Record: 0-0 (3-9 in 2009)
Coach: Mario Cristobal (9-27, three years)
Key players: QB Wesley Carroll, a transfer from Mississippi State, who started for the Bulldogs as a freshman. WR T.Y. Hilton, WR Greg Eillingson, WR Jason Frierson, RB Jeremiah Harden, SS Jonathan Cyprien, MLB Aaron Davis, LB Toronto Smith, CB Anthony Gaitor.
Florida International opens its season Saturday against Rutgers at 8 p.m at FIU International, and coach Mario Crisotbal spoke about the Golden Panthers on Monday.
Here is what he had to say:
Opening statement: It's good to finally get into a game week. We had the bye week last week and we got to watch a lot of teams play. Obviously, the Sun Belt conference did a great job representing with a couple of big victories against other conferences, and certainly playing other ones tough. We're primed to represent out university, and our conference, as well.
On advantages/disadvantages of not playing yet while Rutgers already opened the season:
I think you always want to get that first game in there because you usually do take a pretty significant jump from game 1 to game 2 in terms of correcting mistakes or miscues that you make have had.
At the same time, we used the extra week and treated it like a game week. We had a full scrimmage, (like) it was a game. We feel we got a lot done with that as well.
On the excitement of having a Big East team playing on FIU's campus:
It really is (a big deal). We're building a program, a little bit similar to the days I had at Rutgers University. We're building it and getting an opportunity against these big-time opponents, especially on your own home field, which is something that is brand new to our place.
There is a strong buzz on campus and in the city, and we're looking forward to a great Saturday.