GAINESVILLE — Florida QB Tim Tebow hopes to avoid the flood of threatening voice and text messages he received a year ago during the week leading up to the Florida-LSU game.
Tigers fans found his cell phone number and harassed him with hundreds of calls and text messages, many of them profane, leading him to change his number after the game. Tebow had a little fun with the fans in Baton Rouge, pretending to dial a phone after a touchdown pass in last season's game, but hopes to avoid a repeat.
"I don't think they're going to get this number," he said. "I hope not. Not right now."
BLACK IMPRESSES: Sophomore safety Ahmad Black seems determined to prove all his doubters wrong.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound converted cornerback was supposed to be too small, too slow.
But the Lakeland native won the starting job in preseason camp over prized recruit Will Hill, is tied for the team lead with two interceptions, has 25 tackles (fourth best on team) and blocked an Arkansas field goal Saturday.
Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong has been impressed.
"Ahmad was an outstanding high school player," Strong said. "We always felt that he was a great athlete, but he wasn't fast enough to play corner, but he wasn't big enough to play safety. But now he's been a really pleasant surprise for us."
USF: A new receiver
TAMPA — Junior CB Theo Wilson, who injured his ankle against North Carolina State on Sept. 27, will move to receiver.
"We want to see if we can get the ball in his hands,'' coach Jim Leavitt said. "Theo is an outstanding football player. It's really sad that he got hurt."
Wilson was expected to be out until the Louisville game on Oct. 25, but Leavitt said there is a remote possibility he could play in the next game, against Syracuse on Oct. 18.
Senior OT Marc Dile (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, but Leavitt said he expects him to play against the Orange.
UM: No doubts
CORAL GABLES — Coach Randy Shannon remains steadfast that Miami, even after two close losses at home over the last two weeks to North Carolina and FSU, is getting closer to an elite level.
"It's tougher than what I thought it was going to be," he said. "But the younger guys are doing so much right now, it's probably going to go quicker than we expect, quicker than most people probably think.''
"This team reminds me of my younger high school times (at Plant)," QB Robert Marve said. "You really have to build a base around you. This game is so great because you see how teams that have been playing together for three or four years look. And when you can come up and have all those leaders play together, it's something really special."
UCF: Expecting Miami's speed to lead to a faster tempo in Saturday's game, the Knights offense is practicing with a running 40-second game clock. "We know they are a very fast team," TE Corey Rabazinski said. In other news, senior Daren Daly was named starting kicker, with freshman Nick Cattoi the backup.
Times correspondent Joe Rienzi contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires and the Orlando Sentinel.