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College football briefs

By Compiled from Times staff, correspondents and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 26, 2000


FSU's Franklin (knee) schedules surgery

ALLAHASSEE -- Tight end Nick Franklin, from Osceola High, is scheduled for arthroscopic knee surgery Nov. 2 to repair a lateral joint-line fracture. Doctors say Franklin could return for Florida State's bowl game if they do not have to insert a screw into his right knee.

"I don't want think that I'll be out for four weeks and then come to find out that I'll be out for six weeks," Franklin said Wednesday. "I'd be heartbroken again. I'm just taking it day-by-day now."

Franklin, who missed 11 games last season with a torn ACL, thinks his collegiate career came to an end Saturday when he was injured in a 37-3 win over Virginia.

"I'm trying to rehab it and get better, get ready for the pro scouts," Franklin said.

Franklin was on crutches Wednesday.

WEINKE IMPROVING: Coach Bobby Bowden was impressed to see quarterback Chris Weinke passing well after missing two days of practice. Weinke, who continues to experience swelling in his injured left foot, participated in the team's two-hour practice. "If you didn't know he had an injury, you wouldn't have expected he had one," Bowden said.

-- Alex Abrams

Sipp won't sit

TAMPA -- Senior center Joey Sipp, not about to sit on the sideline for the first time in his South Florida career, participated in the entire practice despite a sore ankle.

Sipp, who has started all 40 games the Bulls have played, is recovering from an ankle he sprained Saturday against Liberty. Coach Jim Leavitt plans for him to take the first snap against Connecticut no matter what, but didn't expect him to be so productive so soon.

"That shocked me," Leavitt said. "He went in there and he looked good."

OTHER INJURIES: Senior receiver Leon Matthews (hamstring) is questionable. ... Backup tight end Casey Cobb (knee), out most of the season, is practicing and may travel to Connecticut. ... Things are looking more dismal for starting free safety Jay Mize (herniated disc in neck). Mize is still feeling pain, Leavitt said, which makes it almost impossible for him to return. Starting linebacker Vassay Marc, who has a similar injury, is feeling better and could return after further evaluation. ... Receiver DeAndrew Rubin (ankle) practiced at full speed, and starting left tackle Kenyatta Jones (ankle) has practiced all week.

OTHER INJURIES: Senior receiver Leon Matthews (hamstring) is questionable. ... Backup tight end Casey Cobb (knee), out most of the season, is practicing and may travel to Connecticut. ... Things are looking more dismal for starting free safety Jay Mize (herniated disc in neck). Mize is still feeling pain, Leavitt said, which makes it almost impossible for him to return. Starting linebacker Vassay Marc, who has a similar injury, is feeling better and could return after further evaluation. ... Receiver DeAndrew Rubin (ankle) practiced at full speed, and starting left tackle Kenyatta Jones (ankle) has practiced all week.

BACKUP MATTERS: Even though Kevin Patullo came in for mop-up duty against Liberty, that doesn't make him the No. 2 quarterback, Leavitt said. He said if Marquel Blackwell couldn't play, he doesn't know whether he would send Patullo or senior Mike Usry in with the game on the line. "The reason we went with Kevin is, Kevin is going to be here (for several years)," Leavitt said. "And the game wasn't on the line. Mike knows the offense very well."

-- Sharon Ginn

Time on their side

GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Steve Spurrier said quarterback Rex Grossman is on his typical practice-week path.

"(Grossman) looked about like always," Spurrier said. "He gets a little better as the week goes."

Grossman, a redshirt freshman, claims to be a better game player than practice player. His abilities in a game showed in his first start against Louisiana State (18-28, 276 yards, 3 touchdowns).

"Rex is real calm out on the field," receiver Jabar Gaffney said. "When you get out on the field with him, he knows what he has to do. He has 10 other players on the field working with him, trying to accomplish the same goal, to get into the end zone. He knows we've got his back and he's with us."

STARTERS: Spurrier announced that junior Robert Gillespie will start at tailback for the second game in a row. Against Auburn, Gillespie rushed for 82 yards on 12 carries.

MENDED: Middle linebacker Travis Carroll (knee), out since Sept. 23, practiced and is expected to play Saturday.

-- Debi Jones

Tackle shuffle

ORLANDO -- With starting tackle Steve Edwards out for Saturday's game at Alabama, Central Florida will turn to redshirt sophomore Brian Huff. Huff started nine games last year and began this season as the starting at the other tackle spot, but was benched after a poor performance against Georgia Tech.

INJURIES: Senior receiver Tyson Hinshaw (slightly separated left shoulder) did not practice, but he could play this weekend. ... Defensive tackle Jeff Mauldin (left knee) practiced for the first time in almost two weeks. He may play against Alabama.

-- David Marsters

Good to go

CORAL GABLES -- Coach Butch Davis was enthused by the return of two players.

"We continue to get some people back who have been injured," Davis said. "(Defensive end) Jevon Rhodes practiced for a limited time today and (linebacker) Jermell Weaver also has been cleared for work and could be available."

Rhodes' heel kept him out of several games; Weaver has been recovering from surgery on a torn biceps muscle.

-- Times wires

No rundown feeling

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida A&M is bracing for an opponent with a strong running game for the third week in a row. Hampton running back Montrell Coley has rushed for 1,049 yards and 18 touchdowns.

"We know Hampton wants to come down and run the ball down our throats, so we want to stop the run to get them into a passing game," defensive end Ebbie Parsons said. "Once that happens, we can control the ballgame."

Two weeks ago, FAMU allowed a school-record 236 yards to Maurice Hicks in a 30-10 loss to North Carolina A&T.

-- Jabari Ritchie

Around the nation

GEORGIA: Quarterback Quincy Carter (shoulder), who didn't play last week, said he's ready to start Saturday against Florida after going through a full practice. "Definitely," said Carter, who started 30 consecutive games for the No. 13 Bulldogs until bruising his left rotator cuff. "I'm just ready to rock and roll." Freshmen running back Musa Smith (knee) and defensive lineman Johnathan Sullivan (knee) have been cleared.

PENN STATE: Even though the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that it appears quarterback Rashard Casey faces indictment on a felony assault charge, he is likely to play Saturday against Indiana. Sports information director Jeff Nelson indicated that the senior remains on the team. The newspaper reported that Casey and Desmond Miller would be indicted on second- or third-degree assault charges in the beating of an off-duty police officer in a Hoboken, N.J., nightclub May 14. The indictments will be returned and made public as soon as Tuesday. "I'm under the premise that I think Rashard didn't do it," coach Joe Paterno said last week. "I honestly believe he didn't do it."

-- Times wires

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