a regular Division I athletic department. Other times, it's like Daffy Duck playing Duck Dodgers or The Scarlet Pumpernickel -- knowing how to don the trappings of what they want to be, but not knowing how to actually be it.

 

 

And to the question of how recruiting South Florida was going, he talked about getting to know the South Florida coaches after the season. Maybe I'm ignorant to all a head coach has on his plate from January through June, but that would've been something I would've been doing five seconds into the job.

Anyway, here's some of what made the paper mixed in with some of what did.

Q: When you looked at the roster in the spring and summer did you foresee the first four games going the way they have?

A: “No. I knew we were going to be very young, I knew we were going to be very raw, I knew it was going to take a while to get everything to jell. But I didn’t foresee that some of the guys who aren’t with us wouldn’t be with us. How much of a difference that would make, I don’t know. If they’re not going to win off the field and do what they’re supposed to do, you can’t count on them on the field.
If guys aren’t going to class, not doing what they’re supposed to do, get suspended for disciplinary reasons, they’re not going to help us win on the field because come the fourth quarter, end of the game, they’re going to let you down. I’m a very firm believer in that. In the first meeting, I told them
that, “Guys there’s no such thing as being on a winner on the field only. You’re a winner in everything you do. You treat people the right way, you do the right things, you go to class, you’re accountable to everybody. When you do that off the ifeld, you have a chance to win on the field.""

"If you have two or three guys who aren’t doing it off the field, maybe they get absorbed in with the rest of the guys. Those guys can carry them and you can win. You’ve got 20 or 30 guys doing that. You have zero chance of winning. We’re probably better off they’re not out there with us, to be honest with you because all they would do is let us down, even though they’re talented. But it takes more than talent to be a great player and to be a winner. Everyone has some of that on the team. We had way too much. And that’s what we’re getting corrected. By changing the culture and recruiting different type of kids…who are still good football players.

"I’ve got to force myself to not spend so much time on the ones not doing what we want them to do, get them out of here and focus on the guys who are…look at 8, 99, 22, 55, 39 and, yes, I do know their names – and 32 and 21, defensively and 46. 98 has stepped in and backing up at both positions, guys playing their hearts out. Playing well, playing good football in a lot of cases. Then, you look on
offense, 50 and 59, who haven’t played much football, but are trying to step in and be the leaders. They’re doing a great job. 66, formerly known as 65, is playing left guard as a true freshman. Should not be playing, but he’s playing, giving us all he’s got. 87…80 – 80 was right on the edge of being one of those guys who wasn’t going to be here. And he has bought in 100 percent and he’s been playing well the last couplf of games. You look at 17 playing his heart out. We’ve got a lot of guys doing that – 36, 12 and 13…a lot of guys I really love on this team who are great kids, doing everything we ask them to do. Are they perfect? No. I’m not perfect, nobody is. But they’re doing what we ask
them to do. They’re 100 percent buying in. That’s why I’m excited to be here. That’s why I’m excited about the future.

"Everyone wants to write about the negatives – 72-0 and all that. I guess I can’t blame them. I get calls on it, too. But I know what we’re building and I know where we’re going. I know we’ve got a lot of kids on here that can get us there and a lot of kids coming in who can get us there. Is it frustrating at times? Absolutely. Nobody likes to get their heads bashed in 72-0. I was at Illinois, we played Ohio State, at home, at our place (in 1998). I don’t know exactly what the score was, it was (41-0), two minutes to go. They’ve got the ball on the 40-yard line, throwing into the end zone – incomplete -- trying to get more because they’re No. 1 in the country, I believe, and they wanted to keep it.
The next year, we went in there and beat their ass (46-20), the biggest defeat they’ve had in (Ohio Stadium) I believe, it still stands…We went in with the same kids and some new ones. We get the ball with two and a half minutes to go with a (46-20) lead at the 40-ayrd-line, same exact scenario they had. We ran the ball, then we took a knee. Guys on the sideline were like “Throw it! Throw it! like last year!” I said, “no. We run this program with class and character. We came I here to win the game. We’ll win the game, take a knee and get off their field.”

"The point I’m making is it can turn around. There’s a process. We’re going through a process now that nobody likes. It’s not fun. A lot of fans will give up on us. I understand that and that’s fine. As long as the guys in the locker room don’t, as long as the coaches don’t, we’ll survive. You saw part of practice today, they’re screaming, yelling, they’re into it, enthusiastic. Every practice we had during the bye week was like that. We have a lot of good kids. Because of that, it’s going to turn. It’s going to turn. I’m excited about that. I love these kids, most of them. I’m going to try to be here to help all of them, even if they’re not doing what we want them to do. I’ll help them get somewhere else.”

How do you see recruiting in South Florida going? (247Sports.com ranks FIU’s list of 19 verbal commitments for 2014 as fourth in Conference USA, 84th overall with eight commitments coming from Miami-Dade or Broward players.)

RT: “We’ve got four guys who recruit nothing but South Florida. And we’ve got guys who spot recruit, they help and see different guys by position. We’re obviously committed to this area. We’re going to recruit this area extremely hard. It’s critical for us. After the season and in the months after that, really getting a good relationship and getting to know the coaches (in South Florida). The coaches recruiting this area are doing a great job. They’re establishing very good relationships. I think the coaches can see when we come in there and talk about our vision and what our goals are, we’re doing it the right way.

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls and texts from local coaches saying, ‘Hang in there, we believe in you. We know you’re doing it the right way.’”

Are you worried about losing what fan/booster/alumni support FIU has?

“You worry about it. It is a concern. But I also know that they’ll come back when we make them very proud of this program on the field. Obviously, that’s where it jumps out at them first. But, off the field, with our graduation rate and what we’re doing in the community, they’ll come back. Obviously, you’d like them to stay with us, but I understand they’re not. That’s the nature of the business. I was
in Chicago – one quarter, you’re the greatest thing ever, the next quarter, you stink and they want to run you out of town. Not by games, quarters. And they’re great fans, Chicago fans. Because it’s so important to them, that’s why they feel that way.

"When you go through what we’re going through, there’s a lot of people who are going to bail out on us. But I think they’ll keep an eye on us and they’ll come back when they realize what we’re building. When they do, it’ll be even more special.”

 

Gameday V, 2013: A philosophical question...

If two objects fail to move toward each other, can they actually clash? It's a worthy question given the offenses involved in today's contest, which isn't Loser Leaves Town, but would be Loser Leaves FBS if we were playing by English soccer league rules.

To what can we compare FIU, which hasn't scored a point on an FBS foe in over a month, vs. Southern Mississippi, whose last win came 16 games ago or sometime around the time Brett Favre's eligibility expired?

1981 Patriots-Colts? No Tom Brady-Peyton Manning era-defining showdowns in those days. The Patriots won only two games that season. So did their AFC East rivals, the Baltimore Colts -- the two games against New England.

1983 Houston Oilers vs. Tampa Bay? Dubbed "The Repus Bowl" by Sports Illustrated, fodder for the brilliant sports comic strip Tank McNamara, at least both teams came in with 1-11 records. Tampa Bay won 33-24.

Is this like some mythical match of William Jennings Bryan vs. Bob Dole? Hamilton Burger vs. George Costanza? The Coyote (Eatibus Anythingus) vs. Tom?

This game does match the No. 123 (out of 123) FIU offense against the No. 118th ranked offense of Southern Mississippi. At least with Tropical Storm Karen idling in the Gulf of Mexico like your grandmother insisting on parking finding a spot no farther than six spots from the mall door, the weather looks like it won't add to each team's scoring troubles. The forecast is for a high of 89 degrees, isolated thunderstorms, 30 percent chance of rain. Otherwise, we'd be looking at a game decided when one quarterback sees his pass blown back into his hands and he's tackled for a safety: 2-0.

I asked a couple of players what the team leaders have done to keep the team from crashing over the last two weeks. That's a long time to have the zero size of 72-0 at the top of your team resume.

"Energy in practice. Having fun," quarterback Jake Medlock said. "We were thinking way too much. You can see the first four weeks, we were thinking too much. Last week, we came out and had fun. Today, you could tell we're having fun again and we're executing. Instead of stressing, worrying about making a mistake -- if you make a mistake, you make a mistake, it's part of the game. You come back and learn from it. This was one of our better practices we've had all year."

As for Southern Miss, "We've both had long losing streaks, but we look at it as we're 0-0. It doesn't matter what the record is, right now we're 0-0 going into conference."

(Medlock and Southern Mississippi middle linebacker Alan Howze are practically related -- Howze dates Medlock's fiancee's best friend.)

Defensive lineman Greg Hickman said, "Most of the team leaders live together in the dorms and we had our own leader meetings lately. We've just been relaying the message of how important it is to finish these last eight games as strong as possible. We've been trying to make practice more fun so everybody can be into it."

Elaborating on it, Hickman said, "You get in a stretch of the season, your body's getting tired. We're just coming out, talking trash to each other, trying to bring enthusiasm back so everybody can get their mind off their soreness and on preparation."

I asked him how much they looked at the Louisville game film. Hickman said he'd just watched it again to remind himself how it felt and that he never wanted to feel that way again.

Southern Miss is no Louisville. The Golden Eagles turn the ball over -- a lot. They committed three turnovers at Boise State and improved their turnovers per game average to 3.75. They fumble the ball -- a lot. The Golden Butterfingers have 10 fumbles this season and lost five, although four were in one game against Texas State. They throw interceptions -- with alarming frequency. And the Golden Eagles' 10 interceptions are spread evenly, with no game featuring less than two. When they hear "something's got to give," they apparently believe it's implied that "something" is "Southern Miss."

I don't like either team's ability to run the ball, although FIU likely will insist on trying right into the fourth quarter because this game will be close. I follow the old W.C. Fields line "If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Then, quit -- there's no point in being a damned fool about it."

Southern Miss has players banged up while FIU's getting healthier coming off its first of two bye weeks this season. And those turnovers...feels like there's a pick six or a scoop-and-score in there for FIU somewhere.

I'll stay with my preseason pick of FIU. But I'm saying 17-10.

But that's just one black man's opinion. I could be wrong.

SWIMMING & DIVING

The first swim meet of the season -- and the last home swim meet until Dec. 19 -- is today, noon, at the Biscayne Bay campus against FAU. They show up for everybody else's meets and games. They deserve a few folks schelpping over to show up for theirs.

October 03, 2013

First C-USA Player of the Week; on suspensions

FIU's first Conference USA Player of the Week of the year is a Golfer of the Week, sophomore Meghan MacLaren.

MacLaren's 6-over 222 put her fifth in last week's Golfweek Conference Challenge. This week, freshman Coralia Arias led FIU to a fourth place (out of 11) at the Old Waverly Invitational. Her 2-under 214 landed Arias sixth individually.

FOOTBALL

Without hearing more than I already have, I won't speculate about the cause of the suspensions of cornerback cousins Richard Leonard and Jeremiah McKinnon. The "texting former coaches" cause put forth in the comments section of this blog doesn't jibe with either logic -- players text and gripe about current coaches to former teammates and coaches all over the nation, it's part of our kvetchy culture -- or with what I heard happened involving Leonard or McKinnon two weeks ago.

 

 

First C-USA Player of the Week; on suspensions

FIU's first Conference USA Player of the Week of the year is a Golfer of the Week, sophomore Meghan MacLaren.

MacLaren's 6-over 222 put her fifth in last week's Golfweek Conference Challenge. This week, freshman Coralia Arias led FIU to a fourth place (out of 11) at the Old Waverly Invitational. Her 2-under 214 landed Arias sixth individually.

FOOTBALL

Without hearing more than I already have, I won't speculate about the cause of the suspensions of cornerback cousins Richard Leonard and Jeremiah McKinnon. The "texting former coaches" cause put forth in the comments section of this blog doesn't jibe with either logic -- players text and gripe about coaches to former teammates and coaches all over the nation -- or with what I heard happened involving Leonard or McKinnon two weeks ago.

 

October 01, 2013

Medlock back at practice; Randolph injured

Quarterback Jake Medlock was back practicing with the first team Tuesday. When I talked to him for the story that'll run in tomorrow's print Herald and later today online, he said it was his second concussion overall and first since high school.

Freshman running back Alfonso Randolph was on crutches with a sprained knee. Sophomore wide receiver DeAndre Jasper worked some at running back.

Not at practice were cornerbacks and cousins Richard Leonard and Jeremiah McKinnon. Though Leonard's ineligible for the season, he still practices with the team. FIU coach Ron Turner said both were suspended for violating team rules and didn't give a timetable on their reinstatement.

Medlock and senior defensive tackle Greg Hickman both said the team leaders encouraged a looser, more fun, trash-talking approach to practice over the last two weeks. Medlock thought it paid off with one of the best practices of the year today.

The line on Saturday's game moved up to Southern Miss by 17.


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