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Practice reports

By DEBI JONES, ALEX ABRAMS and PETE YOUNG

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 29, 2001


Spurrier pleas for noise

GAINESVILLE -- Florida's season opener usually doesn't require an appeal to fans to attend.

With some of the talk coming out of Marshall this week before Saturday's matchup, coach Steve Spurrier did just that Tuesday morning.

"We need to get our crowd ready, should be a full house," Spurrier said. "Hopefully, our fans and our crowd will really get into the game. We may need our fans to make a little extra noise for Marshall; they seem to think it's not going to bother them."

HONORING AUTIN: Spurrier said the Gators will honor Eraste Autin during one of the games this season by presenting his parents with a letter. Autin died July 25 from heatstroke.

"I'm not sure what we are doing this game, but there are some plans for maybe in the future when his family can have an opportunity to come to a game," Spurrier said. "I don't think that they are going to be able to come this week. His brother is involved in another game."

Autin's twin, Robert, plays for Louisiana-Lafayette.

STARTING END: Sophomore Bobby McCray will start at defensive end opposite Alex Brown. -- DEBI JONES

Golightly questionable

TALLAHASSEE -- Sophomore fullback Randy Golightly's status for Saturday's game against Duke is questionable because of a nagging Achilles' tendon injury that kept him out of practice twice this week. He was expected to start.

Golightly sustained the injury during practice last week. He has been receiving treatment.

Coach Bobby Bowden said he would play fifth-year senior William McCray and walk-on Greg Tony if Golightly does not improve.

HUGHES STARTS: Junior Patrick Hughes, listed as the second-team tight end entering two-a-days, will start because senior Carver Donaldson has a pulled groin.

Hughes, who missed last season with a similar injury, spent the summer in Dallas working out with several Cowboys players.

BOWDEN OUT: Bowden left practice early to speak to the local Touchdown Club. He missed Monday's practice because he was speaking with the Touchdown Club in Athens, Ga. -- ALEX ABRAMS

Practices over, team is ready

South Florida had its final practice before it opens its inaugural Division I-A season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Northern Illinois.

"Because we're so young, you really don't know if you're where you need to be," said coach Jim Leavitt, whose team worked out for two hours. "I know we need to play. I know it's time to play a game and time to get out there."

MAKING THE TRIP: Leavitt said as many as eight freshmen or newcomers will travel to Northern Illinois: wide receivers Travis Lipp and Brian Fisher, tight end Tim Jones, offensive linemen Levi Newton and Shelly Houston, long snapper Justin Daniel and kicker Santiago Gramatica, as well as junior-college transfer running back Quinton Callum.

AWAITING THE WORD: At the close of practice, Leavitt said he didn't know whether senior defensive end Tchecoy Blount was academically eligible. Blount, who has been practicing with the team, had not been cleared pending the result of some summer work.

Leavitt said he expected to know before the team departed today. -- PETE YOUNG

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