Florida State now checks in at No. 16 in the latest Associated Press media poll and No. 17 in the coaches poll, the highest of any of the state teams. That hasn't been the case since Oct. 9, 2005.
"I think it's great, but it's the halfway point. We need to be there at the end of the year," first-year Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I'll be interested in where we're at at the end of the year. But it's very flattering, and it's great and it means you're doing well. … Hopefully it's motivation to keep doing well.''
Florida is 22nd in both polls; Miami and USF are unranked.
Returning: Junior RB Ty Jones, the former Middleton High star who had been out with a sprained ankle, will be back "for sure'' Saturday against Boston College, Fisher said.
His return could be timely if junior Jermaine Thomas (toe) is limited.Thomas has rushed for 386 yards on 65 carries and scored six rushing touchdowns (and one receiving).
Honors: G Rodney Hudson, who helped the offense roll up 471 yards in a 45-17 win over Miami, was named the ACC's offensive lineman of the week and KR/CB Greg Reid (145 yards on four kickoff returns, 16 yards on two punt returns) was the specialist of the week. … Georgia Tech RB Anthony Allen, a former Jesuit High standout, rushed for a career-high 195 yards and three touchdowns vs. Virginia. He shared the offensive back of the week honor with N.C. State QB Russell Wilson.
UCF: Leavitt sees USF series resuming
ORLANDO — Former USF coach Jim Leavitt was a guest on an Orlando-area radio show, saying he has been impressed by the Knights so far and expressed some thoughts about the UCF-USF series.
"Central Florida's a very good football team. We had great games with them. I always had great respect for what was going on over there with Coach (George) O'Leary. I really did. And I knew it always would be a great game, and we were just fortunate to win. …
"I thought if we kept playing Central Florida, that would always be our biggest rival," Leavitt added. "And I worked real hard at trying to see if we could get it going with Miami. Now and with the loss to Florida and depending on how they do against Miami, I think they'll settle back in to Central Florida. I think that'll happen and it'll be a good series."
Quick hits: O'Leary said sophomore backup K Jamie Boyle will likely handle field goals vs. Marshall because of junior Nick Cattoi's struggles (4-for-8 overall, 0-for-3 from 40 yards and beyond). … S Kemal Ishmael was named Conference USA defensive player of the week. He had seven total tackles (six solo), an interception and a forced fumble vs. Alabama-Birmingham.
USF: Holtz has history vs. West Virginia
TAMPA — First-year Bulls coach Skip Holtz and his staff don't have much of a history with most of the Big East teams they'll face this season, but Thursday's opponent, West Virginia, is one he knows well.
Holtz played West Virginia in each of his five seasons at East Carolina, and one of his biggest wins in Greenville, N.C., came in 2008, when his Pirates knocked off the No. 8 Mountaineers 24-3 in what was Bill Stewart's second game as head coach.
"They just waxed us tremendously down there at East Carolina my opening season," Stewart said Monday. "We got them back up here in '09, but he's a great coach. Very solid, has a great coaching staff. … I really respect these guys. Believe me, he'll have them ready to play."
Holtz lost to West Virginia 20-15 in 2005 and had a shot at another upset last season, as ECU jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but ultimately lost 35-20. In his last two trips to Morgantown, Holtz's teams have allowed West Virginia to amass more than 500 yards of total offense.
THIS AND THAT: Holtz said that RB Demetris Murray and WR Sterling Griffin continue to be limited by lingering ankle injuries. He said if Murray isn't ready to go Thursday, he will look to true freshman Marcus Shaw and redshirt freshman Bradley Battles, who have had only limited playing time at running back since the season opener. … LT Jamar Bass, who missed the Syracuse game with an ankle injury, was working with the first-team line at Monday's practice. … If junior S Jerrell Young (ankle) is back Thursday that would allow senior Mistral Raymond to move back to cornerback.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
Miami: No more mourning over loss
CORAL GABLES — Hurricanes players had their usual day off Monday, a chance to get away from football after a 45-17 loss to Florida State.
"We can't let this game beat us twice," LB Sean Spence said, referring to this week's game against Duke.
Coach Randy Shannon said he didn't feel the need to chastise his players because "they already got beat down." Instead, he'd work to "build them back up."
The Hurricanes, who fell out of both polls, are tied for third in the ACC's Coastal Division with the Tar Heels at 1-1.
"(Today) when we step on the practice field, it's done," WR LaRon Byrd said of the FSU loss. "That chapter is closed, and we have to focus on Duke."
South Florida Sun Sentinel