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College football

USF coach says team still has lot to play for

By Times staff writer, Times wires
Published November 25, 2003

TAMPA - South Florida coach Jim Leavitt reminded his team Monday that its bowl hopes might be dashed but it still can finish third in Conference USA with a win Saturday at Memphis.

"You need your seniors to stand up. They still have a lot to play for," Leavitt said. "They can certainly make a statement that we're not dead."

SIDELINED: Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams (1,430 rushing yards), will not play. An MRI exam revealed the sophomore has a torn left MCL. Leading receiver Maurice Avery sustained the same injury a week earlier and also will not play. LSU transfer Derron Parquet (314 yards, 4.8 per carry) will replace Williams.

THE GOOD . . .: After holding UAB to 277 yards Saturday, USF improved its average per game to 301.4, 12th nationally. The Bulls are allowing 3.98 yards a play, second nationally to Oklahoma (3.69).

. . . AND THE BAD: The 16 penalties for 145 yards in the 22-19 loss boosted USF's average to 9.6 penalties for 84.8 yards. Both rank fifth nationally. Washington State (12.2) leads in penalties, Oregon State (112.5) in penalty yards.

- PETE YOUNG

UCF contacts O'Leary

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George O'Leary has been contacted by Central Florida about its vacant coaching position.

O'Leary acknowledged UCF athletic director Steve Orsini placed an exploratory call to him last week.

Georgia Tech's coach for eight seasons, O'Leary was hired by Notre Dame in December 2001. He resigned less than a week later, admitting he lied on his resume two decades earlier in an effort to jump-start his career.

ARKANSAS: Coach Houston Nutt allowed linebacker Sam Olajubutu to return to practice after he was suspended for the Mississippi State game Saturday. Olajubutu, 20, was arrested Nov. 16 on a DWI charge. Nutt would not say whether Olajubutu would play Friday.

AUBURN: Tailback Carnell Williams was named SEC offensive player of the week after rushing for 204 yards and two touchdowns vs. Alabama.

CLEMSON: AD Terry Don Phillips said he met with coach Tommy Bowden the past two days about a contract extension. "Our desire is to retain Coach Bowden for the long term," Phillips said. "Toward that end, we have entered into negotiations to extend his contract. We hope to complete this process as soon as possible."

In team news, quarterback Charlie Whitehurst's nearly flawless direction of the offense in a 63-17 win over South Carolina earned him ACC offensive Back of the Week. He was 18-of-26 for 302 yards and four touchdowns, and he rushed for a career-high 43 yards.

GATOR BOWL: Maryland accepted an invitation to play for the first time since 1975.

N. CAROLINA: Defensive backs coach Jim Fleming resigned.

SAN FRANCISCO BOWL: Colorado State accepted an invitation. S. CAROLINA: Four assistants were dismissed after this past week's blowout loss to Clemson, according to broadcast reports. Coach Lou Holtz has fired defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, defensive backs coach John Gutekunst, offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and quarterbacks coach Todd Fitch, WIS-TV and WLTX-TV reported Monday night. All had been with Holtz since he arrived before the 1999 season.

Athletic spokesman Kerry Tharp said there was no official confirmation of the dismissals.

SOUTHERN MISS: Quarterback Dustin Almond was named C-USA offensive player of the week after he went 14-of-23 for 227 yards and three touchdowns in Thursday's 40-28 win over TCU.

CAMERAMAN DIES: Richard Umansky, 48, a cameraman for ABC Sports who was a Davie resident, died two days after falling from a platform.

[Last modified November 25, 2003, 02:06:38]


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