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Hudson: Keep an eye on...

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 30, 2001


You had the "No Name Defense." Now Hudson presents the "Familiar Name Defense."

Hey, isn't that defensive back the guy playing quarterback? Hey, are those the running backs out there at linebacker? And geez, those defensive linemen are wearing the same numbers as the offensive linemen were ...

Wait a minute! Those are the same guys.

Talking defense with Terry Voyles always ends up being a refresher course on his offense. He stammers for a second, and then just gives up.

"Yeah, the same guys on defense are the ones I just told you will be playing offense," he says, his voice waving the white flag. You can hear it -- Voyles would love to give you 11 different names, for that would be the sign of a burgeoning program with a rare commodity: players.

But when it comes to putting together an offense and a defense, Voyles might as well be trying build a car with a wheelbarrow full of parts.

Josh Bunting, the backup quarterback who took over for injured starter Rob Mahler last year, will play defensive back with sophomore Travis Miller. Otherwise, quarterback Rob Petrucci, fullback Kenny Eva and wingback Dale Lemons -- guys a coach needs to be fresh -- will double as defensive backs. And the smallish offensive line will have to bang against bigger and fresher players every play. And the chance for injuries is sky high.

"That's one of our problems -- our kids have to play both ways," Voyles said.

"After our starters, there's a big drop-off. Every head coach has their injuries, and I'm not bellyaching. But I've had my share. And it scares the heck out of me that it could happen again."

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