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College football

FSU's top fullback may be sidelined

By Times staff writers
Published November 12, 2003

TALLAHASSEE - When FSU hosts N.C. State Saturday, the Seminoles may have to play without their most productive fullback.

Sophomore B.J. Dean, who has rushed for 61 yards on 19 carries and has one touchdown this season, didn't practice again Tuesday after spraining his knee against Clemson. Coach Bobby Bowden said Dean probably won't be healthy enough to play against the Wolfpack, which would propel fellow sophomore James Coleman into the starting role.

Since Coleman is the only healthy fullback (Torrance Washington got hurt in preseason and hasn't played), sophomore linebacker Chad Canfield may fill in.

"He's a fullback type of a player," Bowden said of Canfield, who practiced some earlier in the season when Coleman was hurt. "He's got a lot of heart and seems to grasp it pretty good. I think he is ready to play some."

Bowden also has starting tight end Paul Irons, a former fullback who could make the transition if necessary.

"It's just a preliminary precaution in case I need to go there," Irons said.

PENALTIES: In the 26-10 loss to Clemson, FSU was penalized 10 times for 105 yards. Three of those were for personal fouls, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that led to Darnell Dockett's ejection. A fourth flag was for roughing the passer.

While defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews declined to comment specifically on officiating, he said he expects more discipline against N.C. State.

"They all understand the rules," Andrews said. "We coach to abide by the rules. When you don't, you're hurting the team.

"If someone breaks a rule, starts trying to cheat, we give them a little extra after practice just to remind them."

INJURY UPDATE: Linebackers Allen Augustin and Michael Boulware were at practice but didn't participate. Both sustained ankle injuries against Clemson and remain questionable.

- ZACHARY SPAIN

Riley out, Mitchell back

GAINESVILLE - Defensive end Julian Riley had surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee.

"Normally I'll call the parents and talk to them, but I didn't and it's a good thing because they told me Julian didn't want his mom and dad to know until after the operation," coach Ron Zook said.

Riley, a freshman from St. Petersburg (Lakewood) who was among the state's best linemen, has been redshirted.

MITCHELL RETURNS: Defensive tackle Mo Mitchell, suspended for last week's game against Vanderbilt for a violation of team rules, is back in good standing and will play Saturday against South Carolina.

Zook said Mitchell's previous troubles aren't being held against him. "Mo and I had a long talk yesterday morning and he has served his sentence," Zook said. "Mo is not a bad person, he's a good person. I like him a lot. He hasn't had any more chances than anybody else."

Long snapper Casey Griffith also will return after serving a one-game suspension for missing class.

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore running back Ciatrick Fason did not practice due to a stomach illness.

EXPECT THE BEST: South Carolina coach Lou Holtz said his team has a way of playing teams at the wrong time and this week won't be any different.

"Florida is playing the best of any team in the SEC right now," Holtz said.

- ANTONYA ENGLISH

Bulls behave selves

TAMPA - Two weeks after accruing 13 penalties for 129 yards against Southern Miss, USF had its lowest penalty totals ever in Saturday's 38-37 win at East Carolina.

"We told them we were going to throw them off the Skyway Bridge (if they committed a penalty)," coach Jim Leavitt said, joking.

USF's two penalties equaled the lowest in school history (Sept. 20, 1997 vs. Drake, the third game in program history) and the 15 yards set a new mark.

"The coaches were doing everything they could; when it comes down to it, it's up to the players," safety Kevin Verpaele said. "I guess it was players being more focused. Whether they didn't get caught doing it or didn't do it, I don't know."

DEE-FENSE: The Bulls' average of 3.96 yards allowed per play is third nationally behind No. 1-ranked Oklahoma (3.70) and defending national champion Ohio State (3.88).

"That's pretty impressive," Leavitt said.

USF's ranking in other defensive categories would be higher if not for having played a record three overtime games. USF is 15th nationally and first in Conference USA in total defense (304.1 yards a game), and 13th nationally and second in C-USA in pass defense (171.2).

WORKING HARD: USF had its second practice of the bye week, and the Bulls will have a Bull Bowl, a scrimmage for redshirting and seldom-used players, on Thursday. USF must win its final two games to qualify for a "real" bowl.

- PETE YOUNG

[Last modified November 12, 2003, 01:34:28]


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