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College football

Meyer: UF injuries are bad, but no excuse

By Times staff writers
Published November 11, 2005

GAINESVILLE - Coach Urban Meyer said Thursday that the injury situation for the Gators is about as bad as he has ever dealt with.

But he said he doesn't want to use it as a crutch.

Receiver Dallas Baker (punctured lung, broken rib) still has a slim chance to play against South Carolina. Defensive end Ray McDonald's knee was drained, and if he plays it will be in a limited role. Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas (back) is feeling much better, Meyer said.

Running back DeShawn Wynn (sore shoulder) didn't practice with contact much this week, but he should play, as should guard Jim Tartt, also with a sore shoulder.

FRIENDS UNITE?: Quite a few things need to happen for Auburn defensive back David Irons to have a reunion with UF defensive end Jeremy Mincey.

But Irons made a prediction this season.

"David Irons told me early in the season, "See you in Atlanta,' " Mincey said. "He's been telling me all season. He said, "We'll see ya'll in the SEC championship.' "

Mincey is friends with Irons, his brother, Kenny, a running back, and nose guard Josh Thompson on the Auburn team.

For them to meet in Atlanta, both teams need wins this weekend, Alabama would have to defeat LSU this weekend and Auburn would have to defeat Alabama on Nov. 19.

THE GAME NEVER PLAYED: Meyer is facing South Carolina for the first time as a head coach, but in 2001, he was supposed to in his first year at Bowling Green.

The game was scheduled for Sept. 15, but it was postponed and never made up because of the Sept. 11 attacks.

- IAN FISHER, Times correspondent

FSU: Ready for noise

TALLAHASSEE - Like every Thursday before a road game, Florida State moved into Doak Campbell Stadium to practice with crowd noise. This might be when it is needed the most.

"Death Valley" awaits the Seminoles, and simulated sound doesn't do it justice.

"This game is almost as big as that one (Florida)," said tailback Lorenzo Booker, who will shoulder the running load for the second straight week with Leon Washington (ankle) sidelined. "It would definitely help us in terms of our mental focus and confidence because Clemson is just as loud as Florida."

HONORS: Drew Weatherford and David Castillo were named to ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-District First Team for District III at quarterback and center, respectively.

INJURY REPORT: Along with Washington, those out are DB Mikhal Kornegay (elbow), LB Jae Thaxton (concussion), DE Anthony Kelly (groin), CB Gerard Ross (knee), OG John Frady (shoulder) and DE Kamerion Wimbley (knee). Probable: WRs Greg Carr (hip pointer) and De'Cody Fagg (shoulder).

- D.C. REEVES, Times correspondent

USF: Alvarado commits

TAMPA - USF picked up its third oral commitment - and second from the Tampa Bay area - this week when Robinson punter/kicker Delbert Alvarado accepted a scholarship. "Being a Tampa native, this has always been a dream for me," said Alvarado, who will help replace senior Brandon Baker after this season. "I have an opportunity to go in and do well my first year, and I want to make the most of that."

Alvarado, 6 feet 2 and 185 pounds, also will compete for placekicking duties, having kicked a 40-yard winner against Palmetto three weeks ago. USF was Alvarado's first scholarship offer, but he also was recruited by Central Florida and Bowling Green. It's the second scholarship given to a kicking specialist, after Orlando's Mike Benzer last year.

He joins Largo running back Dexter McCluster and Miami Washington quarterback Alwan Lee as USF 2006 commitments.

CAPTAINS: The Bulls will keep the same four captains for Saturday's game at Syracuse: running back Andre Hall, tight end Derek Carter, linebacker Stephen Nicholas and safety Johnnie Jones.

- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer

UM: It's Jones' time

CORAL GABLES - Miami coach Larry Coker can find one positive in losing running back Tyrone Moss for the season because of a knee injury. "The upside is Charlie Jones," Coker said.

Jones, thick but chiseled at 5-10, 203 pounds, has 58 carries for 229 yards.

"I've been waiting for this opportunity for a long time," said Jones, a sophomore from Homestead. "Every opportunity I get with the ball in my hands, I'm going to try to help the team win."

"That's my boy," linebacker Willie Williams said. "I cling to hard workers who are dedicated and want to win. I just love that. He's like a quiet assassin."


[Last modified November 11, 2005, 01:19:18]


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