tampabay.com

Gator heals fast, might play Saturday

By Times staff writers
Published September 16, 2005


GAINESVILLE - Defensive end Jarvis Moss might get back on the field after missing the first two games with a bone infection in his hip.

During the spring, the 6-foot-6, 242-pound freshman dropped to 219 pounds and was expected to miss most of the season. But his recovery is ahead of schedule, and he is set to play a limited role this weekend.

"His attitude right now; I'm proud of Jarvis," coach Urban Meyer said Thursday. "That was a lost soul about seven months ago."

Meyer said Moss might become a bigger part of the game plan as the season progresses partly because of how well he gets along with defensive line coach Greg Mattison.

"Coach Mattison likes him," Meyer said. "He has a good relationship with Coach Mattison."

CLAUSEN CONNECTION: Even though former Vols quarterback Casey Clausen directed Tennessee's band in a rendition of Rocky Top after a win at the Swamp two years ago, Meyer said he has great respect for the Clausen family.

Meyer recruited Casey, older brother of Saturday's starter Rick, when he was at Notre Dame.

"Rick was the young guy," Meyer said. "I know Casey real well, and I know his dad real well. They have another one coming up through the ranks."

That other one is Jimmy, who is in high school. He could turn out to be the best quarterback in the family, Meyer said.

"They're all winners," Meyer said.

WUERFFEL HONORED: At halftime Saturday, Danny Wuerffel will receive the 2005 Tradition of Excellence Award, which is given to a former Heisman recipient who has had a successful career and is an outstanding humanitarian. Wuerffel works with the Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans, to which the University Athletic Association donated $50,000 after Hurricane Katrina.

- IAN FISHER, Times correspondent

FSU: Noise at practice

TALLAHASSEE - Practice was held in Doak Campbell Stadium amid simulated crowd noise.

The offense worked on communication at the line of scrimmage, hoping to get a feel for what the road game environment will be like.

"It's probably not totally like it would be at a ballgame, but it's very close. It gets down to a lot of visual communication. Sometimes you can't even hear the verbal part," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. "It makes you concentrate a little more and get a little more detail to what you're doing."

Quarterback Drew Weatherford will make his third start, but his first road test will come at Boston College's Alumni Stadium on Saturday, a venue that seats 44,000.

"Hopefully I'm loud enough to where everyone can hear," Weatherford said. "There's some things I have to say ... particularly to the (offensive) line. But the receivers won't be able to hear me."

READY FOR RAIN: Remnants of Hurricane Ophelia are making their way up the Atlantic Coast, and thunderstorms are in the forecast Saturday for the Chestnut Hill, Mass., area, with a 40 percent chance of precipitation.

"I've lived in Florida my whole life, so I know what rain is all about," Weatherford said. "I don't think it will affect me."

FUTURE SCHEDULES: FSU will play West Virginia in a home-and-home series as part of the settlement between the ACC and Big East. They will play in Morgantown on Sept.8, 2012, and in Tallahassee on Sept.14, 2013.

GAME GATHERING: The Tampa Seminole Boosters club will hold its viewing party for Saturday's game at Champion's Sports Bar and Grill, 1001 N Westshore Blvd., Tampa. For details, go to www.tampanoles.com

- D.C. REEVES, Times correspondent

USF: Everyone fired up

TAMPA - Just when you thought coach Jim Leavitt couldn't get any more animated in practices, along comes Saturday's game with UCF. Between their coach and their opponent, the Bulls are motivated.

"They were so focused," Leavitt said after a light practice with no pads. "They were probably more focused (Thursday) than all week long."

The Golden Knights are looking to end their 16-game losing streak.

"Do you understand how important this game is?" Leavitt said. "They know it's going to be a hard-fought game. They know they are going to have to play 60 minutes to have a shot."

KICKING DUTIES: Redshirt freshman Kyle Bronson likely will replace Mike Benzer for field goals and extra points. Leavitt said he'll probably go with freshman Justin Teachey for kickoffs.

BIG CROWD: UCF has sold its allotment of 3,400 tickets, and USF expects a good walkup crowd. More than 20,000 tickets have been sold, excluding student sales.

"It's a possibility we may open the upper deck again," associate athletic director Tom Veit said.

HELPING OUT: Saturday, in conjunction with the United Way and American Red Cross and spearheaded by former athletic director Lee Roy Selmon, donations will be accepted for former USF quarterback Ronnie Banks and his family.

Banks, a New Orleans native, and his family lost their home and most of their possessions during Hurricane Katrina. Fans can make cash donations at the USF promotions tent on the south patio.

- MIKE CAMUNAS, Times correspondent

UM: Focused on focus

CORAL GABLES - Miami coach Larry Coker stressed the essentials of offense, defense and special teams and drove home an even more critical point in the last practice before heading to Clemson.

"The main thing we have to do is have focus, a lot of energy and play for four quarters," Coker said. "(Clemson) has done a great job of winning in the fourth quarter. They beat us last year in the second half. We have to be ready for four quarters of football."

- TIMES WIRES