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Injured FSU running backs expect to play

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State lost its top two tailbacks in the second half against Virginia Tech, but both said on Monday that they expect to return Saturday at Georgia Tech.

Senior Antone Smith (ribs, elbow) rode an exercise bike during most of Monday's practice and said he didn't know if he would participate in contact drills this week. Freshman Jermaine Thomas (concussion) practiced and said he didn't feel any effects from his injury during Saturday's game.

"I'm not my best," said Smith, who ranks fourth in the ACC with 540 rushing yards. "I'm not at 100 percent right now, but I feel pretty good. My legs are fresh, but my ribs are a little banged up. Other than that, I feel pretty good."

Big target: Georgia Tech is best known for its triple option, but FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews has been equally impressed by WR Demaryius Thomas, who ranks second in the ACC with 71.9 receiving yards per game.

"Well, he is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, and he runs as fast as any defensive back we've got," Andrews said. "We would have to put two of our defensive backs together to be as big as he is."

Weekly honors: For the second consecutive week, senior Graham Gano was named ACC specialist of the week. He was 3-for-3 on field goals, including a 50-yarder, against Virginia Tech. He also averaged nearly 52 yards on three punts. Senior DE Everette Brown (three sacks) and Miami QB Robert Marve also were honored by the league.

USF: Selvie better

TAMPA — USF has its share of injuries to deal with going into Thursday's game at Cincinnati, but DE George Selvie is back to his old self, racking up two sacks and four tackles for loss in Saturday's loss at Louisville.

"He really played well last game," coach Jim Leavitt said. "That was the first time I've seen him play to the level he had played (before spraining his ankle in a win at Florida International on Sept. 20)."

Despite missing parts of three games while injured, Selvie is now one half off the Big East lead in tackles for loss with 10 and is tied for third in the conference with five sacks.

"It was good going out there and actually playing a game like I want to … trying to dominate a little bit," Selvie said.

"But we didn't get the win, and without a win, it means nothing."

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore G Zach Hermann, who has missed six games with a broken foot, will travel with the team and could give a much-needed boost to the line. Hermann returned to practice Sunday after seven weeks out, but coaches aren't sure how much he can play against Cincinnati.

Senior Marc Dile, the starting right tackle, remained in a boot at Monday's practice, and true freshman Danous Estenor, who played all but eight plays Saturday, is listed as the starter on the official depth chart.

RBs Mike Ford and Jamar Taylor didn't practice because of ankle injuries, and LB Brouce Mompremier was held out after taking a blow to the back of the head Saturday.

UF: Must-see game

GAINESVILLE — Gators coach Urban Meyer and Georgia coach Mark Richt can downplay tension about Saturday's game all they want. Miami coach Randy Shannon isn't buying the talk that the Bulldogs' early end-zone celebration last season is forgotten.

"Something will happen in that game. I can guarantee you that," Shannon said. "You better go to that game. You would get a great story. Don't come to ours. I'm serious. Something is going to happen after what happened last year. You can book that."

Demps honored: UF freshman Jeff Demps earned his second SEC player of the week honor this season, as special teams player of the week for his role in a victory over Kentucky. He blocked a punt, one of three blocks by Florida.

Demps earned SEC freshman player of the week after a win at Arkansas on Oct. 4.

UCF: Two QBs await

GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina will use two quarterbacks and several freshmen on defense Sunday night at UCF. Game time is 8.

Coach Skip Holtz said Patrick Pinkney and Rob Kass will take snaps. They're listed as co-starters on the depth chart after combining to beat Memphis 30-10 and snap a three-game slide.

Five freshmen were listed on East Carolina's two-deep list on defense because several upperclassmen are hurt.

DL Khalif Mitchell (toe) and DL Marcus Hands (back), LB Melvin Patterson (leg) and DBs J.J. Milbrook (ankle) and Jerek Hewett (shoulder) are among banged-up Pirates.

MISSED CHANCE: Few expected Central Florida to topple No. 19 Tulsa, with the host Golden Hurricane and its prolific offense entering Sunday night's game a big favorite.

The Knights claimed a 19-14 halftime lead, but they couldn't maintain the strong play on both sides of the ball.

Tulsa ultimately claimed a 49-19 win in front of 30,000.

UCF (2-5, 1-2 Conference USA) suffered a blow to its goal of repeating as conference champion.

Tulsa (8-0, 5-0) appears to be the favorite to win the C-USA championship.

"I thought it was a tale of two halves," UCF coach George O'Leary said. "I thought we stayed to the game plan in the first. In the second half, I thought we got away from that."

S Sha'reff Rashad led the Knights with six tackles.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires and the Orlando Sentinel.

>>UP NEXT

USF: at Cincinnati, 7:30 Thursday, ESPN

UF: vs. Georgia, 3:30
Saturday in Jacksonville, Ch. 10

FSU: at Georgia Tech, 3:30 Saturday, Ch. 28

Miami: at Virginia, noon Saturday, Ch. 44

Injured FSU running backs expect to play 10/27/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 5:40pm]

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