Scouting FIU Offense

So the Gators enter the closest thing to an off-week with a perfect 10-0 record for just the third time in school history. The 1995 Gators then beat FSU and Arkansas before losing to Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl. The 1996 team lost game 11 to FSU but came back to beat Alabama in the SEC Title Game and Florida State in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship.

Still most of Gator Nation remains concerned about an offense that is scoring almost 20 fewer points a game against SEC teams than it did a year ago. And those who are not concerned are instead upset with those who are. As Rodney King said, can't we all just get along?

Next up is FIU. The Golden Panthers might be better than Charleston Southern, but only a little better. FIU is 3-7 with wins over Western Kentucky, North Texas and Louisiana Lafayette. FIU played Troy earlier this year and lost by nine points (33-42). Florida beat that Troy team by 50.

The Golden Panthers are not bad offensively, scoring 25.1 a game. They've scored 30-plus five times and throw for 222 yards a game.

QB Paul McCall is a pretty solid player (1,969 13/7) who completes about 57 percent of his throws. They have most of their success with underneath stuff and the receivers are all pretty good runners with the ball. The best receiver is T.Y. Hilton (50, 10.6, 5) who is a small quick guy. Greg Ellington is a good secondary target (31, 15.5, 4) and a big one (6'4"), while Jason Frierson (27, 12.1, 2) is another pass catcher. They will also throw to their two TE (21, 10.1).

They do not run the ball well at all (101/g) and their top runner Darriet Perry (301, 3) is out with a broken wrist. That leaves Daunte Owens (275, 3) as the top guy, but Kendall Berry (234, 6) is a bigger back and he's been coming on strong lately running in the "Wildcat" formation.

The offensive line is not good as evidenced by the minimal rushing yards and further proven by the 31 sacks they've given up. The most interesting guy isn't even a starter, he's Joe Alajajian who's younger brother Nick is redshirting for the Gators this year. All in all this is a decent offensive team that can have some success in the unlikely event they can protect McCall. They struggle to protect him against Sun Belt defenses and now they have to face one of the best units in the country.

Tomorrow we look at the Golden Panthers defense which is among the worst in college football.


Fightin Gators Top Stories