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    Times wires
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    HONOLULU — Stanford snapped defending national champion Baylor's 42-game winning streak Friday, winning 71-69 when player of the year Brittney Griner missed a short turnaround shot at the buzzer.

    Griner scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half, helping the top-ranked Bears rally from 14 down. It was Baylor's first loss since Texas A&M beat the Bears in the 2011 NCAA region finals. Baylor (2-1) went 40-0 last season.

    Stanford also ended UConn's NCAA record 90-game run in 2010.

    Chiney Ogwumike had 18 points to lead the fourth-ranked Cardinal (3-0), which lost to Baylor in the national semifinals last season. Her reverse layup put Stanford up four with 22 seconds left. Destiny Williams hit her first career 3-pointer to pull Baylor within one.

    Toni Kokenis made one of two free throws. Baylor got the rebound and advanced the ball to halfcourt before calling timeout to set up the final play.

    Griner caught the ball, and with three players draped on her, the 6-foot-8 star's shot fell off the rim, setting off a wild celebration by the Cardinal.

    "We knew where the ball was going," Ogwumike said. "It's a matter if we're able to make the play. It's hard to make a play on Griner. You knew it was going to Griner and she was going to turn around and shoot."

    Baylor's run was the fifth longest in NCAA women's history.

    NO. 10 GEORGIA 62, S.C. ST. 46: Anne Marie Armstrong had 14 points and Erika Ford 10 for the host Bulldogs (3-0), who forced 29 turnovers.

    NO. 15 NEBRASKA 77, N. ARIZONA 55: Jordan Hooper had 27 points, including five 3-pointers for the host Cornhuskers (3-0).

    TAMPA 76, LINDENWOOD 43: Moriah Hodge scored 21 and was 9-for-10 from the field as the Spartans (3-0), playing in the Saint Leo Invitational, earned their biggest margin of victory since 2009.

    SAINT LEO 72, P.R.-BAYAMON 39: Junior Chelsea Connelly had 17 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the Lions (2-1) in the Saint Leo Invitational.

    Men: Florida coach reinstates Wilbekin

    GAINESVILLE — Florida junior guard Scottie Wilbekin was reinstated to the team and will play Sunday when the No. 10 Gators take on Middle Tennessee at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Tipoff is 4 p.m.

    Wilbekin was suspended Nov. 8 for violation of team rules, missed three games and worked out on his own. He was expected to be the starting point guard, but coach Billy Donovan said Wilbekin now has to earn his job back.

    "I think he's definitely paid a price," Donovan said. "In my meeting with him (Friday), I felt like it was time to let him be able to come back, start practice and be a part of our team. He's got to work back. He's missed a week of practice right now, by his own doing. That's not to say that he's never going to start here again. As a coach, I don't believe in having a doghouse, so to speak. To me, he starts fresh and clean. In my mind, although we did address the things he has done, I think I'd be making a mistake as a coach to constantly keep holding on to that, because I'm expecting him to move on."

    NO. 3 KY. 101, LAFAYETTE 49: Kyle Wiltjer made seven 3-pointers for 21 of his 23 points and Alex Poythress added a career-high 22 points as Kentucky (2-1) rolled in its home opener, shooting 65 percent (40-for-62) from the field.

    NO. 6 N.C. STATE 94, UMASS 76: T.J. Warren had 21 points to lead the Wolfpack (3-0) at the Puerto Rico Tipoff in Bayamon.

    NO. 14 MIzzou 74, NICHOLLS ST. 54: Alex Oriakhi had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the host Tigers (3-0), who outrebounded Nicholls State 41-25.

    COLO. 60, NO. 16 BAYLOR 58: Askia Booker scored 19 and the Buffaloes upset the Bears (3-1), who knocked out Colorado last season in the NCAA Tournament's third round. Colorado won at the Charleston (S.C.) Classic despite going 4-for-18 on free throws.

    NO. 23 UConn 77, WAKE 71: Shabazz Napier scored all 16 of his points in the final 10 minutes for the Huskies (3-0) at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

    MIAMI 73, JACKSONVILLE 57: Shane Larkin scored 21 of his career-high 27 in the second half for the host Hurricanes (2-1), who shot 59 percent (23-for-39) and held the Dolphins to 40 percent (20-for-50).

    UCLA RULING: UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad was ruled eligible to play, and the star freshman guard is set to make his debut Monday against Georgetown. The NCAA said the school's sanctions against Muhammad were sufficient after he sat out three games and repaid $1,600 in impermissible benefits.

    MAJERUS NOT RETURNING: St. Louis coach Rick Majerus will not return to the team because of a serious heart condition. Majerus, 64, ended the school's 12-year NCAA Tournament drought last season with a 26-win team, and the Billikens were ranked for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

    USF INVITATIONAL: Senior forward Nate Hutcheson had 30 points and nine rebounds, leading Western Michigan to an 81-71 victory over Loyola of Chicago at the Sun Dome in Tampa.

    EASTERN MICHIGAN: Junior forward James Still was dismissed from the team while an assault case against him is being resolved in court.

    ST. JOHN'S: Junior college transfer Marc-Antoine Bourgault was declared eligible, and the 6-foot-6 shooter joined the Red Storm, playing five minutes in Friday's 72-67 loss to Murray State.

    Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report.


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    Times wires
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    NEW YORK — Florida State had a game coaches dream about: The Seminoles shot well and defended like their lives depended on it.

    "I thought for a young team we displayed an ability to score even though we're in synch. We had some mishaps while trying to learn," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Defensively, that was one of our better nights."

    The Seminoles shot 58 percent and made 11 of 20 3-pointers in an 88-70 victory over BYU in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic semifinals Friday night at the Barclays Center, the new home of the NBA's Nets.

    The defense Hamilton was so happy about held the Cougars to 33 percent shooting overall and 6-of-25 from 3-point range.

    "Thirty-three percent from the field surprised our coaches and players," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "Florida State sped us up, and we took some quick shots, but besides that, Florida State shoots 58 percent from the field.

    "Our defense was slow. Our rotations were slow. (FSU) did a great job of finding the open man and made some great passes along the baseline."

    Florida State (2-1) plays Saint Joseph's, a 79-70 upset winner over No. 20 Notre Dame in overtime, in tonight's championship game.

    Former Clearwater High star Okaro White had 17 points for the Seminoles. Michael Snaer had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Ian Miller and Devon Bookert both had 15 points.

    Snaer has more to do than score and rebound, Hamilton said.

    "Michael, being a senior on such a young team, has at some points forced his will on this team," Hamilton said of last season's ACC Tournament MVP. "He wants all the dirty work, the toughest defensive assignment. He wants to take the big shot or be on the (free-throw) line at the end of the game. He led by example for the seven new players."

    One of those seven, freshman point guard Bookert, agreed.

    "He's a guy who has been there and done that," said Bookert, who was 5-for-7 from the field and had five assists. "He is cool all the time, but he's tough when he thinks he has to be."

    The Seminoles went into the game shooting 38.5 percent on 3-pointers but they made 11-of-20 as they led by as many as 27 in the second half. They shot 58 percent (29-for-50) from the field overall and held down a BYU offense that went in averaging 80.5 points per game.

    Tyler Haws had 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Cougars (2-1) who were within 50-43 with 17:30 to play.

    FSU then went on a 13-0 run to put the game away.


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    Times wires
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    NAPLES — Ai Miyazato kept telling herself to be patient and the putts would start falling. It all came together Friday at the Titleholders, where she believed she couldn't miss until her final putt dropped for 8-under 64 and a one-shot lead.

    Two big birdie runs gave Japan's Miyazato a good chance to finish the LPGA Tour year with her third win. She finished the front nine with four birdies in a five-hole stretch, then ran off three straight birdies on the back nine at the TwinEagles Club, which had given her fits in the opening round.

    "I've been dealing with my putting since last month, and it just didn't go in," said Miyazato, who was at 10-under 134. "But I just say to myself, 'Just be patient and it's going to go in someday.' "

    In second was U.S. Women's Open champion Na Yeon Choi (68). Three shots back was a group of four that included Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (69), who was happy just to be playing.

    The tour had an online contest in which fans could vote for who they wanted in the featured pairing on TV. Lincicome won, and then her lower back seized up at the week's start. It got so bad Thursday that she needed a therapist on the course.

    One of the biggest hitters in golf, she took it easy Friday and kept her thoughts only on the next shot. "I just tried to guide it down the middle and get back in control of things," Lincicome said.

    Also three back were first-round co-leaders Suzann Pettersen (71) and Sun Young Yoo, who thought she was only two back when she walked off the course. In the scoring tent, rules officials told her that her arm was not shoulder high when she took a penalty drop on 14. Yoo was assessed a one-shot penalty, which gave her 8 on the par 5, and she finished with 71.

    "I didn't think about my arm's height," Yoo said. "It's my mistake. I'm still only three shots behind. I'm in good position."

    The other first-round co-leader, rookie of the year So Yeon Ryu, was 6 under after 72. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (72) was at 3 under, and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson was 8 over after 81.

    hong kong open: Michael Campbell led a host of 40-somethings atop the leaderboard while defending champion Rory McIlroy failed to make the cut in the event sanctioned by the European and Asian tours. Campbell, 43, shot 6-under 64 for a one-stroke lead at 9-under 131 over 48-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez (67), 47-year-old Zhang Lian-wei (66) and 40-year-old Fredrik Andersson Hed (66). McIlroy double bogeyed the last hole for 72 to finish at 5 over. "So it's not the week I wanted, but then I have a few days to work on my putting and try and get ready" for the European Tour Championship in Dubai, he said.

    australian masters: First-round leader Matthew Guyatt shot 3-under 69 to maintain his two-shot lead at 10-under 134 after the second round of the PGA Australasia event in Melbourne. Michael Hendry (69) was in second, and Adam Scott (70) was three shots back. Defending champion Ian Poulter (72) was five strokes behind.


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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  • 11/16/12--20:32: Sports in brief
  • Times staff, wires
    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Hockey

    Lightning's crombeen to orlando

    After missing 42 games last season because of a shoulder injury and with NHL games canceled through Nov. 30, B.J. Crombeen decided it is time to play. So, the Lightning right wing signed a minor-league deal with ECHL Orlando and is expected to suit up tonight and Sunday for home games (ticket info: orlandosolarbearshockey.com). His contract allows him weekly to evaluate if he wants to continue.

    "I just didn't want to sit too long," he said. A member of the union negotiating committee, Crombeen said it was "pretty stupid" for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to suggest a two-week break in negotiations. "It's very frustrating and aggravating to see how the NHL is going about this."

    Deputy commissioner Bill Daly and union lawyer Steve Fehr spoke Friday and planned to talk over the weekend to determine the next step in negotiations.

    Basketball

    Holdsclaw out of jail on $100,000 bond

    Former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw was released from an Atlanta jail Friday night on $100,000 bond after being arrested in an altercation with a former girlfriend, an Atlanta TV station reported.

    The bond was set in a morning hearing at which a judge also ordered Holdsclaw, 35, to wear a monitoring device and have no contact with Jennifer Lacy, 29. Holdsclaw is due back in court Nov. 30 on assault and weapons charges.

    Holdsclaw is accused of firing a shot Tuesday into a car belonging to Lacy, who plays for the WNBA's Tulsa Shock. Holdsclaw also used a bat to smash the car windows, police said. No one was injured. Holdsclaw turned herself in Thursday night after an arrest warrant was issued.

    The two dated for four years before Lacy ended the relationship last year, celebrity website TMZ.com reported.

    Lacy, daughter of former major-league baseball player Lee Lacy, thanked her family, friends and fans for their concern in a statement.

    Holdsclaw won three national titles at Tennessee and was the first overall pick in the 1999 WNBA draft. Her last season in the league was 2010. She has struggled with depression and is a spokeswoman for Active Minds, which helps young people with mental health issues.

    ET CETERA

    Tennis: Tomas Berdych beat Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 to give the host Czech Republic a 1-1 tie with defending champion Spain after the opening singles matches in the Davis Cup final. Earlier, David Ferrer beat Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The doubles match is today.

    Alpine skiing: Four-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn, hospitalized with an intestinal illness this week, posted on her Facebook page "Finally starting to get healthy again! Looks like I had some infection in my tummy."

    Soccer: David Beckham's representatives ruled out him moving to an Australian team after Football Federation Australia said it had been approached by an agent representing the midfielder. Beckham, 37, is in the MLS playoffs with Los Angeles. He signed a two-year deal in January.

    Bobsled: Steven Holcomb got his second straight World Cup two-man win, pairing with Curtis Tomasevicz to edge U.S. teammates Cory Butner and Charles Berkeley at Park City, Utah.

    Figure skating: American Jeremy Abbott led after the men's short program at the Trophee Bompard in Paris. Russia's Julia Lipnitskaia, 14, led the women, with American Ashley Wagner second.

    Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer; Times wires


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    Times wires
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Devonta Freeman ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns, Florida State's top-ranked defense lived up to its billing and the No. 10 Seminoles rolled past Maryland 41-14 Saturday to earn a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

    Florida State (10-1, 7-1) led 27-0 at halftime and cruised to its fifth straight victory. The Seminoles clinched the league's Atlantic Division title for the second time in three years and will play for its 13th ACC crown on Dec. 1.

    EJ Manuel completed 17 of 23 passes for 144 yards and two scores to supplement a running game that gained 237 yards. In their previous game at Virginia Tech, the Seminoles were held to minus-15 yards rushing.

    Operating against an injury-plagued Maryland team using a linebacker at quarterback, Florida State allowed 27 yards and three first downs before halftime and ended up giving up 170 yards — well below their nation's best average of 242.9 per game.

    Were it not for a 42-yard touchdown pass from Shawn Petty to Kevin Dorsey with 25 seconds left, the Seminoles would have held the opposition under 10 points for the sixth time in 11 games.

    The defeat formally ended any chance Maryland had of becoming bowl eligible. The Terrapins (4-7, 2-5) have dropped five straight, the last three by a collective 119-37 score.

    Maryland's skid coincides with the loss of its top four quarterbacks with season-ending injuries. Making his third straight start, Petty went 8 for 19 for 136 yards and two touchdowns but lost a fumble.

    Any reasonable hope the Terrapins had of pulling off an upset vanished after the Seminoles scored two touchdowns in a 12-second span to take a 14-0 lead with less than six minutes elapsed.

    Maryland won the toss, deferred and promptly yielded an 11-play, 61-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard run by Freeman. Levern Jacobs fumbled the subsequent kickoff, FSU recovered at the 10 and Manuel threw a first-down touchdown pass to tight end Nick O'Leary.

    Late in the first quarter, Petty botched a handoff and the Seminoles recovered the fumble at the Maryland 32.

    After 15 minutes, the Seminoles had a 111-18 advantage in total yardage. On the second play of the second quarter, Dustin Hopkins kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it 17-0 and set a Division I-A record for career points by a kicker (442). He added six more points to extend the mark to 448.

    Florida State's next drive began with a 21-yard pass from Manuel to O'Leary and ended with a 40-yard field goal. Late in the half, Manuel directed a 70-yard march that ended with his 30-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene.

    In the third quarter, Petty threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Dorsey on a fourth-down play. It was the final home game for Dorsey and 16 other Maryland seniors, all of whom never got the satisfaction of defeating a top-10 team.

    Florida State went up 34-7 late in the third quarter. After Freeman ran for 47 yards on a third-and-1, he scored on the next play from the 2.

    With Manuel and Freeman watching from the sideline, the Seminoles added a fourth-quarter touchdown on a 22-yard run by former Plant High star James Wilder Jr.

    FSU now will focus on next week's showdown against rival Florida in Tallahassee.


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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    HOMESTEAD

    By the time Brad Keselowski climbs into his No. 2 Dodge for today's Ford EcoBoost 400, he will have watched his favorite prerace video once, twice, perhaps three times. In it, Ray Lewis, arguably the NFL's fiercest linebacker, says to "chase your legacy every second of your life" and to "leave your mark to endure forever." So what if Lewis' pitch is simply an ad for a video game. For Keselowski, the message, which Lewis delivers with preacher-like fervor, is what is important. "He brings a level of passion that is really unparalleled in his sport," Keselowski said. "It's kind of a mix of old-school mental prep that just fascinates me. I want to bring that same passion and intensity to NASCAR."

    As for leaving his mark, Keselowski has the opportunity at Homestead-Miami Speedway as he needs only a 15th-place finish to clinch his first Sprint Cup title in just his third full season in NASCAR's premier series.

    Keselowski, 28, who leads five-time champ Jimmie Johnson by 20 points, also clinches by finishing 16th with a lap led or 17th with the most laps led.

    Interesting note: Keselowski this season has finished worse than 15th only six times.

    "It's been a long road from where I started," said the native of Rochester Hills, Mich. "My success is attributed to a constant desire to improve. That's how I've got to where I'm at, and that's how I believe I'll continue to be successful, with a commitment to improve every day."

    Keselowski isn't kidding about a long road. As team owner Roger Penske said, Bob and Kay Keselowski "mortgaged everything for their kids to go racing."

    Keselowski remembers using space heaters at home during the winter to save on electric bills while the family financed the K Automotive racing team.

    After the team folded, Keselowski went track to track asking for rides, his big break coming in 2007 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. gave him a chance with his Nationwide series team.

    Keselowski signed with Penske at the end of 2009 and his career exploded as he won the 2010 Nationwide championship.

    "Sure, there were a bunch of moments when I thought I wasn't going to make it," he said.

    Being part of a gold-plated team certainly helped reverse those trends. But Keselowski had an edge: knowledge from working with his family's race team.

    "He understands his car," Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace said. "I've always said in order to be successful on a consistent basis you've got to understand the damn car. He can probably set that car up himself because he's been there, done that. That's my sole reason he's been as consistent as he's been."

    "He's passionate about the sport and he wants to be involved," said Penske, 75, who also seeks his first Sprint Cup title. "Brad has not only pushed me as an individual, he's pushed the team in a positive direction. And he's delivering."

    Wallace said Keselowski's ability to avoid wrecks by not unnecessarily challenging drivers who are known to crash is a sign of maturity and smarts.

    Crew chief Paul Wolfe said Keselowski, who has five wins, is a master reading the pulse of a race and when to make a move.

    Keselowski also talks to Penske every day about everything from the team's personnel moves to upgrading the fitness center.

    "A lot of raw talent," Johnson said. "He has a hunger to learn the sport on a lot of levels and a desire that's admirable."

    "To be a champion, you can't be at the bottom of the pecking order," Keselowski said. "You have to fight your way to the top. These guys aren't just going to throw away their seat, so you have to take it."

    Ray Lewis could not have said it better.

    Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com.


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    The Florida Gators defense prepped for a showdown against rival Florida State by shutting out Jacksonville State 23-0 Saturday in Gainesville.

    The seventh-ranked Gators will play at No. 10 Florida State next week.

    The Gators (10-1) held the Gamecocks (6-5) to 242 total yards. Florida's Jon Bostic returned an interception 7 yards for a touchdown.

    Florida was playing without injured quarterback Jeff Driskell. Jacoby Brissett replaced him, completing 14 of 22 passes for 154 yards.

    Running back Mike Gillislee led the Gators, rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown.


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  • 11/17/12--13:13: Tulsa tops UCF Knights 23-21
  • Times wires
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    TULSA, Okla. — Cody Green connected with Keyarris Garrett for three touchdown passes Saturday and Tulsa held on to beat UCF 23-21 in a battle of Conference USA division leaders.

    The win sealed the West Division title for Tulsa (9-2, 7-0) and gives the Golden Hurricane the upper hand for home-field advantage for the championship game Dec. 1.

    Trey Watts ran for 122 yards for Tulsa, and Green finished with 252 yards passing, going 21 for 34 with an interception. The three scoring passes to Garrett went for 70, 20 and 13 yards — the last one making it 23-14 Golden Hurricane with 5:11 left in the third quarter.

    UCF (8-3, 6-1) came within two points on Latavius Murray's 2-yard run with 9:01 to play, but Tulsa ran nearly seven minutes off the clock and the Knights never got another first down.

    Blake Bortles was 13 of 31 for 169 yards and a TD for UCF, but was sacked four times.


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    By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Joe Maddon has been chilling out in California recently, which has worked out even better given the Jill Kelley circus playing out near his Tampa house.

    He and executive VP Andrew Friedman have started chatting, and will do so more frequently with the Dec. 2-6 winter meetings approaching.

    And while their offseason has thus far been more talk than action, one thing Maddon made clear — they're not going to react, and definitely not over-react, to the moves that Toronto made to make the AL East even more treacherous.

    "I'm not worried about it," Maddon said. "We've talked about this before. We've gone through this with other teams, whether it's Boston or New York or whomever with all the different things they do in the offseason.

    "Now, Toronto's doing it. But it's about what we do and how we cohabitate and how we make ourselves better. Coming off 90 wins with all the issues that we had last year, that's still pretty impressive."

    Maddon does acknowledge the overall division is now even tougher, and the Jays considerably better, though he wonders if they may flip some of the players coming from the Marlins, and notes potential issues of playing on turf (i.e., SS Jose Reyes).

    But, after mentioning Boston's ill-fated 2011 additions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, Maddon said, "Just because you acquire and get these really good players doesn't necessarily mean you're going to win either."

    What may be of more concern to the Rays are the early signs on the free agent market.

    With 37-year-old OF Torii Hunter getting $26 million over two years from Detroit and performance enhancing drug-tainted OF Melky Cabrera $16 million over two from Toronto — end even C Dioner Navarro getting $1.75 million from the Cubs — that's not promising for a team with limited resources seeking several impact bats.

    Which could make it even more likely they have to trade from their stock of starters.

    THE LIFE OF JOE: Thanks to mutual friends, Maddon had dinner last week with NBA legend Jerry West. "I got to meet Joe Namath, John Havlicek and Jerry West in the same year," Maddon said. "That's a pretty good year."

    FREE FOR ALL: RHP Joel Peralta had his physical last week, so the two-year, $6 million deal he agreed to Nov. 5 to return should be official early this week. ... LHP J.P. Howell, who would like to return, said there are "a handful" of teams interested and wasn't sure how quickly a decision will come. The Angels may be one. ... Free-agent CF B.J. Upton, who has visited with the Braves and Phillies, has at least three other teams to talk with, including the Nats and possibly the Giants. "I'm really blown away by the love other cities are showing me right now," Upton tweeted. "Can't wait to see how this pans out."

    RAYS RUMBLINGS: If the Rays go ahead and add an extra coach as is being discussed, a name to keep in mind is Jamie Nelson, who worked with them some last year in his role as minor-league catching coordinator... News/sports TV analyst Keith Olbermann, who has some ties to Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, wrote on his mlb.com blog that the Marlins' mess makes it automatic the Rays end up moving, and suggests Montreal. ... Interesting that David Price won the Cy Young Award, but closer Fernando Rodney and Detroit's Justin Verlander got more MVP votes. ... The reason ever-popular Astro wasn't with Price on announcement night? Doggie boot camp. ... 3B Evan Longoria's Tampa's Got Wings program with Red Bull raised money last week for improvements at Seminole's Cross Bayou field. ... LHP Scott Kazmir, who is only 28, is still trying to get back to the big leagues, pitching this winter in Puerto Rico. ... Trop scorer Bill Mathews is working the WBC qualifier in Panama. ... This didn't take long: Price Cy Young T-shirts are on sale at the team's Tampa store.

    Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.


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    By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Stephen Morris threw for 413 yards and three touchdowns as the host Miami Hurricanes blasted the USF Bulls 40-9 Saturday.

    The Hurricanes (6-5) became bowl eligible, though they may self-impose a bowl ban because of NCAA violations.

    The Bulls (3-7) lost for the seventh time in their past eight games.

    USF played without injured quarterback B.J. Daniels. Replacement Bobby Eveld, who had planned to redshirt this season, promptly got hurt early in the game, missing the remainder.

    Matt Floyd took over and threw for 175 yards but two interceptions.

    The Bulls have another tough road test Friday when they play at Cincinnati.


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    By Matt Baker, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Offensive MVP

    David Emmanuel, Pasco: The senior running back rushed for 135 yards to spark the Pirates' offense early. He ran for two scores, broke up two passes and had two tackles for a loss, too.

    Defensive MVP

    Morgan Flournory, Pasco: Flournory was an impressive sidekick to Joey Ivie. He tallied four sacks on a dominant defensive line that stuffed Citra North Marion.

    In case you missed it

    •Anclote QB John Forgione's 179 passing yards were his second-best output this year and moved him past 1,000 for the season. He finished his senior year with 1,085 yards.

    •Anclote LB Dimitri Grivas had two sacks in a 37-0 loss to Gainesville Eastside.

    •Hernando ATH Tyrail Hawkins ripped off a 72-yard run against Gainesville. That was his second-longest carry of the season.

    •Springstead LB Luke McLeod ended his career with a five-tackle, one-sack night, pushing his season total to 138 tackles.

    •Pasco K Brandon Ray didn't boot another winner against North Marion. But he did have field goals of 39 and 40 yards, and he boomed a 50-plus-yard punt in the first quarter. The Colts muffed it, setting up Pasco's first scoring drive.

    •Springstead RB Daniel Wright scored his team's only touchdown on a 3-yard run. It was the sophomore's 10th TD of the season.

    •Hernando's 60-3 loss to Gainesville was the second-largest playoff defeat in North Suncoast history. Central lost 60-0 to Alachua Santa Fe in 1995.

    Stat of the day

    Ben Alford's announcement late Friday that he plans to resign as Wesley Chapel coach was lost in the playoff shuffle.

    Consider this sign of coaching turnover in the North Suncoast: Alford took at Wesley Chapel before the 2010 season. Of the 19 North Suncoast football coaches, only eight are at the same program now as they were when Alford started with the Wildcats. That includes Weeki Wachee and Fivay, who weren't even playing varsity football three years ago.

    Final thoughts

    Hernando: The Leopards' final record took a step back this year at 6-5, even though the final result was the same: a trip to the playoffs and a first-round loss to Gainesville. Hernando weathered a late coaching change and an 0-3 start to make the playoffs in a district filled with parity. Although the Leopards will lose Tyrail Hawkins, standout pass rushers Darren Hambrick and Robert Hill Bronson and a strong senior class, they will have plenty returning. LB/RB Jeremiah Jackson already has an offer from Purdue, and QB Ra'shaad Hart improved this fall. A fourth consecutive trip to the playoffs is a realistic goal next year.

    Springstead: The Eagles were one of Tampa Bay's biggest surprises. Few predicted Springstead would fare much better than last year's 4-6 finish (including one win via forfeit), let alone make it back to the playoffs and win the district championship. Coach Bill Vonada has quietly built a solid program that could be the best in Hernando County. He molded this year's team in his image and should be the favorite for coach of the year honors.

    Anclote: The Sharks are the third young school in the last two years to make it to the playoffs, after Sunlake and Fivay. But the Falcons and Seahawks failed to make it back to the postseason this fall, proving that getting to the playoffs is hard, but sustained success is even harder. Coach Matt Wicks has a few reasons to be optimistic about next fall. RB Willie Barrett will be back after rushing for more than 1,400 yards as a junior. So will twins Tymere and Shymere Carter, who have sky-high potential after breakout junior seasons.

    Looking ahead: Gainesville Eastside (6-5) at Pasco (11-0)

    Pasco has a dynamic backfield with Janarion Grant, left, and David Emmanuel. But Anclote had a strong ground game, too, before rushing for minus-19 yards against Eastside in the Class 5A region quarterfinals. The Rams' fast front seven dominated the Sharks, and Anclote never recovered. Pasco's playmakers have speed, and it's hard to contain them both, as North Marion learned. But Eastside will be one of the toughest tests of the season for the Pirates offense.


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  • 11/17/12--16:07: Around the NFL
  • By Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    J-E-T-S

    Mess! Mess! Mess!

    Is there a bigger mess in the NFL than the Jets? • Not only are they 3-6, playoffs hopes dwindling by the day, they appear to be coming apart at the seams. If trashing teammates in the tabloids counted as much as touchdowns, they'd be the toast of the NFL. • Instead they're just toast. • The latest are comments from anony­mous players ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow in New York's Daily News. So the guy who doesn't play is the problem? It was less than a year ago that the Daily News ran a similar story with unnamed Jets complaining about starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. • Sanchez says winning cures everything, but it will take a tall task for this group even to get back to .500. And after reaching the AFC title game in coach Rex Ryan's first two seasons, New York has regressed to 8-8 and now this. Running back Shonn Greene told Yahoo Sports, "Something's got to change." • And it appears change could be coming. • "We're a 3-6 team. Are we happy? Are the players happy? I know the fans aren't happy. The answer is no," Jets owner Woody Johnson said Thursday. "We're not happy. We're not happy with 3-6. I didn't sign up for a 3-6 season. We haven't had one of these in a while. I'm not happy about it. Yet I am optimistic."

    Power rankings

    1. Texans 2. Falcons

    3. Bears 4. Packers

    5. Broncos

    Best bet

    Redskins (3-6) over Eagles (3-6)

    Philadelphia's little-known rookie quarterback, Nick Foles, will play — and have a tough time topping Washington's touted rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

    Worst injury

    Starting quarterbacks are dropping like flies. The Bears' Jay Cutler, 49ers' Alex Smith and Eagles' Michael Vick suffered concussions last week. Two Chiefs quarterbacks have suffered concussions this season.

    But the biggest — and potentially most dangerous — blow is to the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, who, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "has a rare rib injury that won't allow him to play unless it heals because it could press on his aorta and kill him." Roethlisberger also sprained his right shoulder while being sacked by the Chiefs last week, and it's unknown when he'll return.

    Big Ben is the player the Steelers can least afford to lose, especially with two of their next three games against the first-place Ravens. It puts the team's playoff hopes on the shoulders of former Buc Byron Leftwich, who hasn't won as a starter since 2006.

    "It's a great opportunity," Leftwich, 32, said. "We have big things on our minds. We are here preparing to try to win the Super Bowl."

    What they're saying

    "I realized if I got caught up in trying to fill Peyton's shoes and compare myself to him every day, I'd probably go crazy. I feel it's unattainable, so I try not to be like that."

    Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, above, on trying to follow former Colts and current Broncos star quarterback Peyton Manning in Indianapolis

    Times wires contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

    Prediction of the week

    The playoff picture in the NFC is a bit muddled with seven teams, including the Bucs, hovering around the second wild card spot. But foxsports.com's Peter Schrager boldly predicts the 4-5 Cowboys are going to the postseason. Not only that, they'll win the rest of their games.

    Writes Schrager: "I'm looking at the rest of the Cowboys' 2012 schedule, and I'm telling you this without any 'clouded judgment' or 'spurned lover' emotion — this team's going to run the table and make the playoffs."

    Schrager notes five of Dallas' final seven games are at home with two "winnable" road games against the Bengals and Redskins. But come on! When is the last time the Cowboys lived up to expectations?

    Simms sticks with it

    When Phil Simms called Giants QB Eli Manning, above, "not one of the elites" last week on CBS Sports Network's NFL Monday QB, he knew it might cause controversy. And it definitely did. But that didn't mean Simms, a Super Bowl MVP for the Giants, backtracked.

    Simms said on a radio show Wednesday that it wasn't meant to be a shot at Manning, a two-time Super Bowl champion. And he stands by his definition of elite: "guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves."

    "It makes headlines, but we're splitting hairs here," Simms said. "I get it asked all the time: 'Is so-and-so elite?' And I go, 'Oh my gosh, please, somebody stick a needle in my eye.' I'm just tired of answering it and hearing it."

    Record of the week

    20-3 For Cowboys QB Tony Romo in November, best in NFL history.


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    By Josh Jurnovoy, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    GAINESVILLE — Following his last game as a Gator in the Swamp, Jon Bostic was just trying to take it all in.

    When the senior linebacker gave Florida some breathing room with a 7-yard interception return for a touchdown 4:22 into the second half, he still didn't get overly excited.

    "Just kind of another defensive play," he said. "It's one thing we said: We've got to get in the end zone. Making plays, getting our hands on the ball, wish we could've come up with a couple more of those."

    Although he downplayed his first touchdown since he was at Palm Beach Central High, Bostic made a significant impact, recording a half-sack and a touchdown-saving tackle during Florida's 23-0 win over Jacksonville State on Saturday.

    "It really hasn't hit me yet," Bostic said. "I know it's my last (home) game, and I'm just pretty much excited to go out there. But at the same time, you always want to come back and run through (the tunnel)."

    On the first offensive play of the game, the Gamecocks' Marques Ivory found Kevyn Cooper on a short pass to the right. Cooper was upended by cornerback Marcus Roberson but stayed on his feet and took off down the right sideline. Bostic chased him down and tackled him at the Florida 7 (for a 76-yard gain). Three plays later, Griffin Thomas missed a 25-yard field goal.

    Bostic's interception made it a three-score game at 17-0. He easily ran into the end zone after Ivory's pass came right to him.

    "It's a snag seven," Gators coach Will Muschamp said. "Exactly what we practiced, and it was perfect. As a coach, that's a great thing."

    Cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy said he was happy for Bostic to go out on a high note.

    "I know that's a memory he'll never forget," Purifoy said of the touchdown. "I know I'm going to miss him because that's a great linebacker. I went up to him when he caught it, and I was like, 'That's the way to go out.' "

    For the season, Bostic is tied for second on the team with 58 tackles and tied for third with 6 1/2 tackles-for-loss. His three sacks are second to Dominique Easley.

    Despite his strong season, when asked if he believed his performance would impress NFL scouts, Bostic made it clear his focus was not on the next level, but on his current team and next week's game against Florida State.

    "I'll probably worry about most of that stuff after the season," Bostic said. "Really just trying to keep on winning games here; win as many games as we can and let everything else play out by itself."


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    When Florida plays Middle Tennessee today at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, senior forward Kenny Boynton has an opportunity to move up in the record books, albeit in a bittersweet manner because of the venue.

    Boynton needs just three points to tie Dwayne Schintzius for sixth on Florida's all-time scoring list with 1,624. Schintzius, who died on April 15 of leukemia at age 43, was a Tampa-area native and former high school standout at Brandon High. Florida coach Billy Donovan said it's fitting because Schintzius was a Gator until the end.

    "He was a really good guy," Donovan said. "The thing I was truly amazed by was (despite) some of the challenges he had while he was here in school, was how much he still loved the University of Florida. He really had a great, great level of affection and passion for Florida. …

    "He never, ever once said anything negative about Florida. He loved the University of Florida, came out to booster meetings, wanted to be back, wanted to be a part of the program."


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  • 11/17/12--16:13: FSU41, maryland14

  • Saturday, November 17, 2012

    More online: seminoles.tampabay.com

    Who: Murray State

    Score: FSU 69-3

    RECORDS: FSU 1-0, 0-0 ACC Murray State 0-1, 0-0 Ohio Valley

    Who: Savannah State

    Score: FSU 55-0

    RECORDS: FSU 2-0, 0-0 ACC Savannah State 0-2, 0-0 MEAC

    Who: Wake Forest

    Score: FSU 52-0

    RECORDS: FSU 3-0, 1-0 ACC Wake Forest 2-1, 1-1 ACC



    Who: Clemson

    Score: FSU 49-37

    RECORDS: FSU 4-0, 2-0 ACC Clemson 3-1, 0-1 ACC

    Who: USF

    Score: FSU 30-17

    RECORDS: FSU 5-0, 2-0 ACC USF 2-3, 0-1 Big East

    Who: N.C. St.

    Score: N.C. State 17-16

    RECORDS: FSU 5-1, 2-1 ACC N.C. State 4-2, 1-1 ACC

    Who: Boston College

    Score: FSU 51-7

    RECORDS: FSU 6-1, 3-1 ACC Boston College 1-5, 0-3 ACC

    Who: Miami

    Score: 33-20

    RECORDS: FSU 6-1, 3-1 Miami 4-4, 3-2 ACC

    Who: Duke

    Score: FSU 48-7

    RECORDS: FSU 8-1, 5-1 ACC Duke 6-3, 3-2 ACC

    Who: Va. Tech

    score: FSU 28-22

    records: FSU 9-1, 6-1 ACC Virginia Tech 4-6, 2-4 ACC

    Who: Maryland

    SCORE: FSU 41-14

    RECORDS: FSU 10-1, 7-1 ACC; Maryland 4-7, 2-5 ACC

    Who: Florida

    Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

    When: 3:30

    TV: TBA

    Radio: 820/1040-AM


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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    .TODAY

    No. 10 Florida vs. Middle Tennessee State

    When/where: 4; Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

    Records: Middle Tennessee 2-0, Florida 2-0

    Notable: Florida returns to the Tampa Bay Times Forum where the Gators have a 7-3 record since 2003 (three consecutive), including second- and third-round games in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. … Middle Tennessee is coming off a 27-7 season, the most wins in school history. … The Blue Raiders are averaging 77.5 points, and their defense is holding opponents to 38 percent shooting.

    Antonya English, Times staff writer


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  • 11/17/12--16:22: Berkeley Prep feels sting

  • Saturday, November 17, 2012

    KISSIMMEE — Before Berkeley Prep did it to Orlando Bishop Moore, Orlando Lake Highland Prep did it to them.

    For four straight years, from 2005 to 2008, Lake Highland was the immovable object in the way of Berkeley Prep's dreams of a state volleyball championship.

    The Buccaneers never got a chance to exact vengeance during their three-year title run and, yes, it gnawed at them a little.

    Bishop Moore will have no such regrets.

    The Hornets finally ended their state tournament futility against Berkeley Prep on Saturday, rolling to a three-set sweep, 25-23, 25-22, 25-12, in the Class 4A championship match at Silver Spurs Arena.

    "They definitely capitalized on their pent-up anger from the past (two) years," said Berkeley Prep junior outside hitter Sidney Brown.

    The Buccaneers (19-12) came up short of a fourth consecutive state title in their first season under coach John Coup and with a bevy of young players filling in for graduated All-Americans Jordan Burgess and Mackenzie Dagostino.

    Berkeley Prep recovered after its early stumbles, losing more matches this season than in the previous three years combined (nine), and made its eighth straight appearance in the Final Four. Though heavy underdogs, the Bucs seemed primed to mount a serious threat to Bishop Moore, whom they defeated in the finals last year and in the semifinals in 2010.

    But the Hornets (32-0) overwhelmed them with the sort of experience and major-college talent — three seniors are bound for Division I programs — that Berkeley Prep was known for during its last title run. The Bucs were trying to win the program's 16th overall state title, which would be a record for the Tampa Bay area.

    Lindsey Owens (headed for Virginia Tech) finished with a game-high 14 kills, Danielle Glinka (Dartmouth) added 11 and Allie Monserez (South Carolina) had 31 assists to lead Bishop Moore to its first state championship since 2000.

    "To beat Berkeley in our last high school game … it's amazing," Owens said. "To finally get revenge for it is awesome."

    In the semifinals Friday, Berkeley Prep rolled to a three-set win over Jacksonville Episcopal while the Hornets barely survived a five-set semifinal against Miami Ransom Everglades.

    Regardless, Bishop Moore stormed to early leads in all three sets and never trailed.

    "We were not ready for them and their fire," said Brown, who led the Bucs with 13 kills.

    Compounding their troubles, the Bucs were never quite able to seize the lead after mounting furious comebacks.

    In the first set, the Bucs battled back and tied it at 23 before Glinka closed with two scores.

    Again in the second set, Berkeley Prep rallied from an eight-point deficit to get within 23-21. But the Bucs had a serving error and Glinka got the clinching kill.

    "We put ourselves in a lot of holes early," Coup said. "And every time we had a chance to take a lead, we'd miss a routine play."

    The Hornets, the nation's top-ranked team according to MaxPreps, pulled away in the third set en route to a 25-12 victory.

    When it was all over, the Bucs finally switched postgame roles with the Hornets: They were in tears while their opponents celebrated wildly on the other side of the net; they were the ones walking away with the silver medals; and they were the ones resolving that next season would be different.

    "We're so accustomed to being the victor," Brown said. "We're not going to forget how this feels because we're going to be back next year and this is not going to happen."

    Joel Anderson can be reached at janderson@tampabay.com or on Twitter at @jdhometeam.


    EVE EDELHEIT   |   TimesEVE EDELHEIT | Times

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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    HOMESTEAD — Brad Keselowski's path to the Sprint Cup title got a boost when he gained the pole for today's Ford EcoBoost 400 after pole-sitter Joey Logano went to a backup car because of a wreck in practice.

    "He's smiling," said Denny Hamlin, who was part of the crash with Greg Biffle, both of whom also went to backups. "He's smiling for sure."

    Keselowski, who had inside position on Row 2 after qualifying third, moved up as Logano has to start in the rear. That gives Keselowski, 20 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, a prime chance to lead the first lap and gain a valuable bonus point.

    For Logano, it was the second straight week getting gobbled up by a crash. He was part of the Jeff Gordon-Clint Bowyer debacle at Phoenix that sparked a brawl between the teams.

    "I was the innocent bystander once again," Logano said. "I drove into it. It's unfortunate."

    The chain of events began with Biffle and Hamlin running hard and into the sun out of Turn 4.

    "They kind of hooked each other and they just went straight up into the fence," Logano said. "I was already on top, so they just kind of drove right into me. It's just a bummer going from first to last."

    "I was just running down the straightaway and got hooked on the right rear," said Hamlin, Logano's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing. "Just a crappy way to start."

    But perhaps good luck for Keselowski, who has not won a pole this season.

    "I'll do what I can to lead the first lap," he said. "I think I have the car to do it."

    CHANGES: Next season's Gen-6 car will for the first time have sponsor names on roofs and driver names across the tops of front windshields.

    THE PENSKE FILE: Roger Penske's cars have won 12 open-wheel championships and 15 Indianapolis 500 titles. But auto racing's most iconic owner has never captured a championship in NASCAR's top series.

    That will change if Kese­lowski, who drives Penske's No. 2 Dodge, wins the Sprint Cup title.

    "I'm a goal-oriented person," Penske said. "And there's no question that winning a NASCAR championship at the elite level is something everybody in racing wants to accomplish. To me, this is about an opportunity."

    Penske, 75, who hasn't sniffed a Sprint Cup title since Rusty Wallace finished second and third, respectively, in 1993 and '94, is a hands-on owner. He even works as a spotter.

    "One of our goals is to win this championship," said Penske, who won the 2010 Nationwide series title with Keselowski. "I kid these guys and say, 'I don't want to sit down in the front row anymore. I want to be up on stage so I see who's at the party.' "

    ODDS AND ENDS: Kyle Busch's lap of 168.476 mph led Sprint Cup's final practice. … Tampa's Aric Almirola will continue next season to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports. "We've seen a little bit of improvement with him in every race," Petty said. … To commemorate his 20th season in the No. 24 Chevrolet, Gordon's car will have a red and metallic silver paint scheme. … Tony Stewart's 500th Sprint Cup start means nothing more than, "I'm getting old," he said.


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    By Jim Huddleston, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    What's hot: With cooler weather settling in after each northern front, many inshore game fish start to stage up on warmer flats. The south-facing shorelines heat up quicker, and most often, these edges along north Pinellas waters are shallower due to how the tides flush. After the cold fronts, the outgoing tide works best as the water will be warmer as it dumps from bayous, rivers and residential canals.

    The targets: Big speckled trout are moving in and holding in the skinniest of water. Sightfishing these 5-plus pounders is a great experience as the strike can be aggressive while using suspending lures and jerkbaits. The extreme low tides of late fall keep redfish and trout in deeper potholes and edges that lead into the grass flats. Free-lined shrimp with a splitshot work best in sandy depressions. Schools of mullet are roaming the same areas, and redfish are following closely to forage on grass shrimp, bloodworms and small baitfish that get flushed up. The aggressiveness of reds allow artificials to work well in incoming water. Copper-colored spoons and darker plastics work well in the gin clear waters of St. Joseph Sound.

    Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at jimmy@captainhud.com.


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  • 11/17/12--16:31: UF23, Jacksonville st. 0

  • Saturday, November 17, 2012

    More online: blogs.tampabay.com/gators

    Who: South Carolina

    Result: UF 44-11

    Records: UF 7-0, 6-0 SEC

    South Carolina 6-2, 4-2 SEC

    Who: Georgia

    Result: Georgia 17-9

    Records: UF 7-1, 6-1 SEC

    Georgia 7-1, 5-1 SEC

    Who: Missouri

    RESULT: UF 14-7

    RECORdS: UF 8-1, 7-1 SEC

    Missouri 4-5, 1-5 SEC

    Who: Louisiana- Lafayette

    RESULT: UF 27-20

    RECORDS: UF 9-1, 7-1 SEC

    Lafayette 5-4, 3-2 Sun Belt

    Who: Jacksonville State

    RESULT: UF 23-0

    RECORDS: UF 10-1, 7-1 SEC

    Jacksonville State 6-5, 5-3 Ohio Valley

    Who: FSU

    Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee.

    When: 3:30

    TV: TBA

    Radio: 620-AM/820-AM

    Who: Bowling Green

    RESULT: UF 27-14

    RECORDS: UF 1-0, 0-0 SEC;

    Murray State 0-1, 0-0 MAC



    Who: Texas A&M

    RESULT: UF 20-17

    RECORDS: UF 2-0, 1-0 SEC;

    Texas A&M 0-1, 0-1 SEC



    Who: Tennessee

    RESULT: UF 37-20

    RECORDS: UF 3-0, 2-0 SEC;

    Tennessee 2-1, 0-1 SEC



    Who: Kentucky

    RESULT: UF 38-0

    RECORDS: UF 4-0, 3-0 SEC;

    Kentucky 1-3, 0-1 SEC



    Who: LSU

    RESULT: UF 14-6

    RECORDS: UF 5-0, 4-0 SEC;

    LSU 5-1, 1-1 SEC



    Who: Vandy

    Result: UF 31-17

    Records: UF 6-0, 5-0 SEC

    Vandy 2-4, 1-3 SEC


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