Plenty of deep passing in Wednesday morning's practice. With a new pro-style offense and a strong-armed quarterback in Jake Medlock, the Panthers are going long a lot more these days. Of course, the biggest factor in succeeding with the deep ball is Medlock getting enough time to throw. CLICK HERE for a story on the deep passing game.
FYI, FIU's season opener at Maryland was picked up by FOX Sports Florida today. The game will air live at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 31. You can also watch the game on ESPN3.
Before the deep fireworks in Wednesday's practice, Medlock did get picked off by freshman defensive back Wilkenson Myrtil. Myrtil and Mertile everywhere. A Myrtil picking off passes at FIU and a former FIU DB named Mertile, as in Junior, picking off passes at New York Giants camp this month.
Medlock rebounded and found T.J. Lowder down the middle of the field for 25 yards and then Dominique Rhymes for 20 yards. Lowder has been having a solid first three days of camp -- a real fast dude. Medlock hit him for a 55-yard touchdown where Lowder outran the coverage and caught the ball in stride.
E.J. Hilliard connected with De'Andre Jasper for 45 yards down the seam. Hilliard also found Fred Porter on a deep pass.
Derrick Jones, who is making the switch from defensive back to linebacker, stuck his hands in front of the receiver he was defending, intercepted the pass and went for six.
Medlock and Rhymes hooked up twice on deep passes Wednesday.
Again Medlock showed his development as a quarterback. For the second straight practice Medlock did a good job of looking off his receiving target until the last second. On this particular play, Jasper was the target down the left sideline. Medlock stared down the receivers on the right side and middle of the field until it was time to go to Jasper. When Medlock threw to Jasper he was wide open after Medlock made the defense move right with his eyes.
Senior stalwart cornerback Sam Miller (39, photo below) had a pick six of freshman quarterback Israel Paopao.
The defensive line once again got into the offensive backfield. The Panthers wore shoulder pads Wednesday for the first time in camp and quarterbacks are non-contact, but Isame Faciane (99, photo above) and Jerrico Lee each got to the quarterback for a sack apiece.
Freshman tight end Jonathan Pavlov, a big target at 6-4, 225 pounds, went up among four defenders and hauled down a pass.
One aspect of Wednesday's practice I found interesting was coach Ron Turner explaining to Jasper how to hit the hole running the ball on 3rd and short after Jasper went the wrong way. With Medlock under center, he handed off to Jasper. Jasper, a receiver working at running back, hit the wrong hole. Turner saw it and instructed Jasper how and why he should hit a certain hole to get the necessary yardage. Jasper at 195 pounds looks like he could be effective in short yardage situations.