ATLANTA — After his first practice this month on Sunday, Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder said his right arm felt good. Coach Jimbo Fisher was impressed and made it seem like a formality that Ponder will be medically cleared to play in Friday's Chick-fil-A Bowl against South Carolina.
Ponder hadn't practiced since before a loss Dec. 4 in the ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech.
Said Ponder: "I wasn't sure how it was going to feel. And (there were) no signs of anything going through the whole practice. So it was good. I should be fine."
Fisher said he was "more than encouraged. He's ahead of where I thought he would be."
fsu loses tight end: Starting tight end Beau Reliford won't play because of an academic issue. The junior has 17 catches for 198 yards and a touchdown.
UF, Penn St. eat hearty
TAMPA — Florida and Penn State were treated to dinner Sunday in the first official Outback Bowl event.
The teams devoured more than 5,400 pounds of food, including: 750 pounds of sirloin, 750 pounds of chicken, 900 pounds of ribs, 700 pounds of house salad, 200 pounds of green beans, 950 pounds of cheese fries and 1,200 pounds of cheesecake.
The game is at 1 Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Ga. Tech suspends 3
SHREVEPORT, La. — Three more Georgia Tech players will serve suspensions in today's Independence Bowl against Air Force.
Coach Paul Johnson said starting outside linebacker Anthony Egbuniwe and backup defensive backs Louis Young and Michael Peterson will be benched for the first half for missing midnight curfew Friday.
The Yellow Jackets had already completely sidelined four players last week because of academics.
notre dame president speaks out: Notre Dame's president says the university acted with integrity in handling sexual misconduct allegations against an unnamed football player by a St. Mary's College student who later committed suicide.
Campus police conducted a "thorough and judicious investigation that followed the facts where they led," the Rev. John I. Jenkins told the South Bend Tribune. "I cannot stand by and allow the integrity of Notre Dame to be challenged so publicly."
There are no plans to pursue criminal charges.
Elizabeth Seeberg, 19, died of a suspected drug overdose Sept. 10.
Her parents, Tom and Mary Seeberg of Northbrook, Ill., said Notre Dame — located across the street in South Bend from all-girls St. Mary's — was superficial in its handling of the case.
fiu wins first bowl: The Golden Panthers kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to beat Toledo 34-32 in the Little Caesars Bowl in Detroit. It was the first bowl victory for FIU (7-6), which converted on fourth and 17 on the final drive.
Georgia: Running back Caleb King, backup cornerback Derek Owens and backup offensive tackle A.J. Harmon will not play in Friday's Liberty Bowl against UCF because of academic issues.
Miami: The Hurricanes arrived in El Paso, Texas, where they will play Notre Dame in Friday's Sun Bowl. A mariachi band played joyful music as dancers in elaborate, colorful dresses grabbed players and interim coach Jeff Stoutland to dance with them. Miami running back Mike James, who returned home to Haines City on Dec. 20 after learning his mother had died in a car accident, is expected to join the team today and plans to play. The game will start at 2 p.m., the same time as Elgusta James' funeral. A spokesman said James plans to play "because his mother would have wanted him to."
Texas Tech: Defensive coordinator James Willis is leaving after one season to pursue other opportunities, and will not coach in the Jan. 1 TicketCity Bowl against Northwestern. Texas Tech finished 116th in total defense (463 yards per game).