tampabay.com

FSU kicker has a shaky day

By TIMES STAFF WRITERS and TIMES WIRES
Published August 25, 2006


TALLAHASSEE - With the Miami Hurricanes on the horizon and a storied history of kicking woes against them, Gary Cismesia provided the type of news Thursday that grabs the attention of Florida State fans.

Cismesia wasn't able to follow up his strong effort of six days ago, hitting just 2-of-6 field goals during morning practice at Doak Campbell Stadium.

"I think I was rushing myself today," Cismesia said. "I was taking a lot of time and the O-line was asking me to hurry it up and, I don't know ... I just didn't hit the ball solid."

Three of Cismesia's kicks were from 37 yards, and the other three came from 40 yards. He hit a 37- and a 40-yard attempt, both kicked from the right hashmark.

"He wasn't in his zone today," coach Bobby Bowden said. "He had a couple of them close. But I don't know what goes through (kicker's) heads."

Bowden said Cismesia is still the player to beat, with sophomore Graham Gano the next in line.

FSU spent about an hour working all facets of kicking, including punts, punt returns, kickoff, kick returns and field goals.

- D.C. REEVES, Times correspondent

Miami: Incentive for injured

CORAL GABLES - Several players who were recently on the mend got increased action at practice.

"We're getting really close, as far as guys getting back in," coach Larry Coker said. "We have a lot of guys who want to play against Florida State."

Coker's policy on dealing with injured players: "If you don't practice, you don't play. If (the players are) healthy, they need to be in there, getting better and getting repetitions."

Senior offensive lineman Alex Pou (wrist) wore a hard cast on his right wrist but practiced. Pou can work at center, guard and possibly tackle, Coker said.

Running backs Charlie Jones and Derron Thomas haven't missed any action since coming back from minor injuries a few days ago.

Right tackle Tyrone Byrd was "back in the niche," but not ready to play. However, Coker said he is comfortable with Chris Rutledge stepping in.

Receiver Terrell Walden (knee) also had limited action.

- TIMES WIRES

UF: Top RB job down to 2

GAINESVILLE - Some of Florida's position battles are starting to shape up with a little more than a week to go before the opener against Southern Mississippi on Sept. 2.

Coach Urban Meyer has not yet named a starting tailback, but he did narrow it down to senior DeShawn Wynn and sophomore Kestahn Moore.

Meyer said none of the other backs can earn the first game's start, but he doesn't plan to decide between Moore and Wynn until the last minute.

"Probably not till game time," Meyer said. "It's still a battle because there's not a clear-cut guy."

Meyer named Carlton Medder to start at right tackle for the first game after Ronnie Wilson went down at right guard, and Drew Miller was moved there from the tackle spot.

Meyer also said Reggie Nelson, who moved from safety to cornerback, will probably start back at safety. Reggie Lewis will be at one cornerback spot, and either Ryan Smith or Tremaine McCollum at the other.

Meyer also said Joe Cohen has the upper hand on Steven Harris to start at defensive tackle. Harris missed all of spring with undisclosed personal issures, but Meyer wouldn't say if any players would miss the first game for disciplinary reasons.

"A lot of that stuff is in-house," Meyer said. "I don't have any comment on that right now."

- IAN FISHER, Times correspondent

USF: Jenkins toughs it out

TAMPA - Junior defensive back Mike Jenkins practiced with a stint on his right middle finger. Jenkins, who had two interceptions in 2005, has been already practicing with stitches in his mouth.

"He's still out there going, too," coach Jim Leavitt said. "I tell you what, not many people would be doing that. He's working really pretty hard with all that, and there aren't many of our guys who could do that."

Leavitt said he does not expect Jenkins to miss any playing time.

TV: The Bulls home opener against McNeese State on Sept. 2 will be broadcast on Ch. 28 at 7 p.m.

Bull bits: Quarterback Grant Gregory, who had his arm in a sling during Monday's practice, threw in drills Thursday. ... Today's practice will be the last of two-a-days.

- MIKE CAMUNAS, Times correspondent

BCS extends Harris deal

The Bowl Championship Series agreed to a four-year contract extension with Harris Interactive, the company that coordinated the polls used last year to replace the Associated Press Top 25 in the BCS standings. The agreement runs through the 2010 BCS bowls. The Harris poll is voted on by a panel of former college football players, coaches and administrators, plus some media members.

All-star game: Bowl organizers announced a new all-star game, Texas vs. The Nation. The game will be played in El Paso in January or early February. UTEP coach Mike Price will lead the Texas team.

- TIMES WIRES