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Tackle out of hospital

Offensive tackle Bobby Williams returned to practice Wednesday wearing a neck brace.

He stayed overnight Tuesday at a hospital for tests, which showed no damage.

Williams sustained the injury during a scrimmage Tuesday. As he tried to cut, his head collided with fullback Ray Snell's knee.

Williams, a sophomore from New Smyrna Beach, said he lost feeling in his legs for about 25 seconds.

"I'm healthy right now," he said. "And hopefully, I can get in next week for Florida State."

INJURY UPDATE: Receiver Taylor Jacobs (sprained MCL) ran routes after practice.

He said accelerating and decelerating are tough but believes he can be ready to go full speed at practice next week and play against FSU.

Defensive end Clint Mitchell did not practice because of a headache. Coach Ron Zook said he did not want to take any chances with Mitchell, a Clearwater native, because he has played so well.

_ JILL MARTIN

Running back sits out

TALLAHASSEE _ Running back Nick Maddox was held out of practice as a precaution but still could play Saturday.

"He was a little sore," coach Bobby Bowden said. "He did everything (Tuesday), and we iced (his ankle) and kept it rested. So maybe (today) he can get some work."

Initially diagnosed as a sprained ankle, Maddox missed Saturday's game and has not practiced two days in a row since sustaining the injury Nov. 9 against Georgia Tech.

"It's been a really tricky injury," Bowden said.

Maddox said he felt like his ankle was at about 95 percent when he could work on it.

If Maddox cannot play, freshman Leon Washington would start and freshman Thomas Clayton back up.

Bowden also said freshman Lorenzo Booker could play despite a desire to redshirt him.

MIRAMBEAU LOOKS GOOD: Center Antoine Mirambeau participated in full-contact drills for the first time since injuring his knee, and Bowden expects him to start Saturday.

Guard Montrae Holland, who sprained his ankle Nov. 2, worked out but did not participate in contact drills. His status is uncertain.

"Montrae is looking better," Bowden said. "But he's still not moving like I wish he could."

TALKING WITH THE ENEMY: Bowden appeared on N.C. State coach Chuck Amato's weekly radio show Wednesday. Bowden said he had no problems appearing with his former assistant despite being opponents Saturday.

"I don't know what they'll ask (me)," Bowden said jokingly. "But I told him I'd do it."

INJURY UPDATE: Receiver Craphonso Thorpe was held out of practice after injuring his chest. Bowden said he expects Thorpe to take it easy for the rest of the week but play Saturday.

_ JASON SCHNEIDER

Offense speeds up

TAMPA _ Practice ended with a demanding end-game scenario. The offense started from its 40 with 38 seconds left, no timeouts and needing a field goal.

The first-team offense moved the ball 20 yards against the first-team defense, but Santiago Gramatica missed a 57-yard field goal.

The second-team offense gave Gramatica a slightly better chance, from 55 yards. The sophomore, who has made 16 of 21 field goals this season and is a Groza Award semifinalist, drilled it.

"We had a real good practice," coach Jim Leavitt said. "That was a good way to end it."

FEELING GOOD: Leavitt said the Bulls are healthy and he expects everyone on the travel squad to make the trip for Saturday's game at Houston.

One exception might be Brian Fisher. The sophomore receiver has missed two of the past four games for academic reasons.

CLIMBING UP: USF has moved up a spot to No. 3 in the cbs.sportsline.com non-BCS top 10. In the espn.com mid-major top 10, the Bulls also moved up one to No. 6.

_ PETE YOUNG

Up next:OFFBEAT

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