More experienced FIU begins second fall practice under Ron Turner
08/03/2014 6:59 PM
09/08/2014 8:01 PM
As of Monday’s start to fall practice, FIU football has 26 days to finish making up 21 points on Bethune-Cookman University.
FIU’s season opens Aug. 30 at home against Football Championship Subdivision B-CU, which rolled over FIU 34-13 last season at FIU Stadium.
This year’s training camp opens without the uncertainty that permeated every facet of last year’s camp.
No uncertainties about eligibility, according to FIU coach Ron Turner. Less uncertainty about the offense and defense, as the Panthers will run the same schemes they were just getting familiar with last year, which were departures from the schemes run under former coach Mario Cristobal.
Less uncertainty about experience as the entire offensive line returns; the prospective starting secondary has a combined 45 starts; and the probable starting wide receivers, tight ends and defensive ends all have started games.
The main questions revolved around the middle of the offensive backfield, the middle of the defensive front seven and the special teams (kicking and punting).
Junior quarterback E.J. Hilliard started seven of the 16 games in which he played over his first two seasons. He will start practice with the first team, but Turner said at Conference USA Media Day freshman Alex McGough will get a chance to compete for that spot.
Of the potential running backs, three are coming back from injuries (sophomore Alfonso Randolph, sophomore Silas Spearman, walk-on transfer Anthon Samuel). Two others are freshmen (Alex Gardner, Napoleon Maxwell). Shane Coleman’s a redshirt junior but has only 19 carries in eight games. Junior Lamarq Caldwell, last year’s rushing leader with 504 yards, averaged only 3.5 per carry.
On defense, last year’s two defensive tackles, Isame Faciane and Greg Hickman, toil in NFL training camps now.
Replacing last season’s leading tackler, middle linebacker Markeith Russell, will be either junior Luis Rosado or sophomore Treyvon Williams.
Oops, you haven't selected any newsletters. Please check the box next to one or more of our email newsletters and submit again.
Oops, you didn't provide a valid email address. Please double-check the email field and submit again.
Join the Discussion
Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.