TALLAHASSEE — After four practices, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman are ready to take over at tailback for leading rusher Chris Thompson, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.
"They've stepped up and know that they've got an opportunity and that our team needs them," Fisher said Thursday.
Wilder, a former Plant High standout, and Freeman will be co-starters for the first time Saturday against Duke.
Wilder and Freeman, both sophomores, this week have consistently picked up blitzes and made calls at the line like veteran backs do, Fisher said.
"They want to live up to the legacy of what Chris has left and knowing how well he was playing and the things he was doing for us, even without the ball," Fisher said. "They take great pride in that."
notable: The Seminoles are negotiating with a non-ACC team to set up a neutral-site game to begin the 2014 season, Fisher said. Playing a "significant opponent" could help strength of schedule, he said.
Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel
UF: Will UGA rush the field again?
GAINESVILLE — Two Gators had different reactions when Georgia FB Alexander Ogletree said on Twitter the Bulldogs should repeat their controversial 2007 rush of the field after their first touchdown Saturday.
"Think we should rush the field first touchdown … fans and all!" Ogletree posted.
In 2007, the Bulldogs rushed the field after scoring in the first quarter, resulting in two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a 42-30 victory.
Florida redshirt senior G James Wilson remembers that as "pretty upsetting." "I hope that they don't embarrass the game like that," he said.
Florida redshirt senior DT Omar Hunter said he wouldn't mind: "I would enjoy that. It would be fun. It's good for the game. I love it."
USF: Good and bad news on grad rates
TAMPA — USF's athletic department showed improvement in Graduation Success Rates released by the NCAA, but the Bulls were worst in the Big East in football and overall scores. The numbers reflect rates for athletes who enrolled in 2005; USF has made significant progress in recent years in other academic metrics. Read more at tampabay.com/blogs/bulls.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
UM: Dispute over DE Cain's departure
CORAL GABLES — Backup DE Kelvin Cain quit the team by not showing up last week, a Hurricanes spokesman said. Cain's mother, Ursula, said he told her he did not quit and when he reported to the locker room, his locker was cleared out. The junior from Clovis, Calif., said Thursday he had an issue to resolve and hoped to rejoin the team soon.