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College football around the state

By Compiled from Times staff, wire and correspondent reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 1, 2000


Chandler plays waiting game

GAINESVILLE -- Placekicker Jeff Chandler still awaits word on whether he will be able to stay at Florida for a fifth season.

The senior kicked an extra point in an 82-6 win against Central Michigan in 1997. He said he thought he would be granted a redshirt season.

Chandler expected word from the NCAA last week or this week, but he found out Thursday his appeal would be pushed back another week.

"They told me this week or next week, so I am just kind of waiting," Chandler said. Chandler became the leading scorer in school history against Auburn on Oct. 14. His late field goal allowed him to pass Bart Edmiston.

Against Georgia, he kicked the third-longest field goal in school history, 54 yards.

- DEBI JONES

Toughest home test awaits

TAMPA -- South Florida's homecoming opponent is no pushover.

Western Kentucky, ranked No. 6 in Division I-AA, is undefeated, and USF coach Jim Leavitt said this could be the toughest home game this season.

"It's a big game this weekend," Leavitt said. "We kept them late (Tuesday night), and we didn't even run. That is how much work we needed to get done."

The Bulls have beaten then-No. 10 James Madison and then-No. 20 Troy State at home. Leavitt said the Hilltoppers are better.

"This is a great opportunity for us," Leavitt said. "This should grab the attention of our fans because this is rare to play an undefeated team this late in the season at home. We are real excited."

SWATTING AWAY THE FLU BUG: The flu is making its way through the team.

Long snapper Ryan Benjamin and scout team defensive backs Patrick Payton and Sidney Simpson did not practice, and wide receiver Chris Iskra wore a non-contact jersey.

Linebacker Anthony Williams is doubtful for Saturday's game. The junior left the Connecticut game in the first quarter with an ankle injury.

Leavitt said he is looking at a number of people to start in Williams' place, including Jason Butler, Kawika Mitchell, Mike Minus and Maurice Jones.

-- ROBYN DISNEY

Foot doesn't bother Weinke

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke did not feel pain in his injured left foot as he participated in his first Tuesday practice since Sept. 26.

Weinke, who has practiced twice a week since sustaining the injury in a 59-7 win over Maryland on Sept. 28, took snaps with the first-team offense. Coach Bobby Bowden said it was a good sign that the Heisman Trophy candidate was able to practice after two days of rest.

"It makes you feel like (the injury) is on the way to recovery," Bowden said. "That's good."

BOWDEN MEDIA: Bowden will appear on Jim Rome's radio show, airing from noon-3 p.m. today. He also will be the guest on ESPN's Up Close at 5:30 p.m. He will be joined by his son Tommy, the Clemson coach.

- ALEX ABRAMS

Star receiver sits but is expected to play

ORLANDO -- Senior wide receiver Tyson Hinshaw, who leads Central Florida with 72 receptions for 926 yards and 11 touchdowns, did not practice, continuing to rehabilitate a separated left shoulder. Hinshaw likely will miss most of practice this week but should play Saturday against Louisiana Tech.

"His shoulder's probably back to where it was mid week with that bruise, and it's going to stay that way," coach Mike Kruczek said. "I don't mind him missing practice. It looked like he went through the whole week of practice (against Alabama), didn't it? He'll make the game."

Backup quarterback Vic Penn was not on the practice field because of pinkeye. Because pinkeye is highly contagious, coaches did not want Penn to infect other players. There was no word on how long he will be out.

- DAVID MARSTERS

Clicking offense works on timing

TALLAHASSEE -- Against Hampton, Florida A&M showed what it can do when it avoids turnovers. In Saturday's 53-24 victory over Hampton, which had been undefeated in the MEAC, the Rattlers gained more than 450 yards and scored their most points since beating South Carolina State 64-9 on Sept. 16. Coach Billy Joe said the team is working on its timing in practice so it can avoid turnovers against Southern on Saturday.

"We're working more on our timing and rhythm and trying to get synchronized," he said. "We think that will allow us the opportunity to continue to polish and refine all three components."

- JABARI RITCHIE

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