TALLAHASSEE — Florida State CB Mike Harris, a heralded junior college transfer who had a stellar debut Saturday afternoon, suffered a huge loss later that day when his ailing mother died.
Harris was at practice Monday afternoon, and he's expected to make the trip to Oklahoma for Saturday's game against the Sooners before returning home to Miami for the funeral. He had four tackles and an interception in the 59-6 win against Samford to earn the team's defensive player of the week honor.
More team accolades: Sophomore K Dustin Hopkins, who hit a 24-yard field goal, all eight of his extra points and boomed six of 10 kickoffs for touchbacks, was FSU's special teams player of the week. As for the best offensive player, that went to the entire unit.
Nice start: Coach Jimbo Fisher couldn't have been happier about the first practice in preparation for Oklahoma. "The enthusiasm was good, the attitude was good, we got a lot of work done on a Monday," he said. "Came prepared, got a good jump on things, and I was very pleased with how they went about their business."
Injury update: Redshirt sophomore S Nick Moody, battling for a starting spot but slowed by a groin injury, "moved around pretty good" at practice Monday, Fisher said.
Brian Landman, Times staff writer
USF: Ex-QB Grothe cut
TAMPA — Former Bulls QB Matt Grothe was cut by the UFL's Florida Tuskers, less than two weeks before the season begins.
"I really enjoyed the time I spent with the Tuskers and gained a lot of pro experience, which will help further my football career," Grothe said in a statement Monday night.
Grothe, whose senior year was cut short last fall by a knee injury, has returned to full health.
The Tuskers have the UFL's returning MVP in QB Brook Bollinger, and Grothe was competing with Arena Football veteran Chris Greisen for a backup spot.
"Matt came in and did some good things and showed continued improvement throughout camp," coach Jay Gruden told the Orlando Sentinel. "Unfortunately, with a 52-man roster, we are limited to two quarterback spots. … In the end I just felt better going with the more experienced player. Matt's a young guy and hopefully he will get other opportunities to continue his playing career at the professional level."
Grothe is the second USF alum cut by the Tuskers this week, following DE Jarriett Buie. WR Huey Whittaker and S J.R. Reed remain on the Orlando team's roster.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
UM: Ready for noise
CORAL GABLES — The Hurricanes have played in some hostile environments the past few seasons, including the Swamp in Gainesville, but Saturday's game in Columbus, Ohio, will be a different experience.
The crowd at Ohio Stadium is expected to be the largest the 'Canes have encountered since 107,745 at Tennessee in 2002. Miami won 26-3. There were 109,313 for UM's 33-7 win at Penn State in 2001.
"You can't say how it's going to affect you until the game comes," coach Randy Shannon said. After OSU, Miami plays at Pittsburgh and at Clemson.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
UCF: Stick to the plan
ORLANDO — UCF coach George O'Leary said many players on defense gambled to try to make plays early in the opening win against South Dakota instead of sticking to assignments. "We had a lot of players sticking their noses where it didn't belong," he said. O'Leary said when the game plan was followed, the defense was more effective.