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College football around the nation

By Compiled from Times staff, correspondents and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2000


FSU: Brooksville FB could start

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State starting fullback William McCray (sprained left ankle) has sat out most of this week's practices and likely will miss Saturday's game against No. 10 Clemson.

Junior Chad Maeder, a Brooksville native, will start if McCray cannot.

McCray, who has 129 yards and seven touchdowns on 43 carries, was injured in FSU's 59-7 win over N.C. State last weekend. He is scheduled for X-rays today to determine the extent of the injury.

"At first, I thought I was going to be able to play with it," McCray said. "Then when I went out there to run on it a little bit, I realized it's not going to work."

ALLEN WOES: Coach Bobby Bowden said linebacker Brian Allen (strained right calf) is doubtful. Allen, who leads the team with 75 tackles, has not practiced since he was injured Tuesday. "You'd list him as doubtful, maybe worse than that," Bowden said. "He's better every day, he's gotten better, but I'd say doubtful."

SEYMOUR SURGERY: Senior defensive end Roland Seymour is scheduled for surgery today to remove loose cartilage in his right knee. Seymour, who has been hampered by the injury since tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4, could be back for the bowl game. Trainers think he reinjured the knee in practice before the Oct. 7 Miami game.

INJURY UPDATE: Seymour, wide receiver Robert Morgan (fractured big toe), offensive tackle Tarlos Thomas (knee), linebacker Lee Weaver (knee) and tight end Nick Franklin (knee) are out.


-- Alex Abrams

Home, sweet, home

CORAL GABLES -- The Hurricanes hope the Orange Bowl again will be the advantage it has been so many times before.

For the second time this season, the stadium is sold out. When the 'Canes played Florida State on Oct. 7, 80,905 watched. Saturday against Virginia Tech, about 72,000 are expected.

"The Orange Bowl will be an electrifying place to play as it was a few weeks ago," coach Butch Davis said. "Our kids are looking forward to it."

It is the first time Virginia Tech will play in front of a sold-out Orange Bowl crowd. Though the weather has been cool, the Hurricanes are hoping for a warm day so it can adversely affect the Hokies, coming from temperatures in the 50s in Virginia.

"I hope it's 95 and humid," guard Greg Laffere said.

-- Times wires

No. 3 tackler ailing

TAMPA -- Linebacker Anthony Williams (sprained ankle), injured in Saturday's win over Connecticut, returned to practice but may not see much action, if any.

"He ran around today," coach Jim Leavitt said. "I would say he's questionable."

Williams is South Florida's third-leading tackler with 46 (35 solo). With linebacker Vassay Marc (herniated disc in neck) out, and Jason Butler replacing Marc, Williams' injury likely means more playing time for reserves Mike Minus, Maurice Jones and Marshall Smith.

STREAK'S ALIVE: Center Joey Sipp, who has started all 41 games, was concerned more about his daughter's impending birth than last week's ankle injury. But the baby's timing was good: She was born Tuesday morning to Sipp's fiancee, Jasmon Beacham. Sipp was back in practice Wednesday.

-- Sharon Ginn

Sloppy practice irks coach

GAINESVILLE -- Coach Steve Spurrier was unhappy with the Gators' practice Thursday afternoon, their last before facing Vanderbilt on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.

"Hopefully, we'll pick up between now and the ballgame," Spurrier said. "But it makes you nervous when the guys are goofing around a little bit. Hopefully, we can pick it up and try to be ready, but it is going to be difficult right now."

Spurrier said Florida may be overconfident after big wins against Georgia and Auburn. The lack of focus, though, may be compounded because the Commodores (2-6 overall) have not won an SEC game.

CARROLL TO START: Linebackers coach Bob Sanders said Travis Carroll will start at middle linebacker. He was suspended for the first three games of the season before injuring his knee against Kentucky. The junior returned for a few plays against Georgia last week.

INJURY UPDATE: Center Tommy Hillard (concussion) and defensive tackle Ian Scott (left ankle) are questionable, as is quarterback Jesse Palmer (right ankle), though Spurrier has said Palmer won't play.

-- Debi Jones

Suber could get the call

DAYTONA BEACH -- Former Tampa Catholic quarterback Allen Suber may start for Bethune-Cookman on Saturday in a critical Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Hampton, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Starter Pa'tell Troutman, who leads the team in passing and rushing, suffered a Grade 1 separation of his left shoulder last week.

Suber, a 5-foot-10, 178-pound redshirt freshman, took over for Troutman in the second half of that loss and has been taking the majority of the snaps in practice this week. Suber completed 10-of-21 passes for 110 yards but threw four interceptions.

"I'm more comfortable (after practicing this week)," Suber told the News-Journal. "I know what we're trying to do offensively."

-- Jamal Thalji

Strategy switch

ORLANDO -- In preparation for Louisiana Tech's wide-open passing attack, Central Florida coach Mike Kruczek let his first-team offense run Tech's offense against the first-team defense, something he normally would not do.

"We probably got a half hour of good skeleton work against what they do throwing the football," Kruczek said. "And I think (the defense) got a lot out of that. ... (It was) very important so we shared some time with them."

INJURY REPORT: Defensive end Fred Harley (knee), running back Edward Mack (neck), linebacker Tony Hardman (knee) and linebacker Antoine Poe (shoulder) improved and will play Saturday at or near 100 percent. ... Wide receiver Tyson Hinshaw (shoulder) did not practice but is expected to play. ... Offensive lineman Steve Edwards (ankle) has shown improvement and likely will play.

-- David Marsters

Backup punter will step up

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida A&M punter T.J. Smith, whose average of 41.2 is second in the MEAC, is out for Saturday's game at Southern because of a sprained ankle.

He was injured when he stepped on an opponent in a win over Hampton.

"It's an unfortunate thing, kind of a freak accident, but those things happen and you've gotto deal with it," Smith said. "We won't have to punt too much anyway if we get the result that we really want."

Starting defensive back Troy Hart, a redshirt sophomore from Jefferson High, will punt in Smith's place. Hart was the backup punter in high school.

"I averaged about 30-35 yards a punt, so it's nothing brand new," Hart said. "I'll be all right, as long as I can catch the ball -- that's what the coaches keep getting on me about -- but I'm pretty sure I can get it off."

-- Jabari Ritchie

Thursday's game

COLORADO ST. 45, BYU 21: Matt Newton threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns, and Cecil Sapp ran for 119 yards and two scores. The victory was Colorado State's first over the Cougars at home since 1975 and put the Rams (8-1, 5-0 Mountain West) a step closer to clinching their fifth conference title in eight seasons. BYU (4-6, 2-3) was eliminated from bowl consideration, meaning its Nov. 24 trip to Utah will be the final game for coach LaVell Edwards, who is retiring after 29 seasons.

Around the nation

RUTGERS: Coach Terry Shea agreed to resign after the season, the Star-Ledger of Newark reported today. Athletic director Robert Mulcahy scheduled a news conference for today. Rutgers (3-5) is 11-41 in five seasons under Shea.

ALABAMA: Mike DuBose is just the latest Paul "Bear" Bryant protege to coach in the shadow of the revered Crimson Tide coach and the expectations he created. He's not the first to fail, either. First-year athletic director Mal Moore doesn't plan to entrust the job to anyone but an established head coach. He also said ties to Bryant won't be an overriding factor in his decision. According to the Associated Press, Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Miami's Davis and Clemson's Tommy Bowden top the Tide's wish list. Only Bowden, a Tide assistant from 1987-89, has direct ties to the university.

VIRGINIA TECH: Quarterback Michael Vick (ankle) sat out practice for the third straight day and Beamer said Vick's prospects for playing at No. 3 Miami could be determined today. "Whether he can play Saturday or not depends on what he does tomorrow," Beamer said. Vick didn't dress for practice, but threw lightly with teammates before drills began with a protective boot on his injured foot.

-- Times wires

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