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College football

Compiled from Times staff, correspondents and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 12, 2000

Seymour's knee injury still giving him trouble

TALLAHASSEE -- Defensive end Roland Seymour missed most of Wednesday's practice with complications in his right knee, the one he injured in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.

Seymour, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the national championship game nine months ago, was expected to sit out practice today. Team trainer Randy Oravetz hopes the rest will help reduce the swelling.

"Today, I didn't really do too much," Seymour said. "I had a little inflammation in my knee. It's probably going to be a game-time decision."

Seymour, who had reconstructive knee surgery in the off-season, played in his first game the season Saturday against Miami. If his injury does not improve, senior David Warren should move into the starting lineup.

"He's one of those guys that's not 100 percent yet," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. "We'll have to wait and see."

NOT SO BAD NEWS: Defensive end Jamal Reynolds has a sprained right knee, according to an MRI exam taken Monday night. The senior leads the ACC this season with nine sacks.

RUNNING DUTY: Freshman running back Greg Jones could see considerable playing time Saturday if FSU blows out Duke as expected. Coach Bobby Bowden decided he would not make the 6-foot-1, 225-pound tailback a redshirt this season.

-- Alex Abrams

Gillespie to start

GAINESVILLE -- The Florida offense experiences something different this week against Auburn -- it will keep most of the starters from last week's win against LSU.

Redshirt freshman Rex Grossman will start at quarterback while redshirt freshman Jabar Gaffney and sophomore Reche Caldwell will keep their starting jobs at wide receiver.

One change will occur at tailback where junior Robert Gillespie will start in place of redshirt freshman Ran Carthon.

"Robert will start, and hopefully, Earnest (Graham) and Ran will be ready, and we hope Bo (Carroll) will be ready, too," running backs coach Lawson Holland said. "I would like for all of them to play well and play at a very high level, but let Robert have his start, and hopefully he will have a good game."

INJURY UPDATE: Cornerback Lito Sheppard, who pulled a hamstring last Saturday, did not practice and might not play.

Sheppard has 21 tackles and three interceptions.

-- Debi Jones

Bull Bowl today

TAMPA -- Coach Jim Leavitt said some of his players are preparing for today's Bull Bowl, an annual scrimmage played by the scout team.

"We worry that the scout team spends so much time on the opposing teams offenses and defenses that they aren't familiar with our offense and defense," Leavitt said. "So this is a fun way to allow the guys to play our game. We film the games and evaluate their progress. It's almost like JV football."

The other players will spend today conditioning and if they choose to, watch the game.

"We usually get seven to eight guys to come out just to watch and see how the young guys are doing," Leavitt said.

TIME MANAGEMENT: This Saturday could be one of Leavitt's biggest battles. The problem is not an opposing team, but time.

"It's going to be a struggle Saturday," Leavitt said. "I always want to be out there playing. I don't like sitting around. I'm not an off-week person."

But Leavitt said the bye week benefits his team.

"It gives us time to get healthy," Leavitt said. "After the first half we have had, the players are all banged up. They need a break. They need to get ready for the second half of the season and Liberty (the Bulls' next opponent)."

-- Robyn Disney

Off-week practice starts

CORAL GABLES -- The Hurricanes worked out for 80 minutes in shoulder pads and shorts.

"We went through a pretty basic session today after three days off," coach Butch Davis. "Our coaches spent the last few days recruiting and the players took some time off. This is probably the most welcome off week I can recall in my six years as a head coach. We have a number of players who need to recuperate from injuries."

On the injury front, defensive lineman Damione Lewis (foot), cornerback Leonard Myers (foot), tight end Jeremy Shockey (knee) and defensive lineman Jevon Rhodes (heel) sat out practice. Defensive end Quincy Hipps (ankle) was limited in activity. But the best news of the day was the return of starting fullback Will McPartland (concussion) after two weeks.

-- Times wires

Penn returns to practice

ORLANDO -- Injured quarterback Vic Penn has returned in a limited capacity, participating in passing drills. Penn, who has a shoulder separation in his left arm -- he throws with his right -- will not play Saturday but might next week.

Coach Mike Kruczek said he would like to get third-string quarterback Brian Miller some game action this week against William & Mary. Miller, a redshirt freshman, has impressed in practice this week.

"Brian Miller continues to improve in practice," Kruczek said. "I'm very, very impressed with the things he's doing. I think he's going to be a fine quarterback. I'd like to get him some reps. One, he deserves it. He's worked hard enough for it. And two, getting him into the game will get him the confidence necessary to improve to a greater level of efficiency just confidence-wise, so I'd like to get him in."

INJURY REPORT: Safeties Damian Demps (neck) and Elliot Shorter (neck), wide receiver Kenny Clark (ankle), defensive end Don Page (ankle), defensive tackle Jeff Mauldin (knee) and linebacker Rachaud Smith (ankle) all continue to wear non-contact jerseys in practice.

-- David Marsters

Ready to rebound

TALLAHASSEE -- Coaches and players agree the team is ready to bounce back from Saturday's 12-10 loss to Grambling. The Rattlers will face conference rival North Carolina A&T (4-1, 2-0 MEAC) in Tallahassee, Saturday.

"Practice was even better than it was last week," quarterback Quinn Gray said. "The guys are realizing that they can't hold their heads down after last week's loss, and I'm quite sure they realize what's at stake this week. We can't go out and lay a rotten egg against the Aggies."

-- Jabari Ritchie


UCLA: Leading rusher DeShaun Foster reportedly pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge although he says he's never smoked the drug and was a victim of circumstance.

Bruins coach Bob Toledo told the Los Angeles Times he believed the July 7 incident was isolated and didn't punish the junior tailback.

"I strongly believe what he is telling me," Toledo said. "He was guilty of having it. He wasn't guilty of using it."

MERCER TRIAL: Sims Lenhardt, an all-conference kicker at Duke, testified that Heather Sue Mercer was not as good a kicker as others on the team.

Asked to rank her leg strength, Lenhardt told jurors: "It was inferior to other guys out there. I would say 35 yards was probably the most she could kick."

Lenhardt was 7-of-8 between 40-49 yards in 1997 and he made one from 50.

Mercer, a walk-on, is suing Duke, contending she was cut from the team in 1996 because of her gender.

Duke says Mercer could have stayed with the Blue Devils if she had been physically able to be play on the scout team. The scout team plays the first-string team in practice.

After the testimony, the defense rested. Attorneys will make their final arguments this morning and then the jury will begin deliberations.

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