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College football briefs

By Compiled from Times staff, correspondents and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000


UF: Gators' Palmer says he's fully recovered

GAINESVILLE -- A game spent on the sideline and a few days of rest gave Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer the opportunity to return to full health.

The senior did not dress for the win against Auburn on Saturday but participated in full drills during the first practice of the bye week on Wednesday.

Palmer had an upper respiratory infection and a sprained ankle that hampered him Oct. 7 against Louisiana State.

"Today was the first day I was able to come out and run (sprints) with my ankle and everything," Palmer said. "I took my last X-ray today. It looks like my lung problem is 100 percent gone."

Palmer could not give an exact description of his ailment except that it was an upper respiratory problem that made it hard to breathe.

"At first I was just joking around with my girlfriend about how my voice was changing," he said. "Then it turned out to be a lot more serious than that. I'm just glad it's healed up and it's gone."

Florida will practice for two or three days this week and return to action after its bye weekend, against Georgia on Oct. 28 in Jacksonville.

SPURRIER OUT: Coach Steve Spurrier missed the end of practice to watch his son, Scotty, play in a soccer game. Wide receivers coach Buddy Teevens also missed the end of practice to watch his son, Eugene.

BROWN SPEAKS: Defensive end Alex Brown spoke with the media for the first time since the Tennessee game on Sept. 16. Brown had limited himself to statements issued through the sports information department.

"I go out and I play as hard as I can, it's just some plays were getting away from me," Brown said. "I just haven't been getting there, either a half a step away or something."

SHEPPARD GUARANTEES: Despite several injuries to Georgia's offensive unit, cornerback Lito Sheppard said the Gators would prepare for Bulldogs quarterback Quincy Carter, who may not play Saturday against Kentucky because of a severely bruised rotator cuff.

"I have heard about Quincy Carter, but it's Florida-Georgia, he is going to play," Sheppard said.

SPURRIER PRAISES STOOPS: Spurrier praised his former defensive coordinator, Bob Stoops, for his work at Oklahoma.

"I think the best thing he has is he hates to lose," Spurrier said. "He has surrounded himself with an excellent group of assistant coaches."

- DEBI JONES

FSU: Weinke rests ankle

TALLAHASSEE -- For the third straight day, quarterback Chris Weinke had limited practice time. Coaches are trying to rest his sore left ankle before Saturday's game against Virginia. Weinke, who leads the nation in passing yards and touchdowns, was limited to working on non-contact passing drills.

Offensive coordinator Mark Richt said Weinke has participated in 15-20 percent of this week's practices, but Richt plans to use him for the entire two hours of practice today.

Weinke was injured Sept. 28 against Maryland. He has continued to start despite pain in his foot.

GONE IN 60 SECONDS: FSU practiced the one-minute offense. Coach Bobby Bowden wants to improve on quickly getting the football down the field at the end of the game. The Seminoles struggled to score in a loss to No. 4 Miami.

TICKETS AVAILABLE: A limited number of tickets, starting today, are available for Saturday at www.seminoles.com or call (888) FSU-NOLE.

- ALEX ABRAMS

UCF: Coach worries about letdown

ORLANDO -- Coach Mike Kruczek said it will be difficult to keep his team focused against struggling Louisiana-Monroe in Saturday's homecoming game. The Indians (1-6) are last in I-A rushing and scoring, and are in the bottom five in total offense, scoring defense, turnover margin and net punting.

"It's going to be my constant dialogue with the team after practice to make sure they understand this is avery dangerous team," Kruczek said. "They have nothing to lose with changing everything if they want to and then you're sucking canal water trying to figure out what you have to do."

INJURY REPORT: Free safety Tommy Shavers and defensive tackle Jeff Mauldin did not practice and likely won't play. Though the Golden Knights have a number of minor injuries, only starting running back Edward Mack (minor right hamstring strain) practiced in a non-contact jersey. He is expected to play.

- DAVID MARSTERS

FAMU: Another running test

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida A&M gave up an all-time high of 236 rushing yards to North Carolina A&T's Maurice Hicks in last week's 30-10 loss, and the Rattlers face Norfolk State's run-oriented offense Saturday.

"They're very similar to A&T," said linebacker John Battle, who moved from safety this week. "They're going to come down and try to run the ball down our throats like A&T did. They have one of the biggest offensive lines we've ever faced."

- JABARI RITCHIE

Around the nation

ALABAMA: Coach Mike DuBose said receiver/returner Freddie Milons (sprained right knee) is probable for Saturday's game against Tennessee, but could see only limited action.

NEBRASKA: Backup running back Josh Davis probably is lost for the season with a knee ligament torn in practice Tuesday. Receiver Matt Davison, who missed two days with a thigh bruise, returned to practice and backup receiver Wilson Thomas, out for two weeks with an ankle sprain, is expected back today. Defensive tackle Loran Kaiser, who missed the past two games with a sprained foot, is questionable for Saturday's game against Baylor.

- Times wires

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