TAMPA — Skip Holtz has seen a lot of new faces this season as a first-year coach in the Big East, but the one he'll see across the field Saturday at Louisville he'll know very well.
Holtz and fellow first-year Big East coach Charlie Strong built a strong relationship between 1999-2002 while coordinators at South Carolina under Holtz's father, Lou. Holtz was offensive coordinator, and Strong followed Lou Holtz from Notre Dame to serve as defensive coordinator for the Gamecocks.
Holtz said they found common ground right away because both grew up in Arkansas.
"Charlie and I have been very good friends and stayed in touch over the years," Holtz said Tuesday. "I've got great respect for him and had a lot of fun in the spring going against each other every day. … It was one of those things that when you did practice schedules it was like, 'That sorry rascal, he's going to do this, this and this, so today I'm going to add this, this and this.' And the next day he would throw a wrinkle, and then I would. I just have a lot of respect for him as a football coach."
USF offensive coordinator Todd Fitch also was on the Gamecocks staff at the time, and he coached with Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bedford at Colorado State in 1992.
"It's fun to compete against your friends," Fitch said. "For 60 minutes, you want to go beat their brains out and all that, but you respect people like that across the sideline. There's a lot of respect there."
YOUNG SAFETIES MAKING MOVES: Holtz said he's impressed with how his young safeties, redshirt freshman JaQuez Jenkins and true freshman Mark Joyce, have developed as they are now pushing sophomore Jon Lejiste and junior Jerrell Young for starting positions.
"Joyce is just getting better and better with every rep he gets and every day in practice," Holtz said. "I think those two have been playing as much as starters as Lejiste and Young have been."
Kerry Klecic, Times correspondent
FSU: Ponder still out
TALLAHASSEE — Florida State QB Christian Ponder, still recovering from a right elbow injury, did not throw for the second straight practice.
The senior watched Tuesday's practice from the sideline with his throwing arm was in a sling. Sophomore E.J. Manuel took reps with the first-team offense.
Coach Jimbo Fisher said it's too early to make a decision about Ponder for Saturday's home game against Clemson.
Ponder busted his bursa sac Oct. 16 and reinjured it Saturday.
UM: Harris won't play
CORAL GABLES — Hurricanes QB Jacory Harris hasn't done any physical activity since sustaining a concussion two weeks ago at Virginia, coach Randy Shannon said, and he won't play Saturday at Georgia Tech.
Harris was expected to be examined further late Tuesday. If all went well, the junior might start running and perhaps participate in practice on a limited basis later in the week.
Stephen Morris will make his second start Saturday.
ALSO HURT: RB Damien Berry, who sat out Saturday with an upper leg injury, didn't practice and is questionable.
South Florida Sun Sentinel
UCF: No weaknesses
ORLANDO — Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora said UCF has shifted to a form of the spread offense thanks to speedy freshman QB Jeff Godfrey, making the Knights tough to beat.
No. 23 UCF hosts Southern Miss on Saturday. If the Knights win and East Carolina loses to UAB Thursday, UCF will clinch the C-USA Eastern Division title.
"We are looking for weaknesses and cannot find any, to be honest with you," Fedora said of UCF. "Offensively, they have scored about 40 points in each of the last five games, so they are really hitting on all cylinders there, and defensively, they are basically No. 1 in the league in every category."