Scouting FIU Defense and Special Teams

As we pointed in part one of the scouting report, the FIU Golden Panthers are not a strong offensive team. However that side of the ball is world class when compared to one of the nation's worst defensive teams.

Just take a look at where FIU looks in the key defensive categories, keeping in Mind that there are 120 teams playing major college football.

Rushing 238.5 yds/game #117
Passing 252.4 yds/game #100
Total 491 yards/game #118
Scoring 33.4 points/game #106

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Alabama opening day and dropped a surprisingly close 40-14 decision. However they also got lit up by Toledo (41), Troy (42), Louisiana-Monroe and Middle Tennessee (48 each).

The defensive line is really small with 232 pound DE Armond Willis (3.5 sacks) on one side and 6-2, 210 Jarvis Wilson on the other.

The LB corps is pretty solid in part because the line makes so few. The best of the group is SLB Scott Bryant who far and away is the team's top tackler with 89 on the season. He gets plenty of support from Toronto Smith (47, 3.2 sacks), Aaron Davis (45, 6.5 tfl) and Tyler Clawson (33).

The secondary is nothing special. They do have one-time blue chip prospect Anthony Gaitor who is tied for the team lead with two interceptions and has broken up six passes. SS Jeremiah Weatherspoon also has two picks and is third on the team with 50 tackles, nine fewer than FS Jonathan Cyprien.

Overall this defense has no chance to slow the Gators down unless Florida makes a bunch of mistakes.

FIU Special ---- FIU returns punts (Frierson 12.8) and kicks (T.Y. Hilton 30.6, TD) pretty well and they cover kicks well too. Carlos Munera (43.2) is a good punter with 14 boots over 50 yards, but place kicker Dustin Rivest is just ok with 9-12 FG, a long of 41 yards.

They have blocked four kicks and had two blocked so that might be both an opportunity for the Gators as well as an area of concern.

The main thing about this game for the Gators is to take care of business in a hurry and get out of The Swamp healthy. By taking care of business quickly it'll mean valuable addition playing time for a number of players including Johnny Brantley, William Green, Adrian Bushell, Frankie Hammond, Sam Robey, Omarius Hines and others.


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