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Bulls take defeat to heart

Times staff writers
Published October 15, 2003

TAMPA - South Florida coach Jim Leavitt said his team has a quiet resolve this week after its 21-game home win streak ended Friday in a 13-10 loss to TCU.

"They feel like they let a lot of people down," Leavitt said Tuesday. "These players hurt. They take it personally."

They should feel better after Saturday's game vs. Division I-AA Charleston Southern, which they beat 56-6 last season. The Bulls resume Conference USA play Oct. 25 at Southern Miss, which is 3-0 in C-USA.

OH, THAT: Leavitt gave a long but diplomatic answer at a media luncheon about the possibility of USF joining the Big East.

"There sure are a lot of things happening it seems like. I read the paper a little bit," he said. "But I don't know about all of that. I do think for most college programs in the country the BCS situation is important. It's important because of recruiting."

MORE?: Brian Fisher has mesmerized fans at four positions: kick and punt returner, wide receiver and quarterback. He could add a fifth. Tuesday he said he took snaps at running back in Monday's practice. Fisher, a junior, has occasionally worked at running back.

- PETE YOUNG

Gators seek streak

GAINESVILLE - The Gators want to use one of the biggest wins of the Ron Zook era to create a winning streak.

Florida has failed to win back-to-back games this season and likely must win the rest of their games to reach the SEC championship game.

"Right now, it's just like dating a girl," linebacker Channing Crowder said. "We've had one good date, but if the next date's not good, she might not call you back. You never know, but, all together, winning the SEC, that's like getting married. Right now, we're just trying to come together and hope everything works out."

INJURY REPORT: Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, who made his first career start against Mississippi, removed the boot that protected his sprained left ankle and practiced.

"He actually practiced a lot more than I thought he would," said Zook, whose team plays Saturday at Arkansas.

Fellow defensive end Kenny Parker returned last week from knee surgery but Thomas is still needed on a defensive line which faces the SEC's leading rusher, Cedric Cobbs.

"Cobbs is a pretty good guy and a pretty good back and I want to play against him," Crowder said. "But I'm not scared of any man until they have to crank him up with a key in the morning."

- BRIAN SHAFFER

DL Womble doubtful

TALLAHASSEE - Jeff Womble, a four-year starter at noseguard, strained his right triceps against Miami and could miss Saturday's game against Virginia.

"I imagine his status is very doubtful for this ballgame," coach Bobby Bowden said Tuesday.

Sophomore and former Chamberlain High standout Brodrick Bunkley likely will get his first career start for Womble. This season Bunkley has 20 tackles and combined on a sack.

SAMUELS' HIT: Cornerback Stanford Samuels said Tuesday he didn't realize how serious his second-quarter hit on Miami receiver Roscoe Parrish was until Sunday afternoon. Parrish was released from a Tallahassee hospital Monday after spending two nights in intensive care with internal bleeding.

"I was real relieved," said Samuels, who sustained a mild concussion. "I was enjoying my Sunday until I heard (Parrish was in intensive care), and it really put a damper on my day."

Samuels said he tried to visit the hospital Monday, but Parrish had been released.

CASTILLO TO PRACTICE: After missing most of the second half Saturday and two practice days with a foot injury, center David Castillo is expected to practice today.

- ZACHARY SPAIN

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