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College bowl game briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 30, 2000

Vick not talking about NFL

JACKSONVILLE -- Michael Vick shed little light on his "stay or go pro" decision Friday, and his Virginia Tech coaches tried to diffuse the matter as one of a 20-year-old struggling to make the right choice.

In a statement delivered extemporaneously before practice, Vick said the question "was not even an issue anymore" and that he doesn't want it to be a distraction as the Hokies prepare for the Gator Bowl.

"As far as I know, the main thing is still the same about me staying in school," Vick said before stepping away without taking questions. He said he would have no further comment on the matter before the game.

The No. 6 Hokies (10-1) play No. 16 Clemson (9-2) on Monday.

Vick pledged Dec. 15 to return to Virginia Tech next season but hinted Thursday that he could change his mind after after hearing he might be the first pick in the NFL draft.

FIESTA: Notre Dame running back Julius Jones is pain-free for the first time this season. That presents a problem for both the Oregon State and Irish coaching staffs heading into Monday's game. Notre Dame's coaches have to keep Tony Fisher and Terrance Howard happy with their playing time now that Jones is back at full strength. Notre Dame offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers said the Irish will continue to rotate the three.

ROSE: The battle between the Washington offensive line and Purdue defensive line looks like a complete mismatch, because the Huskies are significantly huskier. But Purdue isn't concerned with a nearly 2-inch and 50-pound per man disparity -- the Boilermakers believe they've seen it all before. "Washington almost seems like a Big Ten team to us," middle linebacker Joe Odom said. It would be hard not to make the connection. Washington averages 6 feet 5, 314 pounds across it's five-man front, and 10 of its top 12 linemen weigh at least 300 pounds. Meanwhile the Boilermakers defensive line averages 6-3, 258 pounds.

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