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FSU moves inside to avoid Frances

Times Staff Writers Times Wires
Published September 7, 2004

TALLAHASSEE - As Frances continued its move toward the Panhandle with strong winds and constant rain, the Seminoles practiced inside Monday.

Although coach Bobby Bowden had said that he didn't think indoor practice would be detrimental to the Seminoles when they play Miami on Friday, it is difficult to replicate game situations.

"We've been practicing for this game for about a month so everyone is about as prepared as they can be," wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe said.

The offense and defense alternated between an on-campus gymnasium and position meetings. Classes are canceled today, and a practice time has not been set. The Seminoles are scheduled to leave for Miami on Thursday.

BOWDEN AT PRACTICE: The Seminoles closed practice to the media, but Bowden and offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden, the coach's youngest son, attended practice after receiving news of the death of the coach's grandson, Bowden Madden, and former son-in-law John Allen Madden.

ZACHARY SPAIN, Times correspondent

USF: Windy practice

TAMPA - Three days after its season opener against Pittsburgh was postponed because of Hurricane Frances, USF got enough good weather to squeeze in its first practice in preparation for Saturday's home game against Tennessee Tech.

"We went about an hour and a half and got in some good work," said coach Jim Leavitt, whose 4:30 p.m. practice time was the same as was scheduled for the Pittsburgh game, which will be played Dec. 3 or 4.

Leavitt gave the Bulls the weekend off after Friday's postponement, and by practicing Monday they're on pace for a normal week of preparation. "It was tough for our punt returners, because the winds were gusting at 30 miles an hour," Leavitt said. "But that was even good because it helped them work on their concentration."

Leavitt said only two players missed practice as a result of the hurricane - backup linebacker Ben Moffit and newly added walk-on kicker Walaa Ahmad, who were unable to leave their homes in Bushnell and Wauchula, respectively.

- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer

UF: Storm priorities

GAINESVILLE - Within the confines of the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, the team managed to stay out of the rain and conduct a slightly modified practice. But for at least two Gators, concentrating on football was a task.

Defensive end Joe Cohen and center Mike Degory had spent several days in close contact with friends and family in coastal Brevard County. Both practiced with a lot on their minds.

Degory has spoken to family members but has not received an update on the family house. Cohen was told his mother lost the roof of her house during the waning hours of the storm.

"She was in the house during the storm, but (the roof) caved in the next day (when she was with Cohen's grandmother)," he said. "My mom, my sister and my grandmother had their phones completely charged so I was calling them like six times a day."

Degory, whose parents live beachside in Clermont, said the material possessions are not important. He appreciates that those most important to him are safe.

"We haven't gone back through the house to see what it's like," he said. "We're hoping for the best but preparing for the worst."

- BRIAN SHAFFER, Times Correspondent

UM: Back on the field

CORAL GABLES - The Hurricanes resumed practice for the first time since Thursday in preparation for Friday's game.

"It was good to get back on the field," coach Larry Coker said. "We were away for a few days because of the hurricane. It was really important for us to get back out there."

TIMES WIRES

UCF: Practice called

ORLANDO - The Golden Knight's evening practice was canceled because of rain, and they hope to resume practice today.

TIMES WIRES

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