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'Noles start their effort to regroup

By JASON SCHNEIDER
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 30, 2002

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State's players began preparations for Thursday's game against Clemson by trying to put their loss to Louisville behind them. The Seminoles are moving into the heart of their schedule, a stretch that includes games against No. 1 Miami and No. 9 Notre Dame.

"A loss can either be a loss or a learning experience," senior running back Nick Maddox said. "We are taking it as learning experience because it is drawing our players and coaches closer as a team."

FSU dropped to 11th in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls after the 26-20 loss in overtime at Louisville.

"We have to realize that we are not a bad team," Maddox said. "We still did some good things, but we weren't doing all we could."

Fullback B.J. Dean returned to practice Sunday after missing the past two games with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Safety Claudius Osei also returned, getting involved for the first time since straining his Achilles' tendon Aug. 31 against Virginia. "I think the doctors would like to hold (Osei) out as long as they can, but he can play," coach Bobby Bowden said.

Sophomore linebacker Marcello Church and junior defensive end Charles Howard are out for season. Both will apply for medical redshirts. Church broke his hand in practice Sept. 9 while trying to block a punt and Howard has had a sprained knee since the first week of the season.

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