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College football around the state

Compiled from Times staff, correspondents and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 20, 2000


FSU's Polley, Allen among semifinals for Butkus Award

TALLAHASSEE -- Seniors Tommy Polley and Brian Allen were named Thursday as two of the 11 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given to the top linebacker in college football. FSU is the only school to have two players in contention for the award.

Polley, who tore an ACL in the Sugar Bowl, was surprised to learn he was considered for award.

"We (Allen and I) were wondering if we would make it," Polley said. "We knew it was going to come out today."

Polley ranks second on the team in tackles with 53.

Allen, a senior from Lake City, has 57 tackles and two fumble recoveries.

"That's a great honor for both of them," linebacker coach Joe Kines said. "They're both very deserving. They've both have had good careers."

On Nov. 9, three finalists will be announced.

INJURY REPORT: Nose guard Rian Cason (ankle), tight end Carver Donaldson (hamstring), wide receiver Devard Darling (ankle) and defensive back Patrick Newton (knee) are doubtful. Defensive end Roland Seymour (knee), offensive tackle Tarlos Thomas (knee), linebacker Lee Weaver (knee) and linebacker Michael Boulware (ankle) are out.

For Virginia, senior quarterback Dan Ellis has a bad hamstring and might not play. "If he's not 100 percent, he's more vulnerable to injury," Virginia coach George Welsh said. "That's the consideration. You don't want to get him hurt anymore."

- Alex Abrams, Times wires

Miami: Morgan also Butkus candidate

CORAL GABLES -- Another Butkus Award candidate is Miami senior Dan Morgan, a semifinalist for the second straight season. Morgan leads the Big East in tackles at 12.2 a game.

The other candidates are Keith Adams, Clemson; Adam Archulata, Arizona State; Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma; Carlos Polk, Nebraska; Matt Smith, Oregon; Ben Taylor, Virginia Tech; Robert Thomas, UCLA; Eric Westmoreland, Tennessee.

Two defensive starters missed practice as Miami prepares for Temple on Saturday: defensive tackle Damione Lewis (foot) and cornerback Leonard Myers (foot). "Sure it's a concern," coach Butch Davis said. "It's forced us to make plenty of adjustments."

- Times wires

UF: Light practice, heavy advice

GAINESVILLE -- Florida opened the last 30 minutes of its practice to the public.

The Gators went through a pass skeleton drill during their second and final practice of their bye week.

"A little practice today, not too much exciting," Spurrier said. "Brock (Berlin) threw some good ones and Kelvin Kight. We let the youngsters pitch around a little bit today. Kelvin and Brock were impressive."

Spurrier had a few words of advice for his players during their off days:

"Be safe. Don't get in cars with people that are drinking and certainly don't you be trying drive in that manner. Don't hang out in nightclubs unless you want to catch some bullets."

SOCCER SCORE: While their fathers, Spurrier and receivers coach Buddy Teevens, missed part of practice to watch their middle school soccer game on Wednesday, Scotty Spurrier and Eugene Teevens each scored two goals in their school's 7-2 win.

INJURY UPDATE: Middle linebacker Travis Carroll, out since spraining a knee against Kentucky, may play next week against Georgia, Spurrier said.

- Debi Jones

USF: Rubin questionable for Liberty

TAMPA -- Wide receiver/returner DeAndrew Rubin's status for Saturday's game against Liberty is questionable, USF coach Jim Leavitt said.

"He practiced a little, but I don't know if he will play," Leavitt said. "I know he won't start, but it depends on how he feels at game time."

Running back Derrick Rackard (ankle), linebacker Vassay Marc (herniated disc) and free safety Jay Mize (herniated disc) will not play. With the seriousness of Marc's and Mize's injuries, there is some question about whether they will return this season.

"All I know is they're out Saturday," Leavitt said. "I would rather not say what the long-range forecast is. It's a weatherman, you really don't know. You would say there is probably not that much sunshine on the horizon and its very cloudy. But you never know when that will clear up."

BREAK IS OVER: Leavitt said he is glad to get his team back on the field after a bye week.

"We have to find out where we are and if we have made any progress," he said. "We were playing good football until the Southern Miss game. We need to get back to playing good football and this game will be a good indicator on how far we have come along this season."

- Robyn Disney

UCF: Homecoming no distraction

ORLANDO -- Central Florida will play its homecoming game Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe, and coach Mike Kruczek said the team has done a good job of staying focused despite distractions.

"I don't think the team ever gets too wound up with homecoming," he said. "They don't have enough time. They have classes and they have study hall, and then they have practice and meetings during the day. So there really isn't any idle, down time for them to get caught up in all the festivities."

The offense ran the two-minute drill in practice, with redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Schneider hitting Tavirus Davis for a short touchdown.

INJURIES: Free safety Tommy Shavers (concussion) and defensive tackle Jeff Mauldin (left knee) are out of Saturday's game. Running back Edward Mack (right hamstring strain) was held out of contact in practice and likely will see only limited action.

- David Marsters

Joe: FAMU must rebound

TALLAHASSEE -- Although Florida A&M has dropped consecutive games for the first time since 1997, the Rattlers are confident about Saturday's MEAC matchup at Norfolk State.

"We must win this one," coach Billy Joe said. "If we don't win this one, all of our hopes, dreams and aspirations go down the drain and down the toilet. We will not get anything with three loses."

Norfolk State is "going to do the same thing that everyone else has been doing," said senior wide receiver Jacquay Nunnally, who needs 22 catches to reach Jerry Rice's Division I receptions record. "They're going to sit back in the zone and wait for us to make mistakes."

- Jabari Ritchie

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