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State players shine at Classic

Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez wasn't sure how his North squad would respond when it fell behind by 10 midway through the third quarter of the Villages Gridiron Classic on Saturday.

"In a game that doesn't count, it's easy to check it in," he said.

Instead, the North picked it up.

Behind Tennessee running back Troy Fleming's two second-half touchdowns, the last with 7:24 left, the North rallied for a 35-31 victory over the South before an announced 12,312 at Villages Polo Stadium. Fleming rushed for a classic record 101 yards on 19 carries to earn MVP honors.

"I was joking with (Tennessee teammate) Anthony Herrera," Fleming said. "We're both from Tennessee, and we were wondering why they would put us on the North squad. But it turned out to be a good thing. I hope this helped me. But I tell everybody that I don't believe anything until my name goes across the board (during the NFL draft)."

The classic, an all-star game for potential NFL players, featured many of this past season's biggest stars. Several with Florida ties fared well, particularly linebacker Maurice Jones and safety J.R. Reed of South Florida.

"They played hard," said Georgia's Mark Richt, the South coach. "They'll hit you."

Had the South won, Jones might have been an MVP candidate. In addition to his four solo tackles, he had a forced fumble, fumble recovery, interception and tackle for loss. Jones' strip of North quarterback Matt Kegel (Washington State) and recovery led to a first-quarter touchdown.

"I played pretty good," Jones said. "The first series, I was cold and didn't know what was going on. But after that, I made my reads and settled down."

Reed led the South with five solo stops and eight total tackles. He forced a second-quarter fumble at the North 21, and the South scored five plays later for a 21-14 lead.

Reed also returned two kickoffs for 39 yards with a long of 31.

"I think I helped myself a little," Reed said. "A lot of scouts are high on me. They like my range. They like my drive; that I go hard every single play."

Florida running back Ran Carthon had the game's longest play, a 54-yard third-quarter run that set up the South's final score. Carthon rushed for 73 yards and one touchdown on seven carries.

"It's great to come out and cap my career with a great game," Carthon said. "I definitely had a great week of practice. I called (a Florida teammate) and told him this was the best week I've ever had. It's great to open eyes for scouts."

Colorado president wants to investigate allegations

BOULDER, Colo. _ Colorado's president Betsy Hoffman said she wants to create a committee to investigate allegations the school used sex parties to lure recruits and urged the Legislature to stay out of the matter.

In a deposition of a lawsuit filed by an alleged victim, Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan said the university ignored warnings she made in 1997 to put an end to the parties. Coach Gary Barnett denied the allegation.

_ Information from from other news organizations was used in this report.

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