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Dean says it's Wuerffel

Published Oct. 8, 2005

The nation's fourth-rated passer has apparently become Florida's second-string quarterback.

While Florida coach Steve Spurrier declined to officially name a starting quarterback Monday night, senior Terry Dean acknowledged that he will be replaced by sophomore Danny Wuerffel.

"He's the coach, he makes the decisions," Dean said after a Monday night practice. "He thinks this is the best way for us to beat Georgia. That's the way it is."

That's also the way it was in 1993. Dean lost his job to Wuerffel for a month, then the two alternated starts for a month and Dean finally won it back with a strong post-season performance.

"Last year taught me nothing is for sure," Dean said. "I'm going to use this time to improve my game, watch some tapes, get sharper with my throws. Maybe I'll get the chance to prove myself again."

Dean leads the Southeastern Conference in passing and is fourth in NCAA ratings, but he struggled in Florida's 36-33 loss to Auburn. Dean threw four interceptions before being replaced by Wuerffel, who threw three second-half touchdown passes.

Wuerffel declined to discuss the situation Monday night, saying it was Spurrier's decision. Wuerffel set an NCAA freshman record with 22 touchdown passes last season and has thrown for four scores in his first 33 passes of 1994.

It was obvious that Wuerffel was getting much more time with the first-team offense at practice Monday night, but Spurrier had said earlier he was not going to make his decision public until today.

"I like to keep my word," Spurrier said. "It's no secret what we're doing, but I'll talk about it Tuesday."

Ironically, it was about this time last season that Dean re-entered the picture. Upon replacing Dean in Week 3, Wuerffel started five straight games, but was ineffective early against Georgia and Dean came off the bench to lead UF to a victory. Dean is not counting on a repeat performance.

"The coach feels Danny is the guy to get the job done," Dean said. "And I'm sure Danny will do great."

Dean, who stood alone on the sidelines while Wuerffel led the Gators to scores in the second half against Auburn, dropped hints that he is already contemplating a possible NFL career.

"I've had time to prove to other people what I can do," he said.

Gator Bowl has deal

with ACC, Big East

JACKSONVILLE _ The Gator Bowl, passed over by the Bowl Alliance in August, struck a deal Monday to get the runners-up from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East.

The six-year deal has a three-year option in case the Bowl Alliance athletic directors decide to reopen bidding for a spot in the national championship alliance.

Officials from both conferences said the $121-million refurbishing of the stadium played a key role in their agreement with the Gator Bowl.

The deal, which wasn't finalized until late Monday, still has details to be settled, including payout per team, television contract and title sponsor.