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Three key 'Noles expected back

Guard Montrae Holland, center Antoine Mirambeau and running back Nick Maddox were back at practice after missing Saturday's win against North Carolina.

Florida State hopes to have all three in the lineup against N.C. State this weekend.

"If they can get through the week, I would think that would be the deciding factor," coach Bobby Bowden said.

FSU struggled to run against the Tar Heels, with the worst-rated run defense in the ACC. Freshman Leon Washington filled in for Maddox and gained 56 yards running behind sophomore center David Castillo and sophomore guard Bobby Meeks.

BOOKER STILL AN OPTION: Bowden said playing freshman back Lorenzo Booker is a possibility. Booker was redshirted, but with Greg Jones out for the season and Maddox hampered by an ankle sprain Bowden had said he might use Booker against the Tar Heels. He never played, but Bowden told him he was an option.

_ JASON SCHNEIDER

Bulls cover up

TAMPA _ The cold snap caused many South Florida players to put on extra layers for Monday's practice as the Bulls began preparation for Saturday's regular-season finale at Houston.

"It's probably as cold as we've practiced in," USF coach Jim Leavitt said. "It's not lightning, so we're okay."

Among those participating in light running drills was Lee Roy Selmon Jr. The junior defensive tackle tore a knee ligament in the offseason. Leavitt said there was no chance Selmon would return even if USF plays in a bowl game.

PASS EVERY DOWN?: Unless the Bulls throw 73 passes against Houston, quarterback Marquel Blackwell will not have a chance to set a national record for consecutive attempts without an interception. Ex-Buc Trent Dilfer threw 271 straight in '93 at Fresno State.

STILL CLIMBING: USF is No. 28 in the BCS standings, according to collegebcs.com, up from No. 39. Among the schools USF is ahead of: Tennessee (29) and Oregon (33).

_ PETE YOUNG

Top receiver has surgery

GAINESVILLE _ Florida receiver Carlos Perez had surgery Monday on his broken right leg and will begin rehabilitation in four weeks.

The junior was Florida's leading receiver with 58 catches for 591 yards and four touchdowns. He had six catches in the first half Saturday against South Carolina before breaking his fibula while being tackled late in the second quarter.

_ TIMES WIRES

Dorsey laughs off injury

CORAL GABLES _ Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey had a cast placed on his left wrist last week, indicating an injury Nov. 2 against Rutgers might be more serious than he had let on.

Asked about it, Dorsey joked that he "did it for the ladies" and said that it might get him some sympathy votes for the Heisman Trophy.

Dorsey said the cast was to aid in healing and should be removed before Thursday night's game against Pittsburgh.

_ TIMES WIRES

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