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State practice reports

By Times wires and staff reports
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 20, 2002

OL out, but won't transfer

GAINESVILLE -- Offensive lineman Mo Mitchell missed his second straight day of practice Thursday while he takes care of personal and academic problems, but his mother said he has no plans to transfer.

Published reports Thursday said Mitchell left the team and his mother, Shirley, said he was considering transferring, but she said Thursday evening her son is not transferring.

Florida coach Ron Zook said Mitchell would miss Saturday's game against Tennessee.

Mitchell's absence will not affect the offensive line, Zook said, because he did not take many snaps against Ohio.

Zook said Mitchell was talking to academic advisers Thursday to make sure he is okay. He will be at home in Albany, Ga., and will return to practice next week.

INJURIES: Defensive lineman Darrell Lee will be ready to play Saturday, Zook said. He said Lee, who suffered a hairline fracture in his right shoulder blade, was tentative during Wednesday's practice but improved Thursday. He was injured Sept. 4 and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

ANOTHER BACKUP: Backup quarterback Ingle Martin worked on punts after practice. Zook has watched Martin work on punts at previous practices.

Zook said he wants another backup in case a punter is injured.

-- ANTONYA ENGLISH, JILL MARTIN, TIMES WIRES

Bowden likes QB shuffle

TALLAHASSEE -- In the past week Florida State went from a simple quarterback hierarchy to carousel that would have made P.T. Barnum proud, but to coach Bobby Bowden it is really a blessing.

"I'm glad we've got that problem," Bowden said. "If we didn't have that problem it would mean that we would be hurting if somebody gets hurt."

The week began with a backup quarterback shuffle and ended with offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden saying that he was curious to see what Adrian McPherson and third-team quarterback Fabian Walker could do with the same playing time as Chris Rix and that he planned to get McPherson and Walker more snaps against Duke. But this minor roller coaster is all part of the game to Bowden.

"There is not a better example than last year's New England Patriots," he said. "They had the highest priced quarterback in the country (Drew Bledsoe) and he had to back up. He did it like a man and they won a Super Bowl."

INJURY NEWS: Trainers said fullback B.J. Dean's knee injury against Maryland was a sprained MCL and he will miss Saturday's game. Freshman Torrance Washington is expected to start in his place and would be the first true freshman to start for the Seminoles since Kendyll Pope started for Tommy Polley at linebacker against BYU in 2000.

-- JASON SCHNEIDER

Freshmen, scout-team players get a chance

TAMPA -- The freshmen and scout-team players took center stage at the end of practice for "Bull Bowl."

Freshmen Jean Julmiste and Evan Kraky quarterbacked the eight-possession scrimmage, which coach Jim Leavitt deemed a draw.

Each quarter consisted of two possessions. The offense scored once in the first quarter and once in the second.

"Both of the quarterbacks looked good," Leavitt said. "David Bossone had some nice runs."

Bossone, a junior from Palm Harbor University, is a transfer from Jacksonville.

RESTING: Left guard Mark Sopcik (sprained ankle) did not practice. Sopcik was injured last week, did not play at Arkansas and did not practice this week.

HAVE FUN: With no game this weekend, USF has three days off and resumes practice Monday.

-- PETE YOUNG

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