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Practice reports

By ANTONYA ENGLISH, ALEX ABRAMS, BRIAN LANDMAN, PETE YOUNG, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 5, 2001


Grossman earns SEC honor

GAINESVILLE -- A career-best performance in Saturday's win over Marshall earned quarterback Rex Grossman SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He was the first Gator to receive the honor after the season opener since Kerwin Bell in 1986.

Grossman completed 20 of 30 passes for 375 yards and threw three touchdowns in the 49-10 win. The 375 yards leads the nation, and his passing efficiency rating of 198.00 ranks fifth nationally.

This was the second time Grossman received the honor; the first was Oct. 14, 2000.

ELLIS RETURNS: Senior defensive end Kennard Ellis will return this week after serving a one-game suspension, but he most likely won't start. "Knowing (defensive line) coach (Ricky) Hunley, Bobby McCray will start and Kennard will come in, I'm sure, and play quite a bit," defensive coordinator Jon Hoke said. "I'm sure he'll let Bobby continue; he played good enough."

ODDS AND ENDS: Freshman safety Larry Kendrick has received a qualifying test score and is eligible to play ... Free safety Lester Norwood has a neck injury and remains in a non-contact jersey at practice. ... Linebacker Travis Harris is nursing a shoulder injury suffered Saturday night.

TICKETS ON SALE: A limited number of tickets for the Louisiana-Monroe game are available. Tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 34-GATOR or at the Gator ticket office near Gate 1. -- ANTONYA ENGLISH

FSU forced indoors

TALLAHASSEE -- For the second straight day, Florida State practiced indoors because of rain. The team was limited to running through conditioning drills and kickoff scenarios.

"Tomorrow, we got to get outside," coach Bobby Bowden said. "(Indoors) of course, you can't pass the ball downfield, but you can get your blocking assignments. You can walk your routes."

HOWARD IMPROVES: Sophomore defensive end Charles Howard, who missed the first game with a strained right hamstring, said he feels "94 percent better" and should be able to play Saturday. "I'm not really feeling any pain, but again, I'm just taking it easy on (the hamstring)," Howard said. "I haven't really tested it out to the max. I won't even get the chance to do that until Thursday."

SURGERY ON HOLD: Junior receiver/quarterback Anquan Boldin, who tore his left anterior cruciate ligament Aug. 18, had his knee surgery canceled because his parents couldn't be in town. Boldin is expected to have surgery next week. -- ALEX ABRAMS, BRIAN LANDMAN

USF finds cover

A storm hit about an hour into practice, and the Bulls headed for the USF soccer stadium, where for 90 minutes they walked through formations under the cover of the stadium.

Saturday the Bulls face Pittsburgh, which might be without star receiver Antonio Bryant. The 2000 Biletnikoff Award winner suffered a sprained ankle in Pitt's season-opening 31-0 win over East Tennessee State.

In this week's AP poll, the Panthers are the fourth team listed under "also receiving votes," essentially making them the nation's 29th-ranked team.

"We're excited to go out there and play them," coach Jim Leavitt said. "We'll go out there and bang away at it and see if we can hang around. We'll see if we can play with Pittsburgh." -- PETE YOUNG

Miami receiver to miss game

CORAL GABLES -- Daryl Jones, the top receiver for No. 1 Miami, will miss Saturday's game against Rutgers with a sprained knee ligament but should be ready the next week.

Jones hurt his right knee in Saturday's 33-7 win over Penn State on a punt return near the end of the first half. He wore a cast Tuesday but will not require surgery, coach Larry Coker said. Coker expects the fifth-year receiver to be ready for Miami's Sept. 15 game against No. 15 Washington. -- TIMES WIRES

Around the nation

UCLA: Asi Faoa, a second-string defensive end, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge for an offcampus fight. The plea reduced the case from the felony level, which would have ended his career. Faoa was sentenced to 180 days in county jail.

VIRGINIA TECH: Freshman running back Kevin Jones left about 20 minutes before the end of Monday's practice when he reaggravated a quadriceps bruise in his right leg he first hurt in Saturday's win over Connecticut. He did not practice, will see limited action today and might miss Saturday's game against Western Michigan. -- TIMES WIRES

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