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FSU-Miami could be on tap for Labor Day weekend '04

Posted: Friday August 15, 2003 12:11 AM

More from 'Canes, 'Noles
  • Rix struggles in scrimmage
  • Injuries mounting for Miami 

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Miami's first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference game could be against an old rival.

    Florida State is in talks with Miami and ABC on a three-year deal to play each other on Labor Day in early season matchups. The first would be a Monday night game, on Sept. 6, 2004.

    "We'll definitely play them early in the season, but nothing has been set," Florida State athletic director Dave Hart told Florida Today.

    "It's just a conversation," Miami athletic director Paul Dee told The Miami Herald. "It's not really fleshed out. I'd say in the next couple of weeks it will get discussed a little more."

    Calls to both schools late Thursday for additional comment were not immediately returned.

    The two schools have played every year since 1969 with Miami representing Florida State's oldest rival. The games are usually played in mid-October. They first played in 1951 and Miami has a 26-20 advantage in the series.

    Miami announced its decision in June to leave the Big East, along with Virginia Teach, and join a new 11-team ACC, where Florida State has been a member since 1991.

    The league has not made a decision on whether to split into two divisions and whether Miami and Florida State would be in the same one.

    Rix struggles early in Seminoles' scrimmage

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Quarterback Chris Rix started shaky, throwing consecutive interceptions on his first two plays from scrimmage before settling down during the Seminoles' scrimmage Thursday morning.

    Florida State wide receiver P.K. Sam caught two touchdown passes to highlight the scrimmage. Overall, coach Bobby Bowden said he was pleased with the effort of the offense, which had been lagging behind the defense for much of the week.

    "I thought the offense won more of the battles today," Bowden said.

    Florida State worked on special teams during the morning before continuing the scrimmage that was interrupted by lightning on Wednesday.

    Tailback Greg Jones, who missed the end of last season with a knee injury, may be ready in time for Florida State's next scrimmage on Saturday, Bowden said. He has been held out of contact since preseason practice began last week.

    Jones, the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading rusher before the injury last season, missed the last five games after tearing a knee ligament at Wake Forest in November.

    "The thing about it is if you go into the ballgame without practicing you won't be very good," Bowden said. "And if you do practice you are always concerned about injuries. Because his injury came from a cut and not contact, I don't believe contact would get him, it's can he handle that cut?"

    The only casualty Thursday was defensive end Willie Jones, who had to be carted off the field early in the scrimmage with an ankle injury.

    Nagging injuries mount for Hurricanes

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Tailback Jarret Payton was one of four Miami Hurricanes to miss Thursday's practice after he was hit in the head during Wednesday's scrimmage.

    The injury does not appear to be major, but coach Larry Coker said he expects Payton to miss a couple of days of practice.

    "He took a pretty good shot to the head." Coker said.

    Safety Sean Taylor also missed practice after injuring his knee while trying to recover a fumble in Wednesday's practice. Tests performed on the knee Thursday showed no structural damage. Taylor was replaced by Marcus Maxey.

    Wide receiver Jason Geathers, who is expected to fill the void left by departed NFL first round pick Andre Johnson, missed practice again with a nagging hamstring injury. He had returned to practice on Monday but re-injured the hamstring the same day.

    Geathers had an MRI on Wednesday but results are not yet available. Coaches do not expect him to play in the season opener on Aug. 28 at Louisiana Tech.

    "I think he did take a step back," Coker said.

    Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork missed practice with hamstring injury, but is expected to recover.

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