UM kicker doesn't fear series' painful history

CORAL GABLES — Miami K Jake Wieclaw would not mind one bit if the Hurricanes went into Florida State's stadium on Saturday and beat the Seminoles with ease.

And if the game is closer, he's ready for that as well.

Florida State lost to Miami four times since 1991 on field goals — Wide Right I, II and III, along with a Wide Left in 2002. ("When they pick the all-time missed field goal coach, I'll probably get the award," former FSU coach Bobby Bowden once said.) Miami missed two kicks in 2005, then sealed its loss by muffing a snap on what should have been a chip-shot field goal to force overtime.

So Wieclaw knows the history of placekicker perils in this fabled series. He'd embrace the chance to buck the trend.

"I'm sure it varies from kicker to kicker, but me personally — hopefully, it doesn't come down to that — but if it does, I'd like to say I'm ready," Wieclaw said. "I work all week, really ever since the offseason we've all been working to get in that rhythm."

Kicking was a huge question mark for Miami coming into the season. Matt Bosher was one of the nation's best, but upon his graduation Wieclaw was less than consistent and struggled at times during spring practice.

But Wieclaw's confidence started soaring as the season started. Now he's 8-for-10 on field goals and perfect on 36 extra points. And of his 52 kickoffs, only one has gone out of bounds for a penalty.

"We have the ultimate confidence in him," Miami coach Al Golden said.

Associated Press

UF: Runner, QB return

GAINESVILLE — Florida RB Chris Rainey practiced Tuesday and is expected to play against South Carolina.

"Chris was out there practicing," offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said. "He's like everyone else, they are banged up. … But he was out there, and (Mike) Gillislee was out there and Jeff was out there. So they are all out there."

Senior QB John Brantley also returned to practice after missing Monday's workout. He suffered a right arm injury last Saturday against Vanderbilt.

"Actually John looked pretty good, he probably could have practiced (Monday)," Weis said. "We just thought that we got two things out of that: he got more rest and the other guys got more work. So that worked out very well. But he took almost all the reps (Tuesday)."

Antonya English, Times staff writer

USF: RB depth tested

TAMPA — RB Darrell Scott day-to-day with a wrist injury and post-concussion symptoms, so USF might seek more production from other backs if he can't play Friday at Syracuse.

The Bulls might lean on junior Demetris Murray, who has split carries with Scott, along with sophomore Marcus Shaw, coach Skip Holtz said.

Holtz added Scott's possible absence won't change the team's offensive approach.

"(Murray is) smart. He's very intelligent. He understands pass protection very well. He's the best all-around back we have, being in the program now for (three) years and being in the system, and he's got a lot of football knowledge to him," Holtz said.

Murray is third on the team in rushing, behind Scott and QB B.J. Daniels, with 346 yards and five TDs on 82 carries.

THIS AND THAT: Holtz said there's "a strong possibility" of a punter-by-committee approach this week, with starter Justin Brockhaus-Kann and redshirt freshman Chris Veron both playing. Brockhaus-Kann struggled against Rutgers, averaging 32.8 yards on nine punts.

FSU: Greene practices

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State freshman WR Rashad Greene was back practicing and is expected to play this weekend. He has been a gametime decision in each of the past three games with an ankle injury.

He hasn't played in either.

Sophomore C Bryan Stork was still absent from practices. He hasn't practiced since missing Thursday's game at Boston College with "mild concussion-like" symptoms. He practiced Monday and Tuesday last week.

Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel

UCF: Bortles off bench

ORLANDO — Knights coach George O'Leary said redshirt freshman QB Blake Bortles will come off the bench and play Saturday at Southern Miss.

O'Leary planned to insert Bortles in the lineup regularly after a strong performance at BYU, but Bortles has had limited opportunities since that road loss. Bortles did not play in Thursday's 24-17 loss to Tulsa.

"Very few young kids can manage the whole game until you settle them down," O'Leary said. "He needs to be on the field."

Iliana Limon, Orlando Sentinel

>>FAST FACTS

Up next

USF: at Syracuse, 8 p.m. Friday, ESPN2

UF: at South Carolina, noon Saturday, Ch. 10

FSU: vs. Miami, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN

UCF: at Southern Miss, 8 p.m. Saturday

UM kicker doesn't fear series' painful history 11/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 10:56pm]

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