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College football

Extended stay for Tennessee Tech WR

By GREG AUMAN
Published September 13, 2004

TAMPA - Drew Hixon, the Tennessee Tech receiver injured in Saturday's USF game at Raymond James Stadium, remained in an intensive-care unit at St. Joseph's Hospital Sunday night.

Hixon was in stable condition and resting comfortably but could remain hospitalized for several days, according to Tennessee Tech sports information director Rob Schabert.

The senior receiver lay motionless for several minutes after being sandwiched at midfield by USF's Javan Camon and Mike Jenkins. The tackle, which came at the end of a 22-yard gain, TTU's longest of the game, was forceful enough to knock Hixon's helmet loose and force a fumble, which Tennessee Tech recovered. He left the field on a stretcher.

Tennessee Tech declined to elaborate on his condition or the severity of his injuries. The team flew home Sunday, but the team's head trainer remained with Hixon.

Hixon's father, Stan, is the receivers coach for the Redskins. He missed the Redskins-Bucs game Sunday to be with his son. The elder Hixon, a Lakeland native, was an assistant coach for national champion Louisiana State last season.

STATUS UNKNOWN: Sophomore quarterback Pat Julmiste left Saturday's game with a sprained right knee, and his status for Saturday's game at South Carolina remained unclear. USF coach Jim Leavitt declined to address Julmiste's status, citing a university policy of not discussing injuries. Julmiste wore a brace on the knee as he watched from the sideline. He said after the game that he would not know if he could play until receiving additional treatment. Julmiste, who made his third career start Saturday, was replaced by senior Ronnie Banks, who started seven games last season.

BREATHTAKING: Junior running back Andre Hall, a Dixie Hollins graduate, played well in his Bulls debut, rushing 13 times for 57 yards and catching three passes for 25 yards. He said coming out of the tunnel at Raymond James Stadium for the first time was more exhilarating than he'd imagined.

"When I came out at first, I couldn't focus. I couldn't hear anything," Hall said. "The guys told me it would be like that, but I didn't expect that much. At other schools I could hear, but out there, I couldn't even hear the call. Man, it was exciting."

The stadium was rarely louder than late in the first quarter, when Hall soared for a 2-yard touchdown, USF's first of the season.

"I couldn't even breathe," Hall said. "Once I scored, I can't even explain the feeling, it was such an adrenaline rush."

THIS AND THAT: Senior Bruce Gipson was benched Saturday after fumbling a punt return. He was replaced by receiver Travis Lipp. Gipson averaged 10 yards on his four returns, with a long of 22. Leavitt said he's likely to return to the role against South Carolina. ... Leavitt said he was pleased with the efforts of running backs Hall and starter Clenton Crossley, who combined for 143 yards against the Golden Eagles. The team total of 185 yards is 55 more than the Bulls averaged last season. ... USF's 93 passing yards, however, are the fourth-lowest total in the program's eight-year history. The only lower total since USF moved to Division I-A in 2001 came last year against Charleston Southern, when the Bulls led 34-0 at halftime.

[Last modified September 12, 2004, 23:40:29]


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