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By Times wires and staff reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2002


Coker still believes Dorsey is key at UM

Coker still believes Dorsey is key at UM

CORAL GABLES -- Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey may be losing Heisman Trophy votes to teammate Willis McGahee, but coach Larry Coker said Dorsey is still the key to the top-ranked Hurricanes' success.

"I think obviously the reason where we are and what we do is because of No. 11," Coker said. "You take Ken Dorsey out of our lineup, it's a different season."

Dorsey struggled early in Miami's 38-6 win against Boston College on Saturday, completing 3 of 10 passes for 28 yards.

He finished a mediocre 13-of-26 for 202 yards, but that included a screen pass in the fourth quarter to McGahee, who ran for most of the 77-yard completion.

With the improved run blocking of Miami's offensive line, Heisman voters may consider McGahee, not Dorsey, as the best player in the nation, let alone at Miami.

"The thing that's exciting is what you saw (Saturday) night, you see it every day in practice," Coker said. "Now it's against the scout team and we don't tackle him, but you could see it in his eyes, see the intensity there."

Louisville worries Bowden

TALLAHASSEE -- With four days to prepare for Louisville, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is a little nervous.

"It's a very worrisome game," Bowden said. "It's a very tough opponent. (It's a team) that is good enough to beat us if we don't play our best. It's a game you know they've been pointing to. It's a trap. With three days of practice it's even more so (a trap)."

FSU accelerated its practice schedule, moving its typical Tuesday practice focusing on the game plan to Monday afternoon.

"(This week) has been different, it'll be a little strange," Bowden said.

WILLIS A QUESTION: Offensive tackle Ray Willis practiced with a sling protecting his left shoulder, which he dislocated before to the Maryland game. Willis did not play against Duke on Saturday.

"We'd like for (Willis) to play because he's one of our best tackles but if he can't do the job we'll have to put someone else in there," Bowden said. "Whoever is (going to play) better be ready because (Louisville's Dewayne White is) really a terrific defensive end."

WARD IN RECORD BOOKS: Safety B.J. Ward became FSU's season and career field goal block leader after his third of the season against Duke. Ward passed J.T Thomas, who blocked two against Louisville in 1970. Thomas' two blocks was good for the single-game record, season record and career record until Ward came along.

"It's honor to go down in the books, especially this early in the season," Ward said. "Hopefully, I can build on my record."

FRESHMAN HONORED: Freshman running back Leon Washington was named the ACC's specialist of the week for his performance against Duke. Washington scored his first career touchdown falling on a fumbled punt in the end zone, had two special teams tackles and returned four punts 47 yards, including a season-long 32-yarder.

Grossman honored

GAINESVILLE -- After his 324-yard performance against Tennessee on Saturday, Florida quarterback Rex Grossman was named the SEC's offensive player of the week.

Grossman completed 20 of 34 passes, including three for touchdowns in a 30-13 win against Tennessee. Grossman's 300-yard game was the 13th of his career, which ties 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel for second on the all-time Florida list.

Florida coach Ron Zook also announced that Grossman and offensive lineman Max Starks will share offensive captain responsibilities against Kentucky this weekend, while defensive end Clint Mitchell is the defensive captain and safety Todd Johnson will serve as special teams captain.

Zook said after Monday's practice that he's confident the players have moved on from the Tennessee win and are concentrating on Kentucky.

"We told them in the meeting tonight we'll worry about Tennessee next year," Zook said. "The only thing we've done is put ourself in position, but we have not done anything."

UF-OLE MISS ON TV: CBS will televise the Oct. 5 game at Mississippi at noon. It is the first game between the schools since 1995 and the first in Oxford since 1994.

USF lineman returns

TAMPA -- The return of starting left guard Mark Sopcik highlighted South Florida's 21/2-hour workout Monday as the Bulls began preparations for Saturday's game at No. 2-ranked Oklahoma.

Sopcik sprained his left ankle at practice two weeks ago and missed the Sept. 14 game at Arkansas. He did not practice last week (the Bulls had a bye Saturday), but returned at full strength Monday.

"He looked strong," coach Jim Leavitt said.

Redshirt freshman Shelly Houston replaced Sopcik, a sophomore, in the 42-3 loss at Arkansas, but Sopcik likely will start at Oklahoma, possibly giving USF a lift after the Bulls offense produced 150 total yards in Little Rock, Ark.

MORE PRACTICE: Receivers Ryan Hearn, Hugh Smith and C.J. Lewis put in extra time with quarterbacks Marquel Blackwell and Ronnie Banks after practice.

"These guys just wanted to get in extra work," Leavitt said. "They're working hard. I'm proud of them."

Blackwell threw for more than 200 yards in 10 of 11 games last season but had 80 at Arkansas.

BIG DOG: USF is on the short end of the biggest point spread in its existence. The Bulls are 29-point underdogs against the Sooners.

Hayes memorial today

TALLAHASSEE -- A memorial service for Rattler alumnus and Olympic medalist Bob Hayes is scheduled for today at Lee Hall Auditorium on the campus of Florida A&M.

Hayes, a former Dallas Cowboys receiver who was known as the "world's fastest human," was the only man to win a Super Bowl ring and an Olympic gold medal. He won the 100 meters in Tokyo in 1964, and was a member of Dallas' Super Bowl VI team.

A funeral for Hayes will be Wednesday in Jacksonville.

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