TAMPA — Coach Skip Holtz said that USF used Tuesday's practice, its first since last week's loss to Pittsburgh, to get "back to basics."
The Bulls ran about 175 plays in an extended practice, working in the red zone and on third-down situations among other areas, Holtz said.
"We're only as good as our last performance, and the last performance we put out on the field is not what this team is capable of," he said. "We're capable of doing more."
Holtz said the team's intensity reflected its disappointment with the loss to Pittsburgh.
"I thought they had a business-like approach," he said. "They didn't put their head in the sand. They're not having a pity party for each other and moping and just going through the motions."
UM: Safety returns
CORAL GABLES. — Football logic says Miami S Ray Ray Armstrong will have to ease his way back into the lineup.
Armstrong thinks otherwise.
Though he has missed four games because of suspension, he sees no reason to take things slow. He's ready to play — now.
"I can handle as many (reps) as coach gives me," Armstrong said. "I believe I can go in and start and play a whole game. I believe I'm in shape. Like I said, I've been conditioning after practice every day through the whole weekend."
Armstrong, regarded as one of the nation's top safeties, should strengthen a unit that has taken criticism of late. UM allowed 820 yards the past two weeks, including 422 Saturday against I-AA Bethune-Cookman.
Armstrong, a junior, said he's ready to contribute this week against Virginia Tech.
"It's not tough at all," Armstrong said of returning. "…My coaches put me in the best position that I can be in. They've been working with me the past four weeks, just like any other player on this team."
South Florida Sun Sentinel
FSU: All for regrouping
TALLAHASSEE — After back-to-back losses Florida State had to regroup. So, last week, while decompressing from an emotional 35-30 loss to ACC rival Clemson, the Seminoles' veteran leadership called a team meeting.
"(There were) a lot of mishaps as far as doing the right things on and off the field," starting QB EJ Manuel said. "With us losing those two games, you can either go south or you can go north as far as your attitude as far as the season."
The Seminoles chose to go north.
"We've got a lot of football left to play," Manuel said. "We just have to handle it and go out and win."
Consecutive defeats, coupled with last week's legal drama involving CB Greg Reid, could derail the Seminoles.
Coach Jimbo Fisher believes they haven't.
"No matter what's happened, they've kept a great attitude and practiced well and are fighting through it," Fisher said.
Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel
UF: Weis working trio
GAINESVILLE — Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said Florida's replacement for QB John Brantley has not been decided and that Jeff Driskel, Jacoby Brissett and Tyler Murphy will all practice this week in preparation for Saturday's game against No. 1 LSU.
"We're practicing the other three guys and by the end of the week we'll decide who the starter is," Weis said.
Weis said Driskel has a slight advantage because of his experience. He has played four games this season and is 7-for-16 for 73 yards and two interceptions.
"I'm going objectively," Weis said. "I'm not going just because Jeff has played and the other two guys haven't played. Jeff obviously has the upper hand because he's played and the other guys haven't played meaningful football yet. But the other two guys are getting reps, too, so we'll see how it goes."
EASLEY INVESTIGATION: The University Police Department continued investigating an alleged assault by DL Dominique Easley. Former Alabama player Reggie Myles filed a complaint alleging he was assaulted by Easley after Saturday night's home game against Alabama. "We are moving forward with the information that we have," UPD Major Brad Barber said. "My expectation is we will have it completed before the end of the week."
Antonya English, Times staff writer
UCF: Right direction
ORLANDO — UCF coach George O'Leary said he doesn't need to watch his team to know the Knights are heading in the right direction.
He can hear when helmets, pads and cleats all collide perfectly. He can hear seniors stepping up and all of his players urging each other to work harder.
O'Leary likes what he is hearing this week heading into Saturday's game against Conference USA rival Marshall.
"I put it on myself as the head coach that we should have gotten things done better," O'Leary said. "And that's the way I addressed the kids … Everybody has to be on the same page."
"We've been putting extra time focusing on the things that we can do to win," junior OL Jordan Rae said. "And everybody's anxious to go."
Iliana Limon, Orlando Sentinel