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Injury puts Palmer out of UF practice

By Times staff writers and correspondents

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 3, 2000


GAINESVILLE -- Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer did not practice Monday night after spraining his ankle during Saturday's loss at Mississippi State.

Palmer said he expected to play Saturday at home against LSU.

"I'm just going to keep rehabbing it and just try to take it easy on it," he said. If Palmer doesn't play, coach Steve Spurrier said redshirt freshman Rex Grossman would be the probable starter with freshman Brock Berlin as the backup.

Grossman was 13-for-16 for 231 yards and two touchdowns Saturday. "I approach every game like I am going to start," Grossman said, "so that if I do play, I know what I am going to do."

BAD CALLS: Spurrier said he was unhappy with a few of the officials' calls during the loss. He questioned the spot of the ball after Robert Gillespie rushed for no gain on fourth and 1 from the MSU 19 in the first half. Spurrier said he also disagreed with the safety in the first quarter after Palmer was sacked for an 8-yard loss.

HMMMM: UF's 494 passing yards were the most in school history in an SEC game and third most in any game.

INJURY UPDATE: Palmer (right ankle), receiver Alex Willis (left ankle) and tailback Bo Carroll (right ankle) are questionable for Saturday. Defensive lineman Ian Scott (left ankle) is out.

-- DEBI JONES

Seymour returns to full practice

TALLAHASSEE -- Defensive end Roland Seymour, out since the Sugar Bowl with a torn ACL, participated in his first full practice after being cleared by trainers. The senior still is awaiting medical clearance to play in Saturday's game at No. 7 Miami.

"My biggest concern is the tentativeness and the rustiness of being in a football game," he said. "Everybody has a five game head start on me. Where everybody would be allowed (to make) mistakes in the first game, I don't think I have too many mistakes I can make in this game because of the magnitude of it."

Florida State coaches do not expect to start the senior because of the improved play of sophomore Alonzo Jackson.

ANOTHER INJURY: Defensive end Jamal Reynolds, who has 10 sacks in five games, did not compete in full-contact drills because of a right knee contusion. Trainer Randy Oravetz said Reynolds was held out of the drills as a cautionary measure.

HONORED: Quarterback Chris Weinke, tackle Tarlos Thomas and special-teams player Patrick Newton, a former walk-on from Shorecrest High, were named Atlantic Coast Conference players of the week. Weinke completed 11 of 15 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns before leaving against Maryland with a left foot injury in the third quarter. Thomas, a senior, didn't allow a sack or a pressure. Newton had five tackles.

-- ALEX ABRAMS and BRIAN LANDMAN

Bulls try to put big win behind them

TAMPA -- Coach Jim Leavitt may have likened South Florida's 20-10 victory over Troy State, No. 1 at the time in Division I-AA, to a national championship game, but by Monday night it was business as usual.

"We won a ballgame and it's over," he said. "You might enjoy it maybe at the end of the season. ... Right now, there's really no time to sit around."

The Bulls (3-2) began preparing for their biggest opponent, No. 17 Southern Mississippi, which USF plays in Hattiesburg on Saturday. The Golden Eagles (3-1) are USF's first Conference USA opponent. After losing 19-16 to Tennessee in the season opener, USM has given up nine points in victories over Alabama, Oklahoma State and Memphis.

"How they're not in the Top 10, I have no idea," Leavitt said.

The Golden Eagles are No. 9 in Jeff Sagarin's Division I computer ratings, which has them 34-point favorites over No. 107 USF.

INJURY REPORT: Receiver DeAndrew Rubin (right ankle) and nose tackle Lee Roy Selmon Jr. (ankle, knee) were held out of practice. Leavitt said he expects at least Rubin to play against Southern Miss. Starting defensive end Shawn Hay also sat out with various bumps and bruises but should be ready. Linebacker Marshall Smith (sprained right medial collateral ligament) is not expected to return until the Oct. 13 game against Liberty.

-- SHARON GINN

Shutout pleases, doesn't appease Rattlers

TALLAHASSEE -- After nearly shutting out its previous two opponents, Florida A&M was glad to keep Howard off the board in Saturday's 43-0 victory, but not satisfied. "We're very happy that we had a shutout," safety John Battle said. "We haven't had one here in a long time, but we still can play better than the way we played. We watched the film a little earlier, and we made a lot of mistakes that could have cost us. ... We're we're happy about the shutout, but we're not pleased with it."

But coach Billy Joe said his defense, which has allowed 15 points in the past three games, is putting the Rattlers on track for a title. "I think that if we just continue to play that well defensively, we'll be in really fine shape," he said after Monday's practice.

"As you know, you win championships with defense and there are three championships out there that we qualify to get:the MEAC championship, the black college championship and the NCAA championship."

Running back Kelsie Lordeus, out since the first game with a shoulder injury, has been cleared to participate in contact drills.

-- JABARI RITCHIE

Improved practices please Knights coach

ORLANDO -- After a 31-10 victory Saturday at Eastern Michigan, Central Florida coach Mike Kruczek said his team exhibited a much better mind-set in practice than it had in previous weeks. Receiver Kenny Clark, who sprained his left ankle Saturday, did not practice. ... Injured quarterback Vic Penn was at practice, working out separately with trainers. ... Fullback Sean Gaudion returned to the offense, backing up senior Dwight Collins. Gaudion had spent the first five weeks backing up at middle linebacker. ... Redshirt freshman tailback Corey Baker, a backup to senior Eddie Mack, practiced with the first team.

-- DAVID MARSTERS

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