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College football

UF scrimmage a little too spirited

By Times wires and staff reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 30, 2003


GAINESVILLE -- Players knew what a Florida practice with a scrimmage meant -- no more light drills with gentle tackling. Quarterback Ingle Martin found that out firsthand Saturday when he suffered a possible concussion from a hit in the beginning of practice, triggering coach Ron Zook to pull the sophomore from scrimmage rotation.

"He didn't remember everything right away, so I didn't want to take any chances," Zook said. Senior running back Ran Carthon sprained his foot on one of the last plays.

The physical session didn't deter the offense from having success. Martin's absence left redshirt freshmen Gavin Dickey and Patrick Dosh at the helm, with Dickey completing 13 of 22 passes for 142 yards and Dosh finishing 8-for-12 for 96. Off the field, sophomore cornerback DeShawn Carter is having breathing problems. Zook is waiting for test results.

RB Booker shines for Florida State

TALLAHASSEE -- During the first full scrimmage of the spring, Florida State's exciting offense that was at times missing during last year's 9-5 season showed signs of life.

Redshirt freshman running back Lorenzo Booker rushed for 61 yards on 10 carries. With Greg Jones still recovering from an ACL tear, Leon Washington sidelined with a knee sprain and Willie Reid playing receiver, Booker owned the spotlight.

"He'll make a 3-yard run look like an All-American (play)," coach Bobby Bowden said. "He was kind of a star."

Booker, whose longest rush was for 19 yards, said he still is adjusting to the college game after being the top high school recruit in the country last fall.

"Last year I was wet behind the ears and the (college) game is so much faster," he said. "Things aren't moving quite as slow as I would like them to."

With the annual Garnet and Gold game in two weeks, Bowden has been impressed with the strides his young receivers have made, faced with filling the void left by Anquan Boldin, Talman Gardner and Robert Morgan.

Former cornerback Dominic Robinson caught six passes, two for touchdowns, for 110 yards. But it was the play of junior P.K. Sam that most impressed Bowden.

"He is able to make some catches where he has had to take the ball away from somebody," Bowden said. "He looks like a player now."

Around the nation

Playing despite losing 12 pounds with the flu, Croyle threw for three touchdowns and 260 yards as a Crimson squad made up of starters beat a White team composed mainly of backups 47-0.

Croyle threw a 25-yard touchdown to Zach Fletcher on his first play, and he added a 24-yard scoring pass to Clint Johnston. He also had a 7-yard touchdown to Triandos Luke.

Poised to start this fall, Croyle said he was happy with the progress the team made during spring drills under Price, hired from Washington State after Dennis Franchione's abrupt departure for Texas A&M.

"I thought we had a pretty good day," said an exhausted Croyle, with dark circles under his eyes. "Compared to Coach Fran's first A-Day, there's no comparison."

With about 34,000 in the stands for a scrimmage played on a cold, blustery day, Price was happy.

"I thought that considering the weather we looked pretty good in the first half," Price said.

Shaud Williams led all rushers with 67 yards on eight carries.

The offense operated almost exclusively out of a one-back set, with receivers spread from sideline to sideline. A receiver was usually headed downfield toward the end zone.

"There's no beating around the bush about it. We're going right at you," Croyle said.

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