FIU will get its first day off from camp Tuesday morning. The Panthers will take Tuesdays as their off days from camp because of the season opener being on a Thursday, Sept. 3. The practice schedule might adjust once camp ends August 23 and school begins Aug. 24.
As you know if you read this blog, the FIU defense has two starting spots to address at safety with the graduation of Demarkus Perkins and Justin Halley. Throughout the first week of camp Deonte Wilson and Niko Gonzalez have been working with the first team at the two safety spots. Jordan Davis, Shermarke Spence and Tyree Johnson have also gotten work there. Wilson and Davis are the lone upperclassmen as juniors. CLICK HERE to read a story on Wilson and what he does at times away from the gridiron. It's what former FIU safeties Nick Turnbull and Halley did.
Some of the highlights from Monday's practice: freshman cornerback Emmanuel Lubin intercepted a pass during team drills. Lubin is one of the three freshman corners along with Kenyatta Anderson and Jestin Green that are starting camp playing corner but secondary coach Ron Cooper expects one to move to safety before camp breaks.
Senior walk-on receiver James Davis had a long reception down the sideline. Clinton Taylor caught a line drive pass from Alex McGough and took it upfield for a 64-yard touchdown. New sophomore receiver Julian Williams made a diving catch to pick up a first down. Williams again displaying sticky hands catching the football.
McGough made a nifty blitz pickup that maybe he doesn't do last year. With the safety coming off the edge, McGough quickly stepped up in the pocket and then had to avoid a defensive lineman in his face before connecting with Thomas Owens for 13 yards and a first down.
Redshirt freshman Anthony Johnson had some powerful forays into the offensive backfield. Johnson showed a quick burst to disrupt the play.
The Panthers ran the two-minute drill to finish practice. The scenario had the offense down 16-10 with 42 seconds left, one time out and the ball at their own 49.
McGough again picked up a blitz and before being sacked sidearmed a pass to Alex Gardner for a first down. The defense held its own until a McGough completion to Ya'Keem Griner to the defense's 7 with three seconds left in the game. The defense brought pressure on the final play and forced an incompletion to the keep the 16-10 edge.