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UF passer remains up in the air

For the first time this season, Florida coach Steve Spurrier has not chosen a starting quarterback this close to game time.

With kickoff against Vanderbilt set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Spurrier maintains he might not decide on a starter until the opening drive. He has said it will be either sophomore Doug Johnson or senior Noah Brindise.

"We'll probably try to play a little bit of both of them and see how it goes," he said. "It might depend on where we get the ball on the field and what pattern we run."

Earlier in the week, Spurrier seemed to be leaning toward Brindise. He since has said Johnson played well against Georgia but was hindered by dropped touchdown passes to WRs Jamie Richardson and Jacquez Green.

KARIM TO SIT: As expected, junior WR Nafis Karim was suspended for Saturday because he violated the University Athletic Association's class attendance policy for student-athletes. For now, the suspension is for one game.

"If they find some more absences, it might be another one," Spurrier said.

Karim missed the season opener against Southern Miss for an unspecified violation of a team rule.

Travis McGriff will start alongside Green; Richardson, recovering from torn ligaments in his left middle finger, will be the third wide receiver.

TB Bo Carroll may join the receiving corps as well.

BETTER AND WORSE: While LBs Mike Peterson (knee) and Dwayne Thomas (shoulder) were upgraded to probable and are expected to start, backup FS Mike Harris (shoulder) will not play against the Commodores. Senior Jon Xnydis, who has seen significant action in nickel and dime packages, will play in Harris' place.

Elsewhere on the injury report, CB Tyrone Baker (ankle), Brindise (neck) and TE Dwight Edge (shoulder) are probable. LB Keith Kelsey (shoulder) and OL Corey Yarbrough (ankle) are doubtful. FB Terry Jackson (knee) and DT Gerard Warren (knee) are out.

_ MARK LONG

Scout team tries to wing it

TAMPA _ Perhaps the toughest job on the South Florida practice field fell to the Bulls' scout team, which was faced with the task of learning Cumberland's wing-T offense and showing it to USF's first-team defense. In three days.

Freshman QB Jeremy Earle ran the wing-T on the scout team, which came out before the rest of the team Monday night and started running "play after play after play," coach Jim Leavitt said.

"(Earle) did a great job," Leavitt said. "They worked real hard. But you can't get the true picture. All you can do is get your alignments. You can get the formations set and some familiarity with the wing-T."

GRAND DAY OUT: The Bulls will be in Tennessee less than 24 hours. They arrive tonight in Nashville about 10, then get up to make the 30-minute drive to Lebanon for the game, which will be at 1:30 p.m. (2:30 EST).

The team will fly home Saturday after the game and is scheduled to be back in Tampa by 9:40 p.m.

INJURY REPORT: Starting OT Kenyatta Jones (ankle), LB Marshall Smith (dislocated thumb) and DB Brian Newsome (stomach strain) are probable. FB Chris Hill (shoulder) is questionable.

_ SHARON GINN

Davis is cool with forecast

CORAL GABLES _ Game-time temperature at Virginia Tech Saturday is expected to be about 50, but Miami coach Butch Davis is not concerned.

"It has been my experience that it is easier going from warm temperatures to cold temperatures than the other way around," he said. "Once you start playing, your body gets hot."

INS AND OUTS: DLs Denny Fortney and Derrick Ham, who have had nagging injuries, are expected to play. TB Trent Jones (hamstring) and LB Rod Mack (knee) will not make the trip, and OL Yacub Abdul-Matin will serve a one-game suspension for violating team policy.

_ SPECIAL REPORTS

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