We're down to 42 hours before your new home to FIU football opens its gates. That, 42, is a pretty good number around FIU -- El Monstruo (right) returning an INT against FAMU in the Orange Bowl.
Sure wouldn't hurt the Golden Panthers to have an EM-type of performance from their defense on Saturday. But we'll get to that down below on this post.
Here are some updates on the new FIU Stadium: The jumbotron is completely up and running. Each Golden Panther's photo and name was being shown on the board.
The new FIU logo at mid-field and the end zones have been painted and are ready for football. They have installed tarps with FIU logos covering the 4 tunnels leading out to the field, which includes the tunnel where the Golden Panthers will sprint out of.
The FIU tailgating, which will occupy the entire north road of the stadium is supposed to get underway at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday....but if you're a great college football fan, you will arrive at FIU around 11 a.m. or noon.
Gates to the stadium will open to the public at 3 p.m.
Was told that there likely will not be any Panther Walk this season, because the team is using the newly-built visitors clubhouse at the FIU baseball stadium and they'll be shuttling to the stadium on Disney World-like trams. Next season, when the team dresses in the FIU fieldhouse there will definitely be a Panther Walk.
Oh, yeah, they are playing a game on Saturday with No. 12 South Florida helping FIU inaugurate the new stadium.
We outlined several keys to the game in the Monday blog earlier this week and just can't see FIU doing all of them.
Yes, the Golden Panthers are going to be riding an emotional high with a new home and a national TV audience, but once da Bulls get something going it will turn into a football game between a No. 12 team and a team in the 2nd year of building.
Just can't see FIU's O-line stopping George Selvie and the creatures USF has at LB. On the other side, USF QB Matt Grothe can run like a running back and is a cagey passer with some physical receivers. You good people and the expected SRO crowd at The new Cage will help in the early going, but unless FIU plays the game of its life it won't be close at the end. FIU likely won't win this game on Saturday, but getting that new on-campus stadium opened is a huge win for FIU on Saturday and beyond.
GPP thinks: South Florida 52, FIU 10
GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE
Like a fine bottle of red wine, the GPP fancies itself as a classy blog. I'm going to have the Panther Claw take a more active role in some comments. You guys want to insult each other go right ahead, waste your energy on a name/someone you only know through cyberspace.
But when the PC goes through the comments if it reads any vulgar, racial or threatening comments they will be deleted. And please don't impersonate other bloggers, I got all your e-mail addresses so I know when the post is a fake and it will be clawed out.
We have fans of other college teams (UF, FAU, USF, FSU and UM) visit the GPP quite often. Apparently, FIU is on the minds of many who do not root for the Golden Panthers or maybe it's just that the GPP is a damn good blog. Whatever the reason, everyone is welcome on here as long as they keep it clean.
Although, I do sometimes wonder about all the attention FIU receives from other teams' fans when FIU has not gotten off the athletic ground yet. Anyways, appreciate all the readership from everyone and thanks for making the GPP a Top 10 blog among the 40 blogs at the MH. Could you imagine, when FIU starts winning how this blog is going to soar up the MH rankings since we live in the Bandwagon Capital of the World??
On to your questions....
FIUfantastic: I think it's a great move putting Troy in the game. He hasnt gotten a chance to play in a college game and I am sure he will be pumped up to play his first college game against the number 12 team in the nation.
GPP: Troy Dannehower (right) was working at LB with the scout team defense. He may eventually get some PT on D and STs, but right now he's only had 3 practices on D. TD said he could see the move being permanent. FIU is 4 QBs deep and could have Cedric McCloud next season to make it 5. TD did tell me something interesting after his INT for a TD. He said from playing QB all these years, he knew the FIU QB on that play was looking blitz and was going to throw to his hot read and that's how he stepped in front of the RB and picked off the pass for the score. TD has got football savvy.
ridgepanther: pete, with TD at LB who are the QB's now?
GPP: Paul McCall, Wayne Younger, Colt Anderson, Darold Hughes.
FIUBlueandGold: Does Jamie Burke (13, below left) have any eligibilty remaining ?? Guy got like 2 medical red shirts I think. He might have been the best QB recruit we've ever had.
GPP: JB probably would have been the best QB in FIU history, but both his knees were torn throughout his FIU career and the left one he tore twice. He was an accurate passer, had a strong arm and was able to dissect any defense. He's already graduated and I heard he got married.
True story about JB, former coach Don Strock was not going to allow anyone to wear No. 13, because he wanted to honor Dan Marino. The No. 19 (Johnny Unitas) and 39 (Larry Csonka) were also off-limits. But Marino seeing JB's talent told DS to give JB No. 13.
NYCFIUFan: Pete I read from your article that FIU has 6,000 season ticket holders, is that above or below expectations?
GPP: That is way above expectations considering FIU was coming off a 1-11 season. The expectations of where this program is headed and the new stadium are what shot up the season ticket numbers.
Pantera Dorada: Any news on ticket sales at the stadium?
GPP: Last I heard when I was at the stadium today, there will be no individual game day sales for Saturday's game. There will be, however, individual ticket sales for the other 4 home games. BTW, as Ultimate FIU Fan pointed out, great reply by PG on the radio today when a radio host took him to task about tickets for Saturday's game.
FIUJM: Pete, how's it going with naming rights to FIU Stadium?
GPP: FIU is talking to several folks, but has not completed any deals yet. It could be another year before there is "insert corporate USA name" here on FIU Stadium.
sunblazer69: PP, is Raul "Ala de Pollo" Puga the same guy that has been featured on ESPN Deportes as the #1 tailgater in the world ?. He's tailgated during the World Cup, Super Bowls, Boxing events in Vegas and was interviewed last month in Beijing by NBC. Where is his tailgate party? Are we invited?
GPP: That's the Puga that you are talking about. Heard he will be tailgating in the south side parking lot. Just show up to the tailgate, I'm sure he's got plenty of wings for all. Puga is an FIU grad of the school of hospitality and he bought like 10 season tickets to FIU football. I tried his world famous BBQ mojo chicken wings at a food festival in the Grove and they were outstanding.
seiscervezas: Hey Herald writer what is it with this Sotolongo guy selling bricks. Isn't he working for your paper. Kind of silly to promote your own guys.
GPP: Jose Sotolongo works for FIU so the MH is not promoting "our own guys". He used to work for the MH, but left after they got rid of the meat empanadas at the cafeteria. Well, that's one reason. I got nothing to do with the selection of photos in today's FIU Stadium story in the paper, but overall the MH editors did a great job with today's layout of FIU Stadium in the sports section. Speaking of promoting, the GPP will take this time to promote the Golden Dazzlers.
outofthecage88: Pete, I was reading the UM blog (yes, sorry, I read all the blogs) and was wondering why Manny Navarro is covering the FIU game this weekend? Are we getting more coverage now from the paper? Is he going to stop covering Miami?
GPP: The MH is coming out in full force for Saturday's game: yours truly will cover the game, Manny and another writer (don't know who yet) will write sidebar stories, there will be a columnist out there too (don't know who) and David Quinones will be shooting video throughout the game of everything -- not just the action on the field -- and doing video interviews for the Herald's website.
I'm sure FIU Nation is looking forward to an FIU win the most on Saturday, but for this poll question's sake let's see what else has got you psyched for Saturday: