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College football around the nation

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 3, 2000


Fulmer refuses to remove Vols from SEC title hunt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee isn't used to being 2-2, and the No. 21 Volunteers don't like it.

"(The players) didn't come to Tennessee to be 2-2," coach Phillip Fulmer said after practice Monday. "There are a lot of ways you can look at it. Two or three plays away from being an undefeated football team, but we're 2-2 and fighting for our pride."

After losing 27-23 to Florida on a touchdown pass in the closing minutes three weeks ago and 38-31 Saturday in Baton Rouge, La., Tennessee is on the verge of a dangerous predicament heading into Saturday's game at No. 19 Georgia.

The last time the Vols started 2-2 was 1986 under coach Johnny Majors, and Tennessee finished 7-5. UT hasn't been 0-2 in the SEC since 1988 when the Vols lost four more in a row but won the last five games to finish 5-6.

Fullmer remains optimistic about his team's chances in the SEC. Even if UT wins the rest of its games, East-leading Florida would have to lose two more times for the Vols to win the division. "We're still definitely in the hunt," he said. "I think the last few weeks have proven that anything can happen in this league."

In other news, defensive end DeAngelo Lloyd is walking and moving fine after bruising his spinal cord in the final minutes of the LSU game.

Fulmer refused to speculate when Lloyd will return. "We're just grateful and thankful that it wasn't more serious than it was," Fulmer said.

KICKER'S SUIT AGAINST DUKE: A lawyer for a Duke graduate who is suing the school because she was cut from the team told a federal court jury that the woman had talent but was excluded because of her gender.

Heather Sue Mercer, who walked on as a placekicker her freshman year in 1994, sued the university in U.S. District Court three years ago.

"She showed she could kick well and accurately," her attorney, Burton Craige, told the jury in Greensboro, N.C. "Heather Sue had a dream and she had talent. ... She didn't ask for any special treatment, just a fair chance to participate."

Duke contends Mercer was cut because she didn't have the skills other kickers did. Testimony, starting with Mercer's witnesses, is scheduled to begin this morning. Mercer's lawsuit contends Duke violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs receiving federal funds.

OUTBACK BOWL: Tickets to the post-season game in Tampa are on sale at Ticketmaster outlets. The New Year's Day game celebrates its 15th year. Tickets to the 11 a.m. game are $45 each (plus Ticketmaster service charge).

LSU: The Tennessee upset is history; Florida is looming. "The key for our team is going to be our ability to refocus and get back on track in terms of what we need to accomplish to prepare for this game," said coach Nick Saban, whose team makes its second road trip of the season. A shot of confidence won't hurt the Tigers, who haven't won in Gainesville since 1986. The Tigers have lost 11 of the last 12, nine of 10 with Steve Spurrier as UF coach.

MICHIGAN STATE: The starting quarterback, left offensive tackle, free safety, right defensive end, backup tailback and the tallest receiver are injured. The most pressing injury is to starting quarterback Ryan Van Dyke, who has played only one quarter because of a bruised right thumb.

LSU: The Tennessee upset is history; Florida is looming. "The key for our team is going to be our ability to refocus and get back on track in terms of what we need to accomplish to prepare for this game," said coach Nick Saban, whose team makes its second road trip of the season. A shot of confidence won't hurt the Tigers, who haven't won in Gainesville since 1986. The Tigers have lost 11 of the last 12, nine of 10 with Steve Spurrier as UF coach.

UCLA: DeShaun Foster, the team's leading rusher, will be sidelined 2-6 weeks because of a broken hand.

VIRGINIA: George Welsh was surprised when he learned athletic director Terry Holland addressed the team's future in an e-mail posted on the Internet, but Welsh said he believes Holland was trying to rally support for the team. Holland's posting assured fans that a timetable for the transition to a new coach would be in place by the end of the season.

SEC: LSU quarterback Rohan Davey and Mississippi State defensive tackle Willie Blade were honored as players of the week.

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