TALLAHASSEE - Tackles Cory Niblock and David Overmyer will face their toughest test this season Saturday as they go up against arguably the best defensive end tandem in the country.
N.C. State's Manny Lawson and Mario Williams have combined for eight sacks and 19 quarterback pressures.
"They're the best ends we've faced all year," said Overmyer, a sophomore in his first season as a starter. "This week in practice we're really going to have to work on our sets."
Lawson is the speed rusher while Williams, 6 feet 7, 290 pounds, brings a power rush.
"You have to overcompensate for them," Overmyer said. "You've got to keep a chip blocker in there, get a little help on the edge; you've just really got to double team them."
CB PRACTICES: Cornerback Trevor Ford (neck) practiced Tuesday. Wideout De'Cody Fagg (shoulder) was held out of contact drills. A decision on Fagg will be made Friday.
FAMILY TIES: N.C. State cornerback Marcus Hudson is the brother of former Seminole Jerel Hudson and linebacker Stephen Tulloch is the younger brother of former FSU linebacker David Tulloch. Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato coached David while at FSU. Both families are from Miami.
- D.C. REEVES, Times correspondent
USF: Safety Verpaele due back soon, will redshirt
TAMPA - Sophomore safety Danny Verpaele, who injured his left foot in August before the Bulls' season started, will be back at practice soon but won't play this season, coach Jim Leavitt said. Leavitt said Verpaele will redshirt.
"He's close to being back at 100 percent, but at this time of the year, we feel we'll just wait on (bringing him back)," Leavitt said.
Sophomore defensive end Jarriett Buie, who had been sidelined with a broken leg since August, returned to practice last week and was participating in weekly drills.
"Buie did play in the Bull Bowl, and we're going to take him (to Rutgers)," Leavitt said. "Whether we're going to play him or not, we still don't know, but he's coming along real well, so we'll just have to see."
Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Grothe also has been out with an injured shoulder.
The Bulls have avoided major injuries to starters and key players this season, limiting medical redshirts to freshmen who wouldn't play much.
Leavitt said redshirting will benefit Verpaele, who was fourth on the team with 57 tackles in 2004.
"We haven't played him all year, so it will help him in the big picture," Leavitt said.
- MIKE CAMUNAS, Times staff writer
UF: Opponent keeps its language clean
GAINESVILLE - On any given day at a UF practice, expletives fly like footballs through the air.
Not at Vanderbilt.
Coach Bobby Johnson implemented a policy of no profanity on the practice field a few years ago.
"That doesn't mean nobody cusses; I'm sure all of us do sometimes, but we just don't make a habit of it on the practice field," Johnson said. "We have a lot of visitors who come and watch us practice, and we just want to conduct our practice in a first-class manner."
Johnson said he doesn't mind cursing off the field, but players are getting used to watching their mouths when they're practicing.
"When we were first implementing this policy, we had to remind them because they were used to doing it," Johnson said. "Now, they're used to not doing it. We really don't punish them if they do it now; we just sort of remind them politely. Most of the time when they slip up, they'll turn around and say, "I'm sorry, coach.' "
MANSON CLOSE: Although coach Urban Meyer said that Florida had found its running back after DeShawn Wynn had a big game against LSU, the competition may not be over yet.
After Markus Manson ran for 49 yards on nine carries against Georgia, Meyer said Manson is close to Wynn as the featured back.
"Markus Manson is right on his heels; he did a really good job," Meyer said.
INJURY UPDATE: Linebacker Brandon Siler (right ankle) and defensive end Ray McDonald (knee) practiced Tuesday, but receiver Dallas Baker did not. Baker sustained a sprained ankle against Georgia and was on crutches Tuesday. His status for the Vanderbilt game is unclear.
- IAN FISHER, Times correspondent
UM: Wright sees chance to prove himself
CORAL GABLES - Kyle Wright has been on the sideline the past two seasons when Miami lost to Virginia Tech. Saturday, Wright gets his first chance to play against the Hokies.
"You can't worry about the outside pressure, but you also have to realize this is kind of a make-or-break game," Wright said. "There is a lot riding on this game, but I've kind of been saying this all week: Big-time players step up in big games."
Virginia Tech (8-0) allows a nation-best 9.1 points per game.
"Kyle believes in himself and he has confidence. It's not a facade. He doesn't get shaken," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "We can't make those mistakes in Blacksburg. But that's why I think Kyle has a chance to be a special player."