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Around the state

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 11, 2002

Hurricanes' A. Johnson won't play vs. Temple

CORAL GABLES -- Miami returned to practice Tuesday to prepare for its Big East opener against Temple.

Coach Larry Coker announced split end Andre Johnson will miss Saturday's game after minor shoulder surgery. He also announced junior defensive tackle Santonio Thomas probably is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle sustained against Florida.

Johnson, a junior, leads the team with seven catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. He caught four for 56 yards and one score against Florida.

Tailback Frank Gore suited up for the first time after missing the preseason recovering from knee surgery. Gore, a sophomore, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during spring practice and had reconstructive surgery. His activity was limited, but could return in the next few weeks.

"It was a really good day today, I think we needed (Monday) as a day off," Coker said. "Guys were rested and they flew around pretty well today and that was good. We needed that.

"I think it's going to be important that we finish the week off and be fresh and in great condition. We're going to play on artificial turf (Saturday at Temple) and the temperature is going to be hot."

Saturday's game will be televised regionally by ESPN. Kickoff is slated for noon. The Hurricanes host Boston College the following week in a nationally televised game on ESPN at 7:45 p.m.

Golden Knights regroup

ORLANDO -- Central Florida returned to practice in full pads though there is no game Saturday. The Golden Knights (0-2) plan to use the extra week to allow players time to heal bumps and bruises and get many of the reserves a decent amount of repetitions.

It also offers an excellent chance for the team to refocus before the start of conference play, which begins Sept.20 at Marshall. That game will be televised on ESPN2.

"I think it is an advantage," defensive captain Elton Patterson said. "We have some people hurt, so we need to take this time to recuperate, get well and use the extra time to get in additional study time for the game with Marshall."

After losses to Penn State and Arizona State to open the season, the team will continue to look at the positives and view mistakes with a critical eye. "It is hard to get over a loss like that," Patterson said of Saturday's 46-13 defeat to the Sun Devils. "But, we are looking forward and are looking at it as if our season starts now, almost like that was preseason. We've got our heads up."


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Gary Shelton
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