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Leavitt likes reaction to heat

This just in: It is the heat.

South Florida went through drills at perhaps its most stifling practice as temperatures reached the high 90s Friday.

There was a lot of cramping, but Leavitt said he was pleased with the way his team played through it.

"We didn't have a problem in mass like you see at some other places," he said. "We had a few guys (affected) but not too bad."

KICKING GAME KICKS: Bill Gramatica made a 47-yard field goal, which meant his teammates only had to run two "gassers," as opposed to three. A dozen or so Bulls mobbed Gramatcia.

"He came in not warmed up at all. We put him on the spot," Leavitt said. "He hit it a little bit low, but he killed it."

Leavitt lavished praise on P Tony Umholtz.

"Tony is as good as any (punter) in the country at any level," Leavitt said. "He's as good as I've been around."

QB CONFIDENCE: The battle for quarterback seems to be bringing out the best in starter Glen Gauntt. Offensive coordinator Mike Canales raved about the junior and said he is pleased with backup Marquel Blackwell and third-stringer Mike Usry.

"We're a lot further along than I thought we'd be," Canales said. "These guys have been here all summer, and it shows."

_ JOHN C. COTEY

Minnis has foot surgery

TALLAHASSEE _ Florida State WR Marvin Minnis, third on the team last season with 23 recep-tions, broke his right foot Thursday and had surgery to have a pin inserted.

"The doctors will decide how long he'll be out, something like six weeks," coach Bobby Bowden said.

_ TIMES WIRES

Practice moved to night

GAINESVILLE _ Florida coach Steve Spurrier cut the morning practice short by 30 minutes and pushed the afternoon workout back four hours to 8 p.m.

Spurrier said it will be the first of many evening practices during two-a-days because Florida's first three games _ Western Michigan at 6, Central Florida at 6 and Tennessee at 8 _ are at night. The Gators also play LSU at 8 p.m.

"We're playing a lot of games at night, so we're going to practice a little bit more at night this preseason," Spurrier said.

OT PEARSON PREPARED: Redshirt freshman OT Mike Pearson of Seffner is expected to start against Western Michigan on Sept. 4 in place of Kenyatta Walker, who is suspended for the opener. Pearson, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound Parade All-American, has gained 20 pounds in the past year.

"My brother told me to just go in there and give them a reason to not take me out," Pearson said. "Hopefully I can get in there and show them I can play at this level."

CONFIDENCE IN KICKER: The Gators, who lost to Tennessee on a missed field goal in overtime last season, expect to be more consistent, especially with the emergence of walk-on Jeff Chandler.

"Jeff Chandler gained a lot of experience during the spring," Spurrier said. "He really improved physically, and you can see it in his kicking.

"We've got a lot more confidence in the kicking game. If we have to kick one, we won't say, "Well, he probably won't make it anyway, so let's go for it.' That attitude is not there."

_ MARK LONG

Davis praises offense

CORAL GABLES _ After a two-hour morning practice in full pads and an afternoon session cut short by thunderstorms, Miami coach Butch Davis said he was pleased with the offense.

"This was one of the better offensive practices that we've had this entire camp," Davis said. "So far, the defense has dominated practice, but today the offense was efficient and did not commit a single turnover."

SHOW DEBUTS: The Butch Davis Show debuts today at 11:30 a.m. on SportsChannel Florida.

_ TIMES WIRES

Kruczek happy with effort

ORLANDO _ Central Florida coach Mike Kruczek was pleased with his team's effort and conditioning, despite the rash of heat illness that struck during the first week of two-a-day workouts.

"The results have been very, very positive up to this point," Kruczek said. "Some good things are happening out there."

UCF had its first 100-play scrimmage this morning.

_ TONY MEJIA

DB out for season

DAYTONA BEACH _ Bethune-Cookman DB Dontavius "Dee" Patrick, a heralded transfer from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, ruptured an Achilles' tendon running Thursday and is out for the season. He is expected to have surgery Monday.

QB HEALTHY: QB Pa'tell Troutman said he felt fine after practicing in pads for the first time since sustaining a knee injury Dec. 26 in the Hertiage Bowl.

_ TIMES WIRES

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