South Florida coach Jim Leavitt isn't tipping his hand because he says there is no hand to tip. He does not know if junior Ronnie Banks or redshirt freshman Pat Julmiste will start at quarterback Saturday at East Carolina.
"They're both working with the (first and second string)," Leavitt said after Wednesday's practice. "We haven't made a decision, honestly. We're not being sneaky or holding something back, we really aren't. We're really trying to make the right decision."
Leavitt said he is not thinking about rotating Banks and Julmiste, though receiver/option specialist Brian Fisher is expected to be interspersed at quarterback as usual.
HERE AND THERE: USF left the practice field and took refuge under the soccer stadium twice because of storms. Leavitt said the Bulls got in some work under the stadium and completed their drills.
GONE IN 58 SECONDS: In the end-of-practice, end-game situation, the offense took possession at its 35 with 58 seconds to go, one timeout and needing a touchdown. The defense stopped both the first- and second-string offense.
_ PETE YOUNG
for son's trickery
TALLAHASSEE _ If there has been a common thread in the four games Bobby Bowden's Seminoles and his son Tommy's Clemson Tigers have played, it's that the younger Bowden doesn't shy away from the trick play.
"He's gotten one almost every year," said Bobby Bowden, 4-0 against his 49-year-old son. "That's why we tell our coaches (to be prepared)."
But defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, who also shares special-teams duties, doesn't plan on his defense or kick-coverage teams being gun-shy in anticipation.
"You can't just quit playing football to keep from getting fooled every once in a while," Andrews said.
EXCITEMENT BUILDING: While FSU's record was fluctuating over the past two seasons, so too was the team's morale. Now with the Seminoles all but assured an outright ACC title and a BCS bowl bid while remaining in the national title hunt at No. 3 in the BCS standings, spirits and intensity have remained high. The 'Noles have shown few signs of a potential letdown against Clemson.
What's the secret? Well, Bowden thinks it's obvious.
"I think that goes with winning. When you keep winning the crescendo builds up," he said.
INJURY REPORT: FSU's nearly perfect health may have lasted one practice. Cornerbacks Bryant McFadden (groin), Rufus Brown (flu) and Antonio Cromartie (back) sat out practice, though none are expected to miss Saturday's game.
Bowden said a day of rest should be enough for Cromartie.
McFadden, the starter against Notre Dame, said his groin was hurt before the game against the Irish, but didn't affect his performance until Tuesday's practice.
"I tried to practice (Tuesday) but I wasn't able to go full speed so they told me to just sit out and get mental reps," he said, adding he expects to be at full strength by Saturday.
STREAKING: FSU has scored in 194 straight games dating back to a 31-0 loss at Miami to open the 1988 season. The offense, however, failed to score in a 13-2 loss to Oklahoma in the 2001 Orange Bowl.
Clemson was blanked in its season opener, 30-0 by Georgia.
_ ZACHARY SPAIN, TIMES WIRES
Rain washes out UF
GAINESVILLE _ Severe thunderstorms rolled in around 5:30 and forced Florida to cancel the second half of its practice for Saturday's home game against Vanderbilt.
Neither coach Ron Zook nor his players were available to the media after the rain-shortened workout.
_ BRIAN SHAFFER