tampabay.com

Bulls quarterback spends some time at receiver

By Times Staff
Published September 13, 2005


TAMPA - Courtney Denson , who started at quarterback in USF's opener against Penn State but was pulled after a lost fumble, lined up at receiver during practice Monday.

Denson, a transfer from Auburn, joined fellow quarterback Carlton Hill in lining up as a receiver.

And coach Jim Leavitt said Denson could be there Saturday against Central Florida.

"We almost put him in the game at receiver the other day," he said. "It could be (a lot like Hill's situation). He's a really good athlete, and we want a spot where he can play for us."

OUT FOR GOOD: Sophomore cornerback A.J. Brant , who played sparingly in the first two games, is out for the season with a torn ACL. In 2004, Brant had four tackles in eight games, including one on a bad snap that resulted in a 38-yard loss.

"This is a tough loss for us," Leavitt said. "A.J.'s a good football player."

KICKER BATTLE: After freshman Mike Benzer missed two field goals and an extra point during Saturday's 37-3 win over FAMU, Leavitt brought in redshirt freshman Kyle Bronson , who made his first field goal and three extra points. Now it seems Leavitt will stick with Bronson, a walk-on and Wharton High graduate.

"I'm going to watch (Bronson) through all of practice this week," Leavitt said. "And we'll see how he does."

ON TV: ESPNU has picked up USF's game against Louisville on Sept.24. It begins at 6:45 p.m.

- MIKE CAMUNAS,

Times correspondent UF: Kicker not set

for Saturday's game

GAINESVILLE - Entering the biggest game of the season so far, Florida coach Urban Meyer is still seeking a consistent kicker and Monday said he's not sure who will kick against Tennessee.

"I'm not going to name that until game time. It's an open competition," Meyer said. " (Chris Hetland ) hit a 40- and 47-yarder. I think we have some good kickers. I'm not sure we have a great one. We've got to become great real fast.

"It would be hard for me not to put (Hetland) in on a 47-yard field goal because I've seen him hit it. I haven't seen the other guy hit one in a game, although Eric Nappy did hit the field goal and the extra points pretty well (last week)."

The kicking game has been critical in the series, particularly last season when a 50-yard field goal by James Wilhoit gave the Vols a last-second victory.

- ANTONYA ENGLISH,

Times staff writer FSU: Practicing on turf

TALLAHASSEE - Familiarity brought Florida State to Bill Harkins Field for practice.

Like Boston College's Alumni Stadium, the new field has artificial turf. Coach Bobby Bowden wanted to give his team some reps on the surface and will alternate between grass and turf throughout this week.

"Fortunately, (the turf) isn't too far from grass," said tailback Leon Washington , who will wear regular grass cleats Saturday. "For the running backs, I don't see anything different. Your cuts are a little sharper."

Washington said he's faster on the surface. He ran 21 times for 164 yards in FSU's last appearance on artificial turf, a 17-13 win over Syracuse last season.

"It's a noticeable difference in speed," Washington said. "But the first time I got the ball last year in Syracuse, I tripped up a little bit because I wasn't used to picking my feet up. If you don't, you'll trip up."

CENTER OF ATTENTION: Bowden said senior center David Castillo will miss his second game after surgery last week on his right foot. That means a second start for John Frady .

"I know how to make all the (line) calls," Frady said after Saturday's game against the Citadel. "I did it during two-a-days. It was just putting it into practice."

BIG GAME: FSU, a one-point underdog against Boston College, has designated Saturday a "Sod Game." If it wins, it will bring back a piece of sod (or a reasonable facsimile) to bury in a cemetery adjacent to the practice field.

The last time the Seminoles went to Chestnut Hill, they were underdogs and upset the No.13 Eagles 28-9. That was in 1976, Bowden's first year at FSU.

WEEKLY AWARD: Redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Weatherford , the former Land O'Lakes star, was named the ACC rookie of the week.

-D.C. REEVES and BRIAN LANDMAN