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Predictions for the Season

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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:40 pm   
Golden Panther
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I like the format FIUPIKE used to summarize his thoughts on the team. So I’ll take a page from him and give you my predictions for each position this year.

I’m not going to predict a win-loss record. There are too many variables in that (injuries, turnover margin, luck). Getting to and winning a bowl game is the barometer of success. And quite honestly, if we beat the University of Coral Gables, this season will be a massive success, no matter what happens in the rest of the games.

So here we go…

QB: Morgan will win the starting job, but Coach Davis will actually play Christian this year in most games, especially if we’re way up or way down. My biggest fear with Morgan is that he’s a gunslinger like his idol Brett Favre. Guys with great arms tend to be gunslingers. And gunslingers tend to force the ball and turn it over. If Morgan throws a lot of INTs, Alexander will get his shot. As I’ve said for years, I’m a big Alexander fan. I thought Christian should have been our starting QB over McGough during the dreadful Turner years. McGough wasn’t all that good until his senior year when he learned to stop throwing INTs. A lot of that is bad coaching and scheme, but some of it was on McGough. The bottom line at QB is that I think we’re in the best shape at this position we’ve been in since the days of Carroll and Medlock. If one guy is struggling, put in the other.

RB: I think Jones is our best all-around back. I don’t think we’ve seen the real Jones yet. Hopefully he breaks out this year. Phillips seems to keep getting better and better, so it will be interesting to see who gets the bulk of the carries. I love the way he runs. Maxwell and Price are great back ups. I’d love to see Price used in the passing game again like last year. Get him the ball in space. We’re going to be able to run the ball no matter who is back there. My only concern is fumbles. If a guy can’t hang on to the ball, get him out of there... no matter how talented he is. We didn’t see a lot of fumbles last year from our backs. So it worries me that we might see some more this year. Fumbles is the one thing that can’t be tolerated from our RBs.

WR: I think Austin Maloney will finish the year with the most catches. He’s our “move the chains” receiver. Worton and Singleton will likely both finish with more yards though. I’m looking for Singleton to have a break out year and finish first or second team Conference USA. Maurice Alexander will be a factor at WR. I would have moved him there at the start of last year. I hope our coaches use him properly and let him throw a few balls on trick plays. Defenses need to be afraid when they see him take the field in the slot. Of the freshmen, Maurquel Dillard really popped on tape. He looks like he might have a little T.Y. in him (a little).

TE: I see Ivan Thomas playing here as well as HB. Thomas will make an impact as a freshman. But I see Sterling Palmer really pushing him. Palmer is bigger and was really impressive on film. Both guys are going to be move the chain receivers and threats in the red zone.

OL: Our best unit since 2006. I love our depth. And I love our left side. Demery will be a difference maker. I hope he can stay out of trouble. Getting Budwig back was also huge. Would love to see him stay on as a grad assistant and coach after he graduates. No offense to Big Saucy, but I think Lil Saucy (John Bolding) will be a long-time starter for us and a possible NFL player in the future. He may not see many minutes this year, but I think that guy was a steal that will pay big dividends down the road.

DL: This unit makes me want to cry from happiness. As the guys who have been around since the beginning know, we have NEVER had a dominant defensive line. That all changes in 2018. I just pray they all stay healthy. Big Saucy gets a lot of attention, but I think Tart will be more impactful and disruptive on the inside. And Jordan Woods will be a difference maker. I don’t think any of us realize how good he is yet. Anthony Johnson made himself a beast. But unless the coaches move him to DE, he’s going to see a lot less playing time this year. Nice problem to have. I can’t wait to see who develops at the other DE with Silva moving to LB. I’m looking forward to seeing how Curtis looks coming back from injury. And Oliver showed some flashes. Josh Little and Rashad Colson would be starting in any other year, but having them come off the bench is a real gift. And don’t sleep on Kameron Burns. He’s another kid whose tape was much better than his recruiting grades. Like Bolding, he’s another kid that might not get much playing time this year, but will be an impact player down the road.

LB: I’m a little worried about Silva here. I’m not convinced this move to LB will work out. Don’t get me wrong, I hope it does. But he might get burned early in the season while he’s still learning the position. I can see him occasionally moving down to DL at times. I see Silva getting replaced by Donovan Georges at starter at some point during the season. Georges is too good to sit on the bench. Lewis and Freeman should have the other two LB positions locked up. Rocky Jacques-Louis will also contribute. Looking forward to see who breaks out from our freshman group last year (Gates, Brooks, Jones). I expect one of them will see significant playing time.

CB: Seems clear that Brown and Lubin are the starters. Sounds like Stantley Thomas-Oliver III will push for playing time, which is great to hear. I also expect Jamal Anderson to push for playing time, especially later in the season. I think we’re in the best shape at CB than we’ve been in years.

S: I’d love to see Dorian Hall on the field. Hopefully he’s ready. We need some size back there. I think the other spot will be by committee, with Tyree Johnson and Dames the two best options. I don’t know much about Daniel Jackson, but the coaches seem to be high on him. Maybe he’ll develop into another Bryce Canady type of player. Safety is our biggest area of need in recruiting this year in my opinion.

Kicking: This is the glue that makes me really like this team. Borregales was money last year. And Wilson and Young are both really good. Kicking is such an underrated part of the game, and I feel great about our guys. After last year’s impressive results, I’m sort of bracing for a bit of a drop off this year. A reversion to the mean type of thing. But even if that happens, I still think we’ll be in good shape with this group. It’s nice to have confidence in the kicking game.

Return Game: This part of the game has really been lacking for FIU ever since Ron Turner took over. We’ve had very little explosiveness back there. Hopefully that changes this year. Singleton can get it done, but I don’t think we should put our #1 or #2 receiver in that position. I like the idea of Alexander and his slipperiness back there, assuming he can hold onto the ball (that’s my biggest concern with him at WR and returner). Ball security. I agree that Dillard also might be the answer. He looks like he might have the something special that makes for great returners.

Coaching: I love our coaching staff. It’s by far the best we’ve ever had. And I’m not talking only about our head coach here. Our assistants are fantastic. Except for defensive coordinator, every one of them is probably the best we’ve ever had.
But the one thing that every one of us should be thinking about is this: What’s going to happen with Coach Davis at the end of the year? Will he be lured away by a bigger program and bigger money? Does he see FIU as merely a way to get to a bigger program? Or will he be happy building something great here and making FIU his last “work of art” so to speak? Think about what will happen if (when) we beat the University of Coral Gables. Their fans will immediately begin calling for the firing of Richt and the hiring of Coach Davis. Eight or more wins means bigger programs will be throwing themselves at Coach.

I'd like to think that Coach Davis doesn't chase dollars and "bigger names" at this point in his life. He's been there and done that. Building something from scratch is so much more satisfying that repairing something that someone else built.

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Official Name:
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:07 am   
Golden Panther

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:15 am
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Don't be surprised when you see a few freshman starting against Indiana.


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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:04 am   
Puma

Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 1:00 am
Posts: 454
FIUPIKE wrote:
Don't be surprised when you see a few freshman starting against Indiana.


This is a bit surprising, but that's in part to the lack of media coverage "not coming from FIU" .

I can see these freshman starting or contributing at least on 9/1

Starting:
Sterling Palmer
Rocky Jaques Louis

Contributing:
Donovan Georges
Jamal Anderson

Cadarius Gaskin
Ivan Thomas
Maurquel Dillard
Jordan Underwood


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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:24 am   
Golden Panther

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:15 am
Posts: 801
:wink:


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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:20 pm   
Golden Panther

Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:43 pm
Posts: 2669
Always love seeing freshmen making an impact. That means the team is only getting better, as young guys are worthy of playing time over more experienced players. Reinier, I agree with your list. I also think Dillard might be the starting kickoff returner. And technically Dorian Hall is a freshman who may start at safety.

Rocky seems almost like a lock to start at LB with Freeman recovering from his arm injury.


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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:05 pm   
Golden Panther

Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:52 am
Posts: 4832
Not basing it on the Scrimmage because I'm not allowed to talk about that....

QB: I think Morgan wins the job. But Christian will be better prepared to take over incase something happens.

RB: I think Jones wins the Job. But I expect to see a lot from Price, our fastest returning RB.

WR: Don't know what to tell you here, but Maurice may win a starting Job by 9/1. Dude can Run!!! Great hands. We should be fine.

TE:STACKED. We think RB is our best position right now. At this time next year it will be TE.

OL: Not too many surprises. I think we all anticipated Demery to win the LT job. I know I did, check old posts. However, I saw him struggle twice our Speedy DE. :wink: not naming names, not saying who.
Our DT's will cause OL nightmares. Check out the twitter interview with OL Connell discussing having to take on 370# DT every day.


DL: What can I tell you here. Teams may have to go no huddle and not let us sub our DT's. How many of you guys remember Ted Washington?




LB: Not too worried about LB, any more.


CB: Plenty of talent with Lubin and Brown taking most of snaps.... Lots of talented guys back there.

S: Seen and read a lot about Maurice breaking free. Must say, a little worried despite all our talent the lack of experience may be huge here. I would move Tyree here, at least in the short term until the young guys figure it out.


Kicking: Ole Ole Ole, Jose Jose.

Return Game: Disappointed. Need to get better.


Coaching: I love our coaching staff. It’s by far the best we’ve ever had. And I’m not talking only about our head coach here. Our assistants are fantastic. Except for defensive coordinator, every one of them is probably the best we’ve ever had.


Yes. 100%.

But the one thing that every one of us should be thinking about is this: What’s going to happen with Coach Davis at the end of the year? Will he be lured away by a bigger program and bigger money? Does he see FIU as merely a way to get to a bigger program? Or will he be happy building something great here and making FIU his last “work of art” so to speak? Think about what will happen if (when) we beat the University of Coral Gables. Their fans will immediately begin calling for the firing of Richt and the hiring of Coach Davis. Eight or more wins means bigger programs will be throwing themselves at Coach.


Coral Gables fans may light up Joe Rose call line... but UM has too much money invested in MR. 0%
Other teams come calling..... unless they need a 2 year coach to fix something (Ohio State?) otherwise most AD's will pass based on age. Not worried. But wouldn't it be messed up if both us and our ugly cousins to the north are coach shopping again.

Still not worried.



Oh, no, I've said too much. I havent' said enough.

_________________
"It's called opportunity, that's what life is all about, you get an opportunity and I think these guys are anxious to have this opportunity and do something with it" - FIU Coach Ron Turner


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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:05 pm   
Golden Panther

Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:52 am
Posts: 4832
Not basing it on the Scrimmage because I'm not allowed to talk about that....

QB: I think Morgan wins the job. But Christian will be better prepared to take over incase something happens.

RB: I think Jones wins the Job. But I expect to see a lot from Price, our fastest returning RB.

WR: Don't know what to tell you here, but Maurice may win a starting Job by 9/1. Dude can Run!!! Great hands. We should be fine.

TE:STACKED. We think RB is our best position right now. At this time next year it will be TE.

OL: Not too many surprises. I think we all anticipated Demery to win the LT job. I know I did, check old posts. However, I saw him struggle twice our Speedy DE. :wink: not naming names, not saying who.
Our DT's will cause OL nightmares. Check out the twitter interview with OL Connell discussing having to take on 370# DT every day.


DL: What can I tell you here. Teams may have to go no huddle and not let us sub our DT's. How many of you guys remember Ted Washington?




LB: Not too worried about LB, any more.


CB: Plenty of talent with Lubin and Brown taking most of snaps.... Lots of talented guys back there.

S: Seen and read a lot about Maurice breaking free. Must say, a little worried despite all our talent the lack of experience may be huge here. I would move Tyree here, at least in the short term until the young guys figure it out.


Kicking: Ole Ole Ole, Jose Jose.

Return Game: Disappointed. Need to get better.


Coaching: I love our coaching staff. It’s by far the best we’ve ever had. And I’m not talking only about our head coach here. Our assistants are fantastic. Except for defensive coordinator, every one of them is probably the best we’ve ever had.


Yes. 100%.

But the one thing that every one of us should be thinking about is this: What’s going to happen with Coach Davis at the end of the year? Will he be lured away by a bigger program and bigger money? Does he see FIU as merely a way to get to a bigger program? Or will he be happy building something great here and making FIU his last “work of art” so to speak? Think about what will happen if (when) we beat the University of Coral Gables. Their fans will immediately begin calling for the firing of Richt and the hiring of Coach Davis. Eight or more wins means bigger programs will be throwing themselves at Coach.


Coral Gables fans may light up Joe Rose call line... but UM has too much money invested in MR. 0%
Other teams come calling..... unless they need a 2 year coach to fix something (Ohio State?) otherwise most AD's will pass based on age. Not worried. But wouldn't it be messed up if both us and our ugly cousins to the north are coach shopping again.

Still not worried.



Oh, no, I've said too much. I havent' said enough.

_________________
"It's called opportunity, that's what life is all about, you get an opportunity and I think these guys are anxious to have this opportunity and do something with it" - FIU Coach Ron Turner


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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:12 pm   
Juvenile Panther

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:46 pm
Posts: 16
Chia,
Are you referring to the speedy DE as a particular player or as in more than 1 of them? I'm hoping that either way that they've got good size and strength too. That's exactly what we need to compliment our dominate DT's.


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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:49 pm   
Cougar

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:01 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Cooper City, Fl.
Hello Fellow Panther Fans,
The time has come to step up and make some bold predictions!
1. I think we may pull an upset over Indiana. I'm not real good at predicting scores, but I think we will beat them and begin the process of surprising a lot of the so called "experts".
2. James Morgan will be the starting QB and will pick up where A. McGough left off.
3. Our DL will make up for almost all of the early season deficiencies/inexperience we have on the back end of the defense - in fact it will be the defense which will help us beat Indiana.
4. Our receiving corps is more dynamic than most people realize - lots of big plays (20+ yards) and a more exciting offense than last year.
5. The 2019 recruiting class looks weak right now - but I believe Coach Davis is holding back on committing scholarships because he is biding his time and will eventually get several 4* and even a couple of 5* guys to come next year!
6. Most importantly, as I mentioned in another post, we will finish the regular season 9-3. I know what the experts say, but they're nitwits and have no clue what they're talking about. Last year we took a leap forward as a program - this year will be the next step in our progression towards becoming a top 25 team.
I hope you readers think of these as "bold" predictions, and I make them because of the enormous progress I've seen in our program and my certain faith in Coach Davis as one of the truly great coaches in all of collegiate football.
Interested in what y'all have to say as always. FIUPhil


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