Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A look at FIU using almost nothing other than what transpired last year

Since we are but 100 hours away from kickoff at Memorial Stadium, it seems like we ought to at least take a glance at the opponent. Granted, this would not be considered a difficult game even in the Terry Allen era, it is still a game and one that must be won handily to get the year started off right. The visitors this week are Mario Cristobal's Panthers of Florida International. You may remember them from their semi-recent on field brawl with The U or from the 55-3 beat down they were given in Lawrence last year.

The Panthers would like you to believe that they have put those transgressions in the past. In all fairness to them, they have neither been in another enormous brawl since that one, nor have they been beaten by such humiliating scores as 55-3 since the one experienced last year. For this, we must give them credit. We also must give them credit for getting a brand new on-campus stadium built, even in the midst of a 1-17 streak in which they've been the underdog all 18 games. Given that they start: @ KU, @ Iowa, v. South Florida (inaugural game in stadium) & @ Toledo, I would expect that underdog streak to make it to at least 22. Game 23 in this streak will be player @ North Texas, the lone team responsible for losing to FIU during this horrid stretch. Oddsmakers, the floor is yours. But, I digress.

Even though we already know what would happen (and did) when last year's KU team played last year's FIU team, here is a look at the stats anyway…
As you can see, FIU was better in exactly one category: sacks. And in reality they actually had less of them, but since they played in one less game, the per game average was actually slightly better. We have made no secret of our hope for a more consistent and overall better pass rush out of the Jayhawks this year. And now knowing that they sacked the quarterback less frequently than Florida International, we feel more strongly about this than ever. If Florida International is doing anything better than you, that problem must be rectified.

Aside from that I would also direct your attention to the rushing yardage in both charts. As you've likely noticed, not only were the Hawks better than the Panthers, but often they weren't even in the same stratosphere. The most telling of these differences comes from the running game. Assuming the team has watched some tape on FIU, Jake, Jocques and Angus presumably cannot wait to do their best Knowshon Moreno impressions this Saturday (If I haven't mentioned it, I want to be Knowshon Moreno when I grow up). I'm sure Todd and the receivers will put up their stats. I'm sure the pass defense will look just fine. But the pure domination of this game is likely to be centered on the ground game (or lack thereof) that each team will enjoy.

We'll try to have more for you as the week goes on, but though the passing game is thought to be a "strength" of this team, they have yet to decide on a quarterback. So needless to say there is not exactly a bevy of information out there and much of what is out there is all second hand, because I only saw them the one time. You all saw what this team had to offer last year. Barring an unforeseen collapse on the part of Kansas and surge on the part of FIU, I'll be shocked to see something all that different from what went down last year. However, I won't be holding my breath for another 100+ yard interception return for a touchdown. Thank you, Aqib.

Before we go, I should also direct you to Tim Griffin's preseason All Big XII teams. No Jayhawks on offense, but three of them (Mortensen, Rivera, & Harris) on defense. No complaints here.

Note: If there's something you want to know about FIU, put it in the comments and I'll see what I can do.


GingerBalls said...

Good work, not a lot to say about FIU...obviously this is more of a(should be) warm-up for KU as you said.

Newell Post is out on KUSports:


Couple things about the presser, I might be more excited to see Patterson returning punts than anything else on Saturday...and the least excited to see what our kickers do, if we do get stopped short of a TD. Got to get them work when the game is not in doubt though I guess. This kicking thing better not lose us games this year!

Jay said...

I do wonder what Methzou will do when they manage to lose their first game. I've read all their myopic posts and it's pretty evident that Methzou fans have forgotten their recent history. KU has an impressive record against methzou in the last 5 years or so. Remember, the mascot "Tigers" was the name of the group of slave owners that conducted raids into free states in order to spread slavery. So what should methzou do with that name? Why not affix it to your one major university? Seriously, Methzou history is as flawed any state can claim, in shame. I still dont know why any black man would play for a university that glorifies their footsoldeirs for slavery. Not to start things back up on the predictions but I think 10-3 is a very reasonable possibility. Im not sure the wins and losses will be with the same teams but no one is. Dont forget that KU had to rebuild after Terry Allen tore down all that Glen Mason could claim. They haven't accomplished this with smoke and mirrors, they accomplished it by finding good players and coaching them up. Their talent level will not let them fall on their faces this year, as much as Methzou may want to believe it. Go Illinois!

Anonymous said...

Jay - good research!!!!

Straight from the MU website:

When MU organized its first football team during the 1890s, it needed a name. Team organizers recalled an incident from the Civil War. Legend has it that guerilla soldiers under the command of the notorious Bill Anderson were set to raid Columbia, Missouri. Residents heard about the plan and put together an armed guard, built a blockhouse and fortified the old courthouse. In an attempt to intimidate the army, they called themselves the Missouri Tigers. Word spread of their preparedness and Anderson's guerillas never invaded Columbia. The football team adopted the name in honor of the Civil War defenders.

The group that conducted raids into Kansas you are referring to were known as "Bushhwakers". Get your History facts straight before you call Missouri's history "flawed".

Hiphopopotamus said...

I don't have a clue how any of this sorts out logistically. But out of curiosity, why would Bill Anderson, a confederate, bushwhacker and member of Quantrill's company (and part of his raid) want to invade Columbia?

Again, I've done no research and have no idea if you're right or wrong. This just doesn't add up to me. Especially amongst a bunch of people that still celebrate Quantrill's Raid, of which Anderson was a part.

(Was this whole attack on Columbia thing after he and Quantrill split?)

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