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UM will start Harris at QB vs. Ohio State

CORAL GABLES — The latest quarterback competition at Miami ended before it started.

Jacory Harris, returning from a one-game suspension, will start against No. 15 Ohio State on Sept. 17, a decision coming with surprising timing. Miami announced the choice Wednesday, one day after coach Al Golden said the competition between Harris and Stephen Morris for the first-string job would continue through at least the weekend.

Golden did not reveal why his timetable for choosing a quarterback changed. Players were not available for comment.

Morris started in a loss at Maryland on Monday night, and Golden had some sharp words about his performance. Golden credited Morris — who completed 19-of-28 for 195 yards but fumbled the ball away once in the early going and threw two interceptions in the final minute — with some strong throws and decisions, but he cited the sophomore for inconsistency.

"Too many operational things that the quarterback is responsible for that we need to improve," Golden said Tuesday.

Harris was among five who served one-game suspensions on Monday. Of those, Harris, LB Sean Spence and WR Travis Benjamin are down to start against Ohio State.

USF: Fatigue concerns

TAMPA — For the second week in a row, USF coach Skip Holtz is scaling back his workouts to make sure his players aren't overly fatigued on game day, but this time he's worried about the overly emotional aspects of the week leading up to Saturday's home opener against Ball State.

"You talk about not only the opener being Notre Dame and the opportunity we had up there, but to win the game, to (have) it be a six-hour game (due to weather delays), your focus being that long, getting in at 4 o'clock in the morning, going through the emotions with Lee Roy Selmon as a football team ... I feel like now they're tired, fatigued," Holtz said.

Holtz said the team will attend Friday's funeral services in Tampa for Selmon, the Bucs legend and former USF athletic director who died Sunday at age 56. The Bulls will continue to wear No. 63 stickers on their helmets in remembrance of Selmon, and Holtz said other tributes are planned for Saturday's game.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

FSU: Little drop-off

TALLAHASSEE — According to their teammates, with starters Greg Reid and Telvin Smith out of FSU's defensive rotation, expect little to change Saturday against Charleston Southern.

Reid and Smith were suspended for the game by coach Jimbo Fisher this week for violating unspecified team rules.

"You got guys that can step in," S Lamarcus Joyner said.

In Reid's place at cornerback, the Seminoles will turn to Xavier Rhodes.

Rhodes and Mike Harris will start at corner. Avis Commack and freshman Nick Waisome could play in nickel situations.

At middle linebacker, shared starter Vince Williams will expand his responsibilities.

This and that: On punts and kickoffs, Rashad Greene could make appearances in Reid's place. … RB Chris Thompson said he feels 100 percent healthy from his preseason back injury.

Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel

UF: QB a challenge

GAINESVILLE — Florida's inexperienced defensive backs will be tested Saturday by UAB's Bryan Ellis.

The QB passed for 2,940 yards and 25 touchdowns last season in nine starts, including a 32-29 double-overtime loss at Tennessee. Last Saturday, Florida faced FAU's Graham Wilbert, who entered with two career passes.

"The style of the offense is different," Gators defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. "They've got a really talented passer."

Takeaways missing: The turnover battle was a flaw in Florida's win last week. QBs John Brantley and Jeff Driskel combined to throw three interceptions while the UF defense didn't force any takeaways. "We could have had more attempts on the ball," Quinn said.

this and that: TE A.C. Leonard (rehabbing from torn meniscus in knee) is the only player out of the UAB game. WR Omarius Hines (hamstring) is probable; CB Jeremy Brown (knee) and WR Robert Clark (hamstring) are questionable. WR Deonte Thompson, hit in the back of the head against FAU, has practiced this week, WR Frankie Hammond said. … Tickets remain for the UAB game. Call toll-free 1-800-344-2867 or go to gatorzone.com/tickets.

Tyler Jett, Times correspondent

>>Up next

State games

Florida: vs. UAB, 7 Saturday, FSN

Florida State: vs. Charleston Southern, 6 Saturday, ESPN3.com

USF: vs. Ball State, 7 Saturday, BHSN

Miami: vs. Ohio State, 7:30 Sept. 17, ESPN

UCF: vs. Boston College, 8 Saturday, CBSSN

UM will start Harris at QB vs. Ohio State 09/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 8:02pm]

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