December 24, 2008

12 Days of FIU Christmas

Twelve_2 Last December, we gave you 'Twas the Night Before Christmas at FIU. Well, here's another Christmas ballad that you can gather around the fireplace and sing at home to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas....

The 12 Days of FIU ChristmasHh_2

On the 1st Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

Rf Sab On the 2nd Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 2 FIU Olympians (Ronald Forbes & Sheri-Ann Brooks) and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 3 Yari Rosa All-American Honors, 2 FIU Olympians and A Yrr_2 Yrr_3 Yrr_4 Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

On the 4th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 4 Missing Hoops Starters Back in January, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

On the 5th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 5---Foot---ball---Wins, 4 Missing Hoops Starters, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

Fiustadium_3 On the 6th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 6 Home Football Games in Future Skeds (sometimes 7), 5---Foot---ball---Wins, 4 Missing Hoops Starters, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

On the 7th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 7 All-Sun Belt Football Players, 6 Home Football Games, 5---Foot---ball---Wins, 4 Missing Hoops Starters, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

On the 8th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 8 Logos Into One, 7 All-Sun Belt Players, 6 Home Football Logo Games, 5---Foot---ball---Wins, 4 Missing Hoops Starters, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

On the 9th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 9 Innings to Win & Close Out UM Series, 8 Logos Into One, 7 All-Sun Belt Players, 6 Home Football Games, 5---Foot---ball---Wins, 4 Missing Hoops Starters, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

On the 10th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 10 Miami MLS Players Plus a Goalie, 9 Innings to Win & Close Out UM Series, 8 Logos Into One, 7 All-Sun Belt Players, 6 Home Football Games, 5---Foot---ball---Wins, 4 Missing Hoops Starters, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Ty Campus Stadium.

On the 11th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 11 TY Goodbye Touchdowns, 10 Miami MLS Players, 9 Innings to Win & Close Out UM Series, 8 Logos Into One, 7 All-Sun Belt Players, 6 Home Football Games, 5---Foot---ball---Wins, 4 Missing Hoops Starters, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

On the 12th Day of Christmas, FIU sent to you: 12 Months of Golden Dazzlers, 11 TY Goodbye Dazz Touchdowns, 10 Miami MLS Players, 9 Innings to Win & Close Out UM Series, 8 Logos Into One, 7 All-Sun Belt Players, 6 Home Football Games, 5---Foot---ball---Wins, 4 Missing Hoops Starters, 3 Yari All-Americans, 2 FIU Olympians and A Hilton Heave in a New On-Campus Stadium.

Merry Christmas to All the GPPers!

(Thanks to Sam Lewis & FIU for the pics)

December 12, 2008

Will The Last FIUer or UMer To Leave, Please Turn Out The Lights

Fiuhoop The last game of the Miami crosstown series ends tonight between FIU and UM with the final hoops game between the schools. It will be the last time the Golden Panthers and Hurricanes meet in any of the 3 major sports. (Thanks to Alex J. Hernandez and Sam Lewis for pics)

If you recall, UM did not renew the football series after the 2007 season and after FIU baseball defeated UM in Coral Gables earlier this year, Hurricanes coach Jim Morris said no mas to the Turtle.

Tonight's game should not be close with FIU missing 4 of its 5 starters and UM Ttjm loaded with talent this year. It's a shame the series ends tonight, because with the way FIU is developing its athletic program, the series has the chance in the future of becoming the UCLA/USC of the east coast.

Yeah, yeah I know UM has everything to lose and nothing to gain if they keep playing FIU, but so what, if you're good enough that shouldn't be a problem and you shouldn't lose, right? Eventually, if FIU keeps recruiting like they have been the last couple of years and keeps developing talent, the playing field will level.

Fiufoot Yeah, I know some that read the previous statement don't want to hear it or may say that's crazy talk. But until the new athletic administration arrived at FIU, the Golden Panthers athletic program and teams never had any real direction or any emphasis on recruiting. However, with the university dedicating more resources to FIU athletics, the new on-campus stadium and with the new athletic administration and coaches all that is about to change in the very near future.

Tell us what you think of the end of the crosstown series and vote in our poll below the Pawse.


Congratulations to the FIU Golden Dazzlers and cheerleaders on their new swimsuit calendar and on having the most popular story on the Miami Herald website on Thursday. If you want to check out the story and some pics click FIU's Finest ....Here on the right is the cover photo of the 2009 calendar.Dazzcover

You can buy the calendar for $10 at or at

Apaw Good to meet another of our GPP readers -- pantera dorada -- at the Dazzlers Calendar Launch Party on Thursday.

To your questions:

Jsuarez88: Pete! please keep us updated with recruiting news...We are all curious about what's going on with Neat, Mallory, Flores, Gilliam, McBurse, Van Dyke, Akins & others? and also on the JUCO's:
The-Liar, Gatlin, McGee, Green & others? & one last thing, people are comparing Elliot Cain to a young Sean Taylor??? that sounds like a dream come true, is there any truth to that?

GPP: Will start the FIU recruiting roundup next week. For now here are some tidbits to tie you over. Neat is still an FIU commit, but Ole Miss is coming on strong. Mallory is committed to FIU and you can watch him play in the state championship game vs. Bolles on Saturday night at 7 p.m. on Sun Sports. From what I'm hearing, FIU has a real good chance to get Flores, despite the W. Michigan flirtations. Van Dyke looks like he'll make it BTW 5. Akins is still deciding. Theliar is going to USF, McGee is going to UM. As far as Cain compared to ST, not sure how much you can read in to those comparisons, especially when the kid hasn't played a down in college. He does have good size for a safety.

alt7787: Pete I dont know if you can quell my fears, but tell me this wont happen next year. actually a better question would be, why did an extremely talented FIU team (maybe the most talented to date) go 0-12? Im really looking forward to seeing McCall, Hilton and Perry next year as well as Gaitor and others on defense, but im concerned that next year might be a repeat of 2006. Am i just being stupid?

GPP: Easy there, alt7787, we haven't even reached signing day or the 1st spring practice. That disastrous 2006 season started from the top on down. To start, there was no discipline with the old FIU coaching regime and that translated into how the team practiced every day and prepared for games -- which most of 2006 FIU was not prepared going into its games. While FIU did have a solid D that season coming off a season in which they led the nation in tackles for loss, the FIU O had no imagination or reason with their play calling. Plus, there were no game-changers like a T.Y. or hopefully Neat. We (media) were calling what plays FIU was going to run from the press box before they ran them in most games that season. Yes, there was some bad luck in 2006, but you also make your own luck by being prepared.

esteban688: Pete i heard from good source that AJ Grant has chosen to play in the AFL??

GPP: Will look into that, but the AFL is having money troubles right now and they may cutback on teams next season that are having trouble staying in the black.

FIUFanatic: Pete, Would you please find out what are the implications for next year's recruiting class with the scholarships reductions due to the APR and infractions?

GPP: Fanatic, both FIU football and baseball already had all their scholarships restored. So there is no impact on recruiting. FIU men's hoops does have to give up one more scholie and then all of FIU teams will be back to full strength -- scholie-wise.

December 10, 2008

Golden Dazzlers Calendar

Dazz The FIU Golden Dazzlers will have their swimsuit calendar launch party tommorrow (Thursday) at 8 p.m. at the Stadium Club at FIU Stadium.

The event is free and open to the public. The lovely ladies, who have been called "the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders of the NCAA", will be signing the calendars, which cost $10 and would make a great Christmas gift.

We will have a Golden Dazzler join us on the GPP to talk about the calendars. :)

December 03, 2008

Golden Panther Pawse 12/3


Apaw Before we get to the Q & As, wanted to get your thoughts on the Pawse and vote at the bottom of this post. Do you good people prefer to have the Pawse like in this post or would you rather have the Q&As inside each post in the comments section. Please vote at the end of this Pawse. Thank you.

Apaw_2 Don't worry GPP Nation, after this Saturday, FIU football is not going away from the GPP for the off-season. We'll have MC on here, have your GPP FIU football awards show and, yes, blkpanther, a recruiting roundup of what the Golden Panthers need and what they are targeting.

OCfiuPanther: Can Hicks get a redshirt?

GPP: No, Russell Hicks (right) already used his redshirt year when he transferred from Pepperdine to FIU. He is Rh expected back around mid-February to early March and that's with rehab so he could play in the last few games of the regular season and in the Sun Belt Tournament.

FIUFloridaPower&Light: Any news on recruiting. I know things like that are keep close to the vest but I need something to look forward to. At least from what you know, do we look like we'll have a good class. No names are needed. Just general thoughts.

GPP: As expected, FIU is rounding up a handful of O-linemen. Also, expect more speed from this signing class. Got a kicker/punter supposedly headed this way. But like I've written many times before, you can't be certain of any of these recruits until they sign on the dotted line in February. Case in point, Josh Robinson who just committed to UCF after talking about FIU.

FIUJM: Why not run 4 QB sneaks right behind the O-Line to get that TD? Do coaches not have confidence in line to get 1 yard in 4 attempts?

GPP: From MC: "FAU lined up in that formation with nobody in the box and if we execute the play it is a touchdown. It's a walk into the end zone. At the goal line, FAU showed tremendous flaws in that particular formation and we wanted to take advantage of it, but it didn't work out."

blkpanther: How long after the season is done will the team get handed to Rod Moore to go into the weight room?

GPP: The Golden Panthers get their strength levels tested right after the season to see how much strength each player maintained throughout the 2008 season. On January 4, the day before classes start, there is a team meeting and at 6 a.m. on January 5 as MC said Monday: "We are off and running with the beginning of the winter conditioning program."

Max: Pete, what are the chances that the team comes out flat against WKU? After such an emotional loss, will the team come out with any reason to play next week?

GPP: I think they learned their lesson from the Louisiana-Monroe game about not coming out flat. Seeing the Golden Panthers outside the Dolphin Stadium locker room after the Shula Bowl, I could tell you they took the FAU loss pretty hard. Got a feeling Western Kentucky is going to feel the effects of the FIU loss to FAU. FIU does not want to go into the off-season with a L, but rather on a high note like last year's feel-good win vs. North Texas to close out the Orange Bowl.

gpantera: We're in pain. This FAU defeat was a major, nutcracking, bone crushing loss. Tell things are going to be OK Pete. Give us the silver lining. We need a dose of positive reinforcement because at least i am teetering on the edge between sanity and insanity.

Gpant GPP: Easy there, gpantera, come down from that ledge. Here, have this glass of red on me. From 1-23 the last 2 years to 5-7 in 2008, yes, I just wrote that. FIU will beat Western Kentucky and match the program-record of 5 wins in a season set by the 2002 and 2005 Golden Panthers. Signing Day is just 2 months away and spring practice begins in 90-something days. When I get an official date to the start of spring ball, I'll start an Official GPP Countdown to Spring Practice.

Puma: Hey Pete, since I'm officially out of the running for the Win a GPP Blog with Saturday's loss, am I eligible to receive any lovely parting gifts should I come up with the lowest point differential? What does baseball season look like for the Golden Panthers? Finally, no matter what happens on Saturday, this season has been better than expected. How many starting seniors are we losing?

GPP: Puma, lots of questions. Here are some answers: We don't have any official prize for lowest point differential, but how about a Golden Dazzlers screensaver for all as my Christmas gift to all GPP Nation. Dazzlers_2 Click the photo on the right and save as a screensaver. Plus, with your 7-4 record and low point total you still have a shot to win the 2008 FIU Football Media Guide.

FIU Baseball has a chance to make an FIU football-like turnaround with a ton of new players on the team. We'll have Turtle on the GPP soon to talk baseball.

FIU football will lose 18 seniors after Saturday's game.

Ultimate FIU Fan: Pete, I heard that FIU has a verbal commitment from a kid FASTER than TY, No. #1 is it true? No. #2 is it possible to be faster than TY?

Lamb GPP: The kid you're thinking about, Northwestern High's Corvin Lamb, a junior, who has not committed to FIU just yet. His nickname at NW is "Lamborghini" (kind of appropriate with his last name and speed) -- yeah, he's fast and he's a good friend of Gaitor's. I don't think CL and T.Y. have raced yet, but should he come to FIU, I would like to be there when they do timing day at FIU. Here's a Golden Panther Lamborghini on the left.

FIU Fan For Life: It's truly incredible that one team (men's hoops) can have this bad of fortune in injuries! Is it the players conditioning? Do they stretch properly? Does SR get budgeted for a trainer or does all the cash go to PG's coaching hires? How can this happen?

GPP: Can't be the players conditioning and stretching, because the team's trainer is Mick Smith, who worked for the Orlando Magic and Portland Trailblazers during his 25 years as a trainer. It just seems to be a run of bad luck. I'm thinking I might break a couple of fingers next time I cover FIU hoops and not be able to blog anymore. Galindo and Otero were hurt in The ATM (U.S. Century Bank Arena/FIU Arena). Souto was hurt driving to the hoop when he fractured his thumb and Hicks was hurt in UCLA's Pauley Pavilion while practicing last Friday in Los Angeles.

SouthPaw: What's the status of McDuffie and Weatherspoon against WKU?Mc_2

GPP: Both are probable as of today.

NYCFIUFan: Was Mario on that UM team that lost to Penn State in 2007?

GPP: MC (right, of Joe Paterno) was coaching the FIU team that lost to Penn State in 2007. As far as the army fatigues team that lost to Penn State, no, MC was a sophomore playing in Columbus High at the time.

November 25, 2008

Golden Panther Pawse 11/25


Before we get to this latest post, happy to see the Golden Dazzlers back at FIU Arena Dazzlers (or El Banco) for Tuesday FIU hoops after missing Monday's hoops game.

Moving the Golden Panther Pawse back to the front of the blog since some of my answers to your questions are not getting picked up inside. Been busy the last couple of days with -- you name the sport -- (FIU football, FIU hoops, Heat hoops, Panthers hockey, high school football and local colleges), but as promised will have all 9, yes that's not a misprint 9 FIU bowl possibilities on the next post. And you can tell Grahm Watson that there are 9.

And before anyone begins to hyperventilate and says stop the bowl talk: we don't tackle, we don't run, throw or catch the football on Saturdays on the FIU Stadium field so we can talk about it. If the Golden Panthers are hanging on every word of the GPP, then that's great for the GPP rankings, but FIU probably Fiuhelmet_3 will get beat on the field, because they should be reading their playbooks. To your questions:

Fau_3   class09: At what time do the buses leave FIU for the FAU game?

GPP: They are scheduled to leave both the University Park campus and the Biscayne Bay campus at 2 p.m. For more information call 305-FIU-GAME.

NYCFIUFan: Pete any word on members of the FIU Alumni Assoc being able to get in? If not, then I will put up the dough (rather not though, have seen this economy??) Finally, what time is kickoff? I have a question, what area (OL, DE, DT, QB, WR, etc), is the toughest area for FIU to get recruits?

GPP: NYC, the free tickets are only for the current students. Did hear there might be something done for the alumni for the season finale against Western Kentucky, which if FIU wins this Saturday, we all know what that game will mean? Kickoff is at 4 p.m. on Saturday. You are correct if you said OL. Florida preps are not known for their OL that's why MC and O-line coach Greg Laferre spent so much time this season in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Pennsylvania and California looking for beef upfront.

FIUFloridaPower&Light: I think rivalry games usually favor the underdog. I wonder who is considered Ud the underdog. I would think FIU since its been like 5 years straight that we have lost.

GPP: FIU is a 5-point underdog against Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

UltimateFIUFan: I plan on STILL TAILGATING after Sat's FIU / FAU game. I've heard it's a 1pm kick-off. Pete is this true?

GPP: NO not true, Saturday's Don Shula Bowl begins at 4 p.m.

TheChampionUnderdog: Pete, any word on Mcduffie and Weatherspoon (left) status for saturday?

Jw_2 GPP: Both are probable to play was the word I got after Tuesday's practice.

FIUFan: PP, what about all the false-starts and off-sides? Talk about putting yourself in a hole. And as far as Ellingson (below, right) having the best hands on the team? I aint drinking that kool-aid!

GPP: Missed pointing that out. FIU had 10 more penalties on Saturday and the Golden Panthers are not going to win too many games with those kind of penalty numbers. FIU needs more discipline for sure. That's what MC was harping on in Tuesday's practice. I probably wasn't clear: besides T.Y., GE probably has the best hands on the team. Not serving up any kool-aid here, GE has got Spiderman web-Gecatch like hands.

SouthPaw: Pete, is there any chance that Javon Hill will be eligible to play next year?

GPP: JH was ineligible this year, because of grades. Once he gets his academics straightened out, we could see him on the field.

October 14, 2008

A Little Gamesmanship

For the second consecutive day, Troy did not announce who its starting quarterback would be on Qb_2 Saturday against FIU.

No shocker or mystery there since this meeting with the Golden Panthers suddenlySh  means something with both teams atop the Sun Belt. Troy coaches already know who will be the starting QB between Tanner Jones and Levi Brown. They're just keeping everyone else -- most importantly -- FIU in the dark.

One of those 2 QBs will replace starter Jamie Hampton, who tore his knee against Florida Atlantic and is lost for the season.

However, do not be surprised to see receiver Jerrel Jernigan -- Troy's bigger version of T.Y. Hilton -- Jj_2 line up under center for a few snaps on Saturday.

JJ like T.Y. has blazing speed, but as a sophomore is a little thicker than Goodbye and can do everything T.Y. can do such as run, receive, kick return and even play a little QB -- although we haven't seen that from T.Y. since his high school days at Miami Springs.


Gppaw Looks like overnight the GPP suddenly turned into a meeting of the FIU Pep/Spirit Club. Lots of ideas from FIU Nation regarding stadium traditions and chants, etc. I think someone said it best in one of the comments from the previous blog: give it time and traditions will develop.

Keep dropping your ideas on the GPP, because the FIU athletic department and marketing dept. religiously read the GPP (need proof see: T.Y. Goodbye). Whatever stadium traditions and chants you guys develop is cool. So what if Roary is MIA, as long as the Golden Dazzlers are at every FIU sporting event then the world can keep on spinning.Newdazz2

Gppaw_2 The GPP WORLDWIDE READERSHIP keeps reaching other parts of our planet Earth. With our last poll question regarding your impression of FIU at (3-3, 2-0 1st SBC) halfway through the season we got 2 new countries joining the Prowl.

A couple of GPP readers in Lima, Peru and Woerden, Netherlands both agree that FIU's season thus far is "Great....Didn't think FIU would be tied for 1st in Sun Belt".

Take out your pencils and your scorecards and let's update our readership:


18 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.

Here's the question you good people have been asking to be polled....enjoy:

October 03, 2008

Deep In The Heart Of Irving, Texas

IRVING, TEXAS -- Yes, I know the game Saturday between FIU and North Texas is in Denton, Texas on the campus of the Mean Green, but yours truly is staying in Irving where the view outside the hotel Tex room is of Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL's version of the FIU Golden Dazzlers.

The Golden Panthers try to win 2 games in a row on Saturday for the first time since closing out the 2005 season with 3 three straight wins. While most of GPP Nation is seeing a blowout or an easy win for FIU -- who BTW is favored for the first time in a game since joining Division I in 2005 -- I cannot predict such a cakewalk win for Gdazzlers_3 a team that has won 2 games in 2 years. Plus, this is a conference game and rarely are those blowouts, especially between two somewhat evenly-matched teams.

Here's why: North Texas began the season with four heavyweights -- in relation to the Mean Green -- Kansas State, Tulsa, LSU and Rice. This week North Texas is in a situation that FIU found itself in last week: a game against an opponent of equal caliber. So expect the Mean Green to put up a stronger showing against the Golden Panthers than in the season's first 4 games.

The Mean Green return their top RB, QB and WR from last season and have the potential to dent the scoreboard in Denton. RB Micah Mosely, who averaged 4.9 yards per carry last season in 94 attempts and scored 5 TDs, has not played since the season opener, but returns Saturday. In the season opener, MM ran for 56 yards on 10 carries against K-State.

QB Giovanni Vizza is the typical Sun Belt QB that can operate the spread as effectively running or passing. His top target Casey Fitzgerald is also back. However, 2nd leading receiver Sam Dibrell quit football earlier this week so that sets back NT's O somewhat.

Judging by the first 4, the NT D has been as generous as Santa Claus at X-mas. But again that was vs. non-conference BCS boys.

LIke many of you voted, FIU's biggest potential roadblock going into this game is overconfidence. If the Do Golden Panthers stay level-headed and produce in all 3 facets of the game like they did vs. Toledo they arrive in Miami on a 2-game winning streak.

The FIU O needs to continue its strong running from last week. Julian Reams is not 100 percent, but should give it a go. We could see Daunte Owens (left) in his most significant playing time of the season. DO is the fastest of the 3 FIU RBs and if he gets a crease from NT you can dial up 6 for FIU.

Andy Leavine is back on the O-line and that should help with Paul McCall's protection and give the FIU QB more time to throw. If the FIU D takes care of business and the FIU run game is effective, the Golden Panthers just need PM to convert 3rd downs and be efficient.

Las Vegas has this game as a high-scoring affair with the points around 60, but an encore performance from the FIU D will keep this one a lower scoring affair and a 2nd straight win for FIU.

GPP thinks: FIU 27, North Texas 22


We'll get the LIVE GPP BLOG kicked off at about 6:45 p.m. Miami time tommorrow. Let's see how the experiment goes and we'll take it from there for future games.

Another worldwide reader joined the Prowl last night. This time from Prague, Czech Republic. That person likes the Lightning nickname for T.Y. and likes the new GPP interview Cz feature. Let's roll out the readership count:


16 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.

September 24, 2008

On The Mend, On The Fence & On Video

Some good news out of practice today, left tackle Andy Leavine was jogging around the field at FIU Leavine Stadium during Wednesday's practice and could be ready sooner than expected.

Originally, Leavine, who had a small fracture in his left foot, was expected back either for Troy on Oct. 18 or after that. After Wednesday's practice, MC said "there's a great chance he would be ready for next week" meaning FIU's Sun Belt opener at North Texas.

As you may have read in my Tuesday practice report in the MH -- help me out here Clawing Cancer, because you spotted this -- which was the website that wrote in their preseason FIU preview that the Golden Panthers starting QB would be Paul Younger?? Py_2 Turns out they could be right for this Saturday's upcoming game at Toledo.

MC said he would take the week to decide on whether Paul Younger or Wayne McCall would start on Saturday. In his weekly press conference on Wednesday morning, MC said about the QB situation:

"As of right now both quarterbacks will play and I think Wayne has closed the gap even more in the past week or so. I think it’s hard sometimes to judge everything on the first three games because Paul McCall hasn’t played football since high school. These are the first three games he’s played in the past three years and you can’t deny the fact that Wayne is doing some things really well. He provides that danger aspect with his feet as well so we want to get both in the game and make sure we do the best job that we can to play to their strength."


Speaking of Wednesday's press conference, after it was done the FIU athletic department surprised MC with a cake for his 38th birthday on Wednesday. The Golden Dazzlers brought the cake into the room as Cake Newdazz2_2 the Channel 7 cameras were rolling. You can check out the video at MC is the 3rd youngest head coach in the NCAA behind Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald (33) and Western Kentucky's David Elson (37).


There's no TV, but there is live video available for Saturday's FIU/Toledo game. Go to the official Toledo athletics website: Rocket Vision and click on the Rockets Vision icon on the right and you can sign up to see Saturday's game for $10, but you'll need to cancel your account after the game, if not Toledo will keep billing you monthly for stuff you don't want to see, unless you're a big Rockets fan.




I'll have the GPP's FIU/Toledo preview on here on Friday and remember the deadline for scores for Saturday's game for the WIN A GPP BLOG contest is before 6:59 p.m. GPP Time on Saturday.


Spoke to some of the right people for stadium issues at FIU today and here are some updates for the next game:


1) gpantera: The Panther video that was played on the jumbotron is being checked on to see if it can be downloaded.

2) Been told the stadium's sound system has been addressed and is fixed for the next home game. Also, the stadium folks now know that when FIU has the ball -- no music -- make the place a library. Let the rest of the O hear PM and WY's snap counts.Fiuqbs_2


pikedanny: Why would FIU agree to remove the "Panthers" from the endzones for Miami FC?


GPP: Nothing has been agreed. That is just my guess since the soccer probably would like to have a completely green field. The FIU logo at mid-field would stay, because that would be too much of a hassle to remove and paint again.


SouthPaw: Pete, I thought the standard uniform at home was blue jersey with white pants? Do I need to trot out our miserable record wearing blue pants again? Blue pants bring bad karma and bad luck. I thought I saw #77 Javon Hill on the sidelines on Saturday. What's the story with him? And is Ash Parker eligible for a medical redshirt?


Dbs GPP: Yes, the blue top with white pants is, but FIU wanted to wear the blue on blue last Saturday. As the home team, FIU is allowed to choose what combination to wear. Blue pants don't bring bad luck, lack of execution on the field and mistakes on the field bring bad luck. Hill is academically ineligible this season. Parker can apply for a medical redshirt.


Ultimate FIU Fan: Pete will the other screen opposite the present one be up next season? Will it be stats only or video too? Saw Cedric Mack on the sidelines. HE IS HUGE!!! Will he be available against Toledo? Please say yes!


GPP: There's a chance the other scoreboard could be up at some point this season. Last I heard, it will be score and stats only, no video. As far as Mack vs. Toledo, he's not playing and with each passing day it looks more likely that he will redshirt this season.


Gold: I saw last night that 2 more players from South Florida committed to FIU this weekend at the game. A team mate of TY from Miami Lakes and an OL from Hollywood. Pete, what is the deal with these cats? Can we do some sort of highlight, perhaps once a month on FIU recruiting?


GPP: DB Derrick Jones from Miami Springs is 5-9, 180 and has great cover skills from what I've been told. Similar to an Anthony Gaitor. OL Derek Wimberly plays for Hallandale not Hollywood, but you're close enough (about a 5 min. drive). At 6-4, 250-pound, DW, a tackle, will need to get into that state-of-the-art weight room in the new FIU fieldhouse this summer to play his freshman season. Need to be at least 290 for OL. We'll get some recruiting updates on here soon. But remember until these cats sign on the dotted line nothing is official.


Miri: Have you heard anything about new license plates with the new logo?Xmas


GPP: Nothing new yet, but did hear the new FIU on-line store with tons of new FIU logo merchandise will open in late November in time for your Christmas shopping. Was told there will be a large variety of FIU products in the new on-line store.


FIUFloridaPower&Light: FIU Beach? What happened to that?

GPP: Was told the money is not there for FIU Beach right now. But if you know someone who wants to donate some palm trees, a truckload of sand and decorate the place then let me know and I'll get the Beach_2 word to the right people at FIU and we can get it done. I'm with you, FIU Beach is a spectacular idea by Clawing Cancer and there are plenty of telegenic co-eds at FIU for the ESPN cameras.


FIU Love: Pete, will the visitor side section bleachers be re-done as part of the April 2009 phase? it looks weird how that section is not connected to the rest of the stadium to create a perfect O.


GPP: The visitors' side section is part of the north side construction with the student support complex/welcome center, which is scheduled to be done by 2011 with an outside chance of it being finished by 2010. When the lower level of FIU Stadium is done it will be in the shape of an octagon and not an "O". The visitors side is going to look exactly like the south side. Except, there will be 21 suites on the north to give the stadium an even 40 suites when the lower level is done. The FIU Alumni Center will be attached to the east side of the stadium.


FIUer: Pete, why is it when one Googles or searches on Yahoo for FIU blogs, message boards, or anything really except the actual name, the GPP is nowhere to be found?


GPP: Yeah, we need to add "FIU" to the title of Golden Panthers Prowl so that Google can pick it up. Thanks. The MH website is going through a re-design in the next few weeks and was told after the new site is downloaded that we can ask for changes to blogs, etc.


Saturday's game is winnable for FIU, if the Golden Panthers show more offense than 10 to 14 points. So with that thought, let's get your thoughts on:




September 16, 2008

The Defense Of Troy

Who_2 For a while during Tuesday's practice we almost had another Blue25 moment.

There was a new FIU linebacker wearing White8, but there was no Jerrell Lamb to be found anywhere on the new FIU Stadium field.

Or for that matter anyone listed as White8 on the FIU roster. Then of course, you guessed it, White8 intercepts two passes and returns them both for touchdowns.

Before the first interception, one of the FIU quarterbacks told White8 that he would never come close to his pass. Then sure enough White8 steps in front of an FIU receiver and goes Pick 6 (in Webster's Football Dictionary, Pick 6 is returning an interception for a touchdown).

When White8 sprinted into the end zone, one of the FIU coaches yelled "Way to go, Troy!"

Ah-Ha, White8 is freshman quarterback Troy Dannehower, who has moved to linebacker for the remainder of this Td season. MC said he's not sure yet if the move for TD, who at 6-1, 220 has a linebacker-build, is just for this season and then return to O next season or if he will stay at LB.

Not a bad idea to see what TD can do on the other side of the ball since he was going to redshirt anyway this season at QB.

**After practice Tuesday, MC said Cedric Mack would begin practice with the team on Wednesday. CM likely will not play against South Florida. As for the rest of the O-line, Brad Serini, who had a boot on after the Iowa game, practiced without any issues. As did Mario Caraballo, who missed the first 2 games with a foot problem.

**NEW UPDATE: The FIU Stadium story and layout will now run in THURSDAY's Miami Herald and NOT Friday. Apparently, there is more space available in THURSDAY's paper instead of Friday. New day, same low, low price of 35 cents, plus tax comes out to a total of 38 cents.    

**The Jumbotron will be completely up and tested on Thursday. Right now, the top part of the board, which contains the speakers and the FIU logo, is missing and should go up either Wednesday or Thursday. You can see three-fourths of the board up if you drive by the stadium.

**Spoke to ESPN today and the worldwide leader said they will shoot the game from 4 different angles. Camera There will be 2 cameras above the club suites at each 35-yard line. Another camera from the above the west end zone and a field level camera at the east end zone.


Been told the FIU Golden Dazzlers are invited to the largest, most exciting FIU tailgate party before Saturday's game at the tailgating tent featuring College Football's Tailgater Extraordinaire: Raul "La Ala De Pollo" Puga, an award-winning grill master that has won national Tailgating Awards and has been featured on ESPN Deportes as well as food Newdazz_2 channels. Puga also had a booth at the FIU South Beach Food and Wine Festival.

**Interesting and lively discussion about the FIU quarterbacks on the last post by GPP readers. But right now with the O's struggles, don't think it matters who is under center. If the QBs get some time to throw, the WRs hold on to the ball and the RBs are given room to run, then I think we have a valid question as to which QB gives FIU a better shot at winning. But right now, like someone mentioned on a previous blog, not even Brett Favre nor Dan Marino (like Clawing Cancer pointed out & great movie usher analogy), nor Peyton Manning or John Elway could lift FIU to a win with an out of sync O. One thing I do have to say to those already Qbs_2 calling for the hook on Paul McCall, give the guy a fair shot to see what he does against Sun Belt teams. FIU is not yet in the class of these first 3 opponents.

FIUFloridaPower&Light: Pete, can you find out what time they expect the players to do the ceremonial walk to the stadium? Pete - please tell me you survived this round of job cuts at the Herald.

GPP: When I go to FIU on Wednesday, I'll find out about the Panther Walk and have an answer for you on here. Regarding the MH, I'll know more about the latest cuts on either Wednesday or Thursday.

CJ: Hey what's the word on alphonso bryant. the transfer from USF.. is he playing.. we need some big wr's

GPP: AB is a transfer from UCF and he is a defensive back and that's where FIU has him at. He probably will redshirt this season since he came in late.

FIU Love: Did I give my score for this week?

GPP: No.

Since the theme of last post revolved around your thoughts on the QB position....

September 15, 2008

If It Happens, This Is How

Cannot bring myself to agree with several GPP readers that think their Golden Panthers will take down No. 12 South Florida on Saturday. Just haven't seen much from FIU this season to convince me so.

If say, for example, the 2006 FIU D with El Monstruo (near, right), Keke Bouie (far, right) and the Killer B's were patrolling one side of the ball Kbees for FIU, then I could see an upset of No. 12, even with an FIU offense still trying to Ab find itself. After all, it was only 21-20, USF over FIU in 2006. I'll wait until later in the week to post a predicted score on Saturday's game.

Since most see USF leaving Miami still undefeated after Saturday...why don't we indulge the visions of a few FIU faithful. Those who see the Golden Panthers christening their new on-campus stadium with the biggest W in the history of the program and in college football this season. Which in turn will lead to FIU grabbing the front page of the Miami Herald for 7 consecutive days and dominating all the national highlight shows.

If an upset were to happen Saturday, this is how it would have to go down for FIU:

1) Time: It's What's For Dinner...The FIU offense would have to chew the clock with time-consuming drives that result in TDs and not FGs. You know the kinds of drives we're talking about where FIU goes 75 yards in 8 minutes and punches it in for 6. Keeping the high-powered Bulls offense on the sideline is a must.

Rh_2 2) Rush Hour...FIU will need at least 150 to 180 yards rushing from someone or a few players combined, this will help with the ball control that is needed.

3) Bakery is Closed...As is the case with every game, and especially this one against No. 12, turnovers cannot be baked by the FIU O.

4) There Must Only Be 1 El Monstruo...And his name should always be Antwan Barnes. The FIU O-line besides opening holes for the run, has to contain USF and future NFL DE George Selvie. This is Tampa's monstruo.

5) Can You Hear Me Now?...FIU QBs and WRs need to make connections. There have been several miscommunications on routes in the first two games where QB throws to one spot and WR is at another.

6) Hey, Lester Hayes, Can We Borrow Some Stick-um...WRs need to hold on to the football. There have Hayes been an alarming number of drops in the first two games. The passing game doesn't have to be the second coming of "The Greatest Show on Turf" of the Kurt Warner Rams in the late 90's, early 2000s, but FIU has to be efficient throwing the ball, move the chains.

Now that we've outlined some keys for the FIU O, here's what the Golden Panthers D needs to do to shock the college football world: 1) The Quarterback Must Go Down and He Must Go Down Hard...If you've seen Raiders owner Al Davis in the old NFL Films, then you're familiar with the phrase above. FIU has to be physical with USF QB Matt Grothe, like Kansas was in the first half of the KU/USF game last Friday. MG is not a big guy (generously listed at 6-0 on USF roster) and if FIU can hit him several times, you could have one gunshy QB and by putting pressure on MG it would disrupt the rhythm of the dangerous Bulls O.

2) Make Olivia Newton-John Proud...FIU corners have to be physical with the physical USF receivers -- a couple of whom could be catching balls on Sundays soon.

Dazzlers_2 3) The Only Killer Legs FIU Needs To See Are On The Golden Dazzlers...Grothe can kill a D with his legs, so the Golden Panthers need someone to have an eye on the USF QB, in case he decides to take off. He'll keep a drive going with those pesky 7, 8-yard scrambles.

4) Wrap Yourself A Gift...Any chance of stopping the USF O and giving yourself a chance at a win begins with wrapping-up on tackling. Saw some missed tackles in the first 2 games that helped KU and Iowa continue drives. Giving a team like USF some extra yards after it looks like you've stopped them can be demoralizing.

5) The Special Teams Secret is Hidden...Beware of the hidden yardage. This is for special teams. In a game like this where you're the colossal underdog, you can't be giving away hidden yardage on ST. Such as the opener against KU, when FIU had KU pinned at the 5-yard line after a kickoff, but the Golden Panthers were called for offsides and had to re-kick leaving KU to start the drive at the its 35-yard line.

6) Don't Be Scottie Pippen...If FIU has a FG shot, that FG has to be made. When Pip punting the Golden Panthers can't have shanks off the side of the foot that leave USF with outstanding field position. The Bulls, like MJ's Chicago-version, don't need FIU to be Scottie Pippen to help USF and MJ score.

Yes, I know the list above is long and detailed, but if knocking off a Top 25 team were so easy everybody would be doing it. Good luck, FIU.


UPDATE on FIU Stadium spread in the Miami Herald: The story, photos and layout will now run in FRIDAY's paper and NOT thursday. So cobble 35 or 50 cents for FRIDAY.

**Reminder, the deadline for USF/FIU scores for the 2nd Annual Win A GPP Blog contest is this Saturday, Sept. 20 at 4:59 p.m. GPP time.

alt7787: You should set up a Meet and Greet tent at the game next week. Get the herald to lend you one of their subscription tents so you could have a meet and greet with everyone.

GPP: alt7787, I'll be walking around the stadium before the game and the open-air press box this season is on the SE corner of the stadium so stop by and say hello. They tell me I'm a friendly person.

GreekPanther: Pete, is it true that there will be a sizable amount of undercover cops at the FIU-USF tailgate looking for underage drinkers?

GPP: Not sure Greek, but it is the opener and I'm sure FIU would like everything to go off well, including Beer a W. Tell you what, if FIU wins this game....the first round is on me at whatever watering hole is around campus.

CJ: Pete do you mind checking to see if i posted a score for this game?

GPP: You didn't, but on your last post you did.

FIUBlueandGold: Can anyone provide an update on the situation with our Offensive line ? What's up with the Mack Truck ?

GPP: After last Thursday's open practice, MC said he expects Mack back for USF, but we shall see. Center Brad Serini took off the boot and practiced last Thursday and will play against USF. FIU was off today, so I'll have an update on the OL after Tuesday's practice. Check here and/or the MH FIU page.

**Here's your chance to tell GPP Nation what you think is the key to Saturday's game....

August 30, 2008

Your New FIU Starting QB Is....

LAWRENCE, KANSAS -- Welcome to Kansas, GPP Nation. It's gameday and we're about 6 hours from kickoff. New season. New uniforms (FIU will wear new white tops with new white pants tonight, check the MH sports website later tonight for photos) and maybe a new record. Speaking of records, haven't really followed the band, Kansas, but did some research on some of their song titles and thought I might apply Kansas them throughout this post. So here's "What's On My Mind":

There will be a quarterback under center for the Golden Panthers tonight. Here are some clues as to who is the FIU starting QB this season. If you read the FIU preview in the Miami Herald "print" edition on Thursday, then you will only need one or two clues to figure out who is FIU's starting QB this season. For those that didn't read the MH, you may have to "Hold On" until the end of this post.

Chime in with the answer when you know who the quarterback is after reading these clues: the Golden Panthers new starting quarterback will be starting grad school in September seeking a master's in computer engineering. Thinks V for Vendetta is the perfect movie, Thinks an Italian girl is the perfect girl. Thinks lasagna is the perfect meal. Thinks a Corvette Stingray is the perfect car. Thinks the 1972 Las Miami Dolphins are the perfect team. Thinks Christian Bale is the perfect actor. And thinks Italy is the perfect vacation spot. If you still haven't figured it out, then the answer is at the bottom of this post.

On to today's game. It's a chamber of commerce type of Saturday here in Lawrence, Kansas. The weather is clear, sunny skies with about 60 degrees in the morning, should be up in the 70's by kickoff tonight.

This is not exactly a tune-up opener for FIU as they face the second highest scoring team in the nation last year in the Jayhawks, who hung 42 points per game on opponents and 55 on the Golden Panthers in a 55-3 win last year. KU's defense also allowed the fourth fewest points in the nation last season, 16 points per game.

Don't see FIU pulling off any upset tonight, that would be "Miracles Out Of Nowhere" but here's what we'd like to see: an FIU offense that can score some TDs and not settle for FGs or turn the ball over. Ku_2 The FIU D has looked good in camp, now let's see them at least contain this high-powered KU O. This is one of those learning experience games for the Golden Panthers that will only make them better come Sun Belt play.

In last year's game, it was a competitive one in the first half with KU leading 10-3 until the second half meltdown when the Jayhawks scored 45 unanswered points, thanks in part to 5 FIU turnovers. Limiting or not committing any TOs tonight, might and I say might, make for a game. Of course, another handful of TO's could make FIU "Dust In The Wind" tonight. Don't know if a competitive game could happen, because its the season opener and KU -- already feeling slighted by the national media saying last year was a fluke -- will be out to prove everyone wrong and FIU has not been good in hostile venues before. Maybe that changes tonight.

GPP says: Kansas 44, FIU 14Pm_2 

No more "Mysteries And Mayhem" if you still haven't figured out the QB and just scrolled down here, then here's your new FIU starting QB, Paul McCall:

A look "Down The Road" at the rest of the FIU season has me thinking 4-8 in 2008. Might see the Golden Panthers sneak out of Toledo with a W and then go 3-5 in the Sun Belt.


**Remember, last possible minute to get your FIU scores for tonight's game and for our 2nd Annual Win A GPP Blog contest is tonight at 6:59 p.m. (EDT) by the GPP clock. Read the previous 3 posts for rules and regulations.

FIUJM: Is there reason why visitors section is using high school benches?

GPP: You wouldn't want to put the FIU fans in those uncomfortable, no backrest seats. So that's why visiting teams' fans get those seats from the old FIU Stadium.

CJ: Question about the it just me or does it look a bit sandy and streaky?

GPP: In that photo they just fed the field sand and ground up tires. After a while, the sand and tires settle into the turf and you don't see those streaks.

FIUFan: Hasn't FIU requested to be called FIU and not Florida International University by media outlets? How's that going?

GPP: The first page in the football media guide says "We are FIU and please refer to us as FIU. Do not use Florida International University, Florida International, Fla. Internat'l....or any other variation". Some of the media is getting used to it, especially the local TV, others it has taken time. I know I usually have to remind the people who edit my stories NOT to change FIU to Florida International in the first reference.

Roary_2 ** Thanks to B for posting that picture on the GPP. With your permission, B, I'm going to re-post it here since it is such a pretty picture. Thanks again.

Oh, you say Roary is in the photo? Now, I just noticed him.

Gold: Can you do a tour of the finalized project? There has to be pictures up of what each section of the stadium will look like when everything is complete. Can you get a picture of the girl who is taking you on the tour. She looks cute.

GPP: Guess the title of the last blog is a little misleading. That was the last stadium tour before the Kansas kickoff. I'll be back at the stadium in a few weeks with my camera and a Herald photographer for another GPP Stadium Tour blog and for a story I'm doing for the MH on the new stadium that will run before the USF game.

Allison's picture is up on the last few blogs.

alt7787: Hey, Pete have you been working out with the players lately? Your looking pretty juiced up in that picture. You better watch out, I dont know if you can have those guns out in public.

GPP: No, don't workout with the Golden Panthers, but it must be all the typing that's shaped the guns.

Miri: Have you heard about anything cool they would do for the team entrance at games?

GPP: Nothing yet, except the Panther Walk, but I'm sure FIU has some pre-game plans up its sleeve.

SouthPaw: I enlarged the Younger photo, and still can't see the "panther eyes." Wyeyes_4

GPP: The Panther Eyes are on the white plate on the crown of the helmet. The eyes are not that big, but it gives the helmet a different look.

You good people got my FIU season outlook, what's yours:

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