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Orlando Sentinel

TALLAHASSEE - Two days from opening the season against Miami in a nationally televised game on Labor Day night, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said his team is committing fewer mistakes in practice.

"There was three or four days where really it was not very good at all," Bowden said Friday. "And then the next day it was better. And it would get better. The one thing about football is reps - it's all reps."

Handshake concern: The NCAA has encouraged all teams to meet at midfield to shake hands. Bowden admitted he's worried about how the handshake will work given the heated rivalry with Miami. He said the coaches would talk with the team in effort to avoid any potential incidents.

UM: Fitting in place

CORAL GABLES - The Hurricanes practiced in the dark leading up to the Monday night opener at Florida State, and several positions were won or narrowed down.

Harland Gunn was named starting right guard, and coach Randy Shannon said either JoJo Nicolas or Vaughn Telemaque will start at free safety.

Miami Herald

Around the nation

Georgia: Starting quarterback Joe Cox is expected to play even though flulike symptoms delayed his travel to Oklahoma State for today's game. Cox did not fly with the team but was expected to arrive late Friday.

SMU: Former Miami running back Shawnbrey McNeal has been cleared to play without sitting out a season after transferring over the summer.

Va. Tech: Redshirt freshman Ryan Williams was promoted to starting tailback for today's opener against Alabama.


Memphis appeal: Memphis filed notice of its intent to appeal the NCAA's ruling forcing it to vacate all 38 wins from the 2007-08 season that ended in the national title game. Memphis officials are upset the NCAA clearinghouse cleared a player, believed to be now-NBA star Derrick Rose, to play. The committee on infractions later ruled the player ineligible after a testing service invalidated his SAT score, prompting the penalties. Memphis has 30 days to file arguments why the ineligibility ruling and punishment should be reversed.

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