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FSU QB Lee, already benched, now suspended
Florida State's Xavier Lee has been suspended for two games, daunting road trips to Boston College and Virginia Tech, for a "violation of academic policy," coach Bobby Bowden said late Monday.
By TIMES STAFF
Published October 30, 2007
TALLAHASSEE - Florida State's Xavier Lee has been suspended for two games, daunting road trips to Boston College and Virginia Tech, for a "violation of academic policy," coach Bobby Bowden said late Monday.
Bowden said Lee's problems are unrelated to the academic misconduct scandal involving several student-athletes and two former university employees, which is sure to lead to an NCAA investigation.
"I hate for something like that happen, but it happened," Bowden said.
Lee, who can practice, left the field without commenting. But without him, a player Bowden had said the team would still need "down the road somewhere" to be successful, the Seminoles have just rookies behind Drew Weatherford.
D'Vontrey Richardson has played one down, a designed run to use his athletic ability and speed. Fellow redshirt freshman Christian Ponder hasn't been on the field at all. Bowden and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jimbo Fisher have been high on both youngsters.
Richardson said he's prepared and just has to keep studying.
"I'm feeling good," he said, adding that Lee said he would help him during practice.
No.2-ranked Boston College and No.11 Virginia Tech feature top-shelf defenses - 20th and 15th, respectively, in total defense nationally.
"But I'm more worried about Xavier," Fisher said. "It's part of coaching. ... I just want to make sure we get some things taken care of, we can get it fixed and move on and he can have a great career."
INJURY UPDATE: Tailback Antone Smith (mild left ankle sprain) practiced a bit. Receiver Greg Carr (left wrist), defensive lineman Andre Fluellen (left elbow, right hand) and offensive lineman Rodney Hudson all returned, too. All are expected to play Saturday.
GAME TIME: The game Nov.10 at Virginia Tech will begin at 3:30 p.m. and air on Ch.28.
Brian Landman, Times staff writer
USF: Ford practices
TAMPA - Freshman running back Mike Ford, who was taken by ambulance to a hospital after suffering a rib injury in Saturday's 22-15 loss at Connecticut, practiced Monday and could play in this week's home game against Cincinnati.
His cousin, senior receiver Amarri Jackson, appears to have a more serious injury. USF coach Jim Leavitt and receivers coach Mike Canales said they didn't know how long Jackson (right knee) would be out, but Jackson was not at practice and was still on crutches Monday with a heavy brace.
USF is without receivers Taurus Johnson (ankle), who missed the UConn game, and Colby Erskin (knee), who has missed the entire season.
Ford was hurt throwing a block on USF's next-to-last drive, and Leavitt said he was hospitalized to make sure there was no lung damage or broken ribs.
DEFENDING MO: Running backs coach Carl Franks defended having sophomore Mo Plancher in the game for a key second-and-goal play after Ford was injured. Plancher was stopped at the 1-yard line for no gain on USF's final drive.
"Mo's practiced there. It's his spot as a backup," Franks said. "If we had blocked it right, he would have scored. If I had not been comfortable with him, I would have not put him in, or we would have not run that formation."
NOON KICKOFF: The Nov.10 game at Syracuse has been scheduled for a noon kickoff and will be broadcast on Ch.28.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
UF: Seeking run help
GAINESVILLE - With Kestahn Moore struggling at tailback for the Gators, coach Urban Meyer said the position is wide open this week at practice.
Moore, a junior from Arlington, Texas, is the Gators' second-leading rusher with 79 carries for 412 yards and four touchdowns, but he has a propensity to fumble. He had one on a key drive in the loss to Auburn, then fumbled twice against Georgia.
Meyer said he'll see how Moore practices this week, but Brandon James could have more action against Vanderbilt this weekend and receiver Percy Harvin could increase his touches from an average of 10 per game to about 20.
"Ball security is No.1 at that position, and obviously we didn't do that," Meyer said.
INJURIES: Sophomore defensive lineman Brandon Antwine is out for the season after spending more than a week in Shands Hospital with a muscular back injury. He joins defensive lineman Javier Estopinan, who is out for the season with an ACL tear in his left leg. Freshman defensive tackle Terron Sanders has a high left ankle sprain and is most likely out this week. He was wearing a boot and on crutches after practice.
TEBOW MAKES CUT: Quarterback Tim Tebow is one of 15 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien national quarterback award. Tebow (bruised shoulder) said he feels much better than last week.
Antonya English, Times staff writer
UM: vs. North Carolina State, noon Saturday, ESPNU