FSU's Lee will stay in starting spot at QB

Compiled from Times staff
Published October 31, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Florida State quarterback Xavier Lee had a hunch that he might be the starter this weekend against Virginia when he saw Drew Weatherford in a walking boot Monday night.

"I wasn't 100 percent sure. I hate to jump to conclusions," Lee said.

He didn't have to. Although coach Bobby Bowden didn't plan to announce that Lee would start for the second straight week, he went ahead with what seemed obvious after practice.

So much for a quarterback controversy.

Weatherford, the former Land O'Lakes star who started every game last year and the first seven this season, injured a tendon in his right foot Wednesday and will be in the boot through today.

He said the doctors hope the inflammation will be reduced enough after 48 hours of wearing the boot so they can do another MRI exam. Weatherford had one Thursday, but fluid prevented them from seeing what might be wrong with the tendon.

"They don't know if it's torn or if something's in there," Weatherford said. "I just planted wrong and I could barely walk on it. I slowly worked it out and started to jog, and it got better as I got off of it Wednesday and Thursday. But once I got back on it again, it just got real sore and it hasn't gotten much better since."

"I guess the biggest hope is that he'll be able to play on Saturday," Bowden added.

Play, not start.

"I hate to see him go down like that, but it's an opportunity for me and I'm going to try to run with it," said Lee, who added he would have supported Weatherford had he been healthy and the coaches stuck with him as the starter.

Lee said he'll spend even more time watching film so he can improve in his breakout showing in the 27-24 loss to the Terrapins.

" I don't know what the future holds, but thank goodness Xavier is here," Bowden said.

THAXTON UPDATE: Middle linebacker Jae Thaxton, who played Saturday after missing four games as he recovered from a concussion, is out again.

UF: New Tebow plan

GAINESVILLE - Tim Tebow won't be just running this week at Vanderbilt. The freshman backup quarterback has been mostly a threat to run, but coach Urban Meyer said he wants to expand that role.

"You can expect to see Tim run the offense, as opposed to just single wing football," Meyer said.

Meyer doesn't believe the change will have starter Chris Leak looking over his shoulder.

Meanwhile, Leak said his severe headache in Saturday's victory over Georgia didn't alter his performance.

"Now I am perfectly fine, I am ready to go," he said.

McDONALD HONORED: Junior defensive end Ray McDonald was named the SEC defensive lineman of the week. McDonald recovered a fumble and ran 9 yards for a touchdown. He wished he had the football.

"I was trying to keep it and I was looking at my coach and they told me to throw it back," McDonald said. "... I got a bunch of phone calls, a lot of people telling me they saw me on SportsCenter diving into the end zone. That was a good feeling."

ON HOLD: CBS Sports will use its one-time, six-day option before deciding whether it will televise the Nov. 11 Florida-South Carolina game, which is among four options the network is holding, including: Tennessee at Arkansas, Georgia at Auburn and Alabama at LSU. CBS will televise one of those four at 3:30 p.m., leaving ESPN with a choice for its 7:45 broadcast, ESPN2 with the 7 p.m. slot and Lincoln Financial Ch. 38 at 12:30. CBS has until Sunday to make its decision.

USF: Back at practice

TAMPA - After three days off, USF returned to practice in preparation for Saturday's noon kickoff against Pittsburgh. The Bulls typically practice at night on Mondays, giving coaches more time to review game tape, but they are coming off an open week.

The next two games will be early kickoffs, as the Bulls' Nov. 11 home finale against Syracuse has been moved to noon to allow for broadcast as the Big East game of the week, available locally on Ch. 28.

Recruiting: Roger Frazier, the top receiving target of USF quarterback Matt Grothe their last two seasons at Lakeland Lake Gibson, will attend Pearl River Community College in Mississippi in January with the hopes of joining the Bulls as a junior in 2008.

Frazier was a second-team junior college All-American last fall at Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas, catching 53 passes, 13 for touchdowns, and leading all junior college receivers with 1,072 yards.

Times staff writers Brian Landman, Antonya English and Greg Auman contributed to this report.