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Miami Tries to Add Insult to Vick's Injury

November 03, 2000|CHRIS DUFRESNE

Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick's right ankle is hurt. No one doubts that.

You don't take the nation's top player off the field on a cart last week in a game you win by a field goal just to set up this week's important game against Miami.

The severity of Vick's injury is the question, the key to Saturday's showdown and, frankly, Miami Coach Butch Davis has good reason to be suspicious about injury reports.

Last month, Davis heard nothing but doom-and-gloom news regarding quarterback Chris Weinke's sprained/broken/cracked foot the week before Miami's showdown against Florida State.

"We've gone through this a couple weeks ago," Davis said this week, "where Chris Weinke was reported to not practice, couldn't run, couldn't move, couldn't do anything, yet played in that ballgame."

Weinke, in fact, threw for 496 yards in Florida State's three-point loss to Miami.

Davis is preparing to face Vick.

"I'll be surprised if he doesn't play," Davis said.

But what kind of Vick will it be?

Unlike Weinke, a drop-back passer with limited mobility, Vick counts on his quickness and elusiveness to make plays.

"With Weinke, his mobility wasn't as much of a concern to Florida State," Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer said.

Beamer has already announced that Dave Meyer would start against Miami, but that doesn't mean Vick won't finish.

If Vick is significantly hobbled, Miami stands a good chance to defeat Virginia Tech for the first time in six years. And Vick isn't the only Hokie hurting. Standout receiver Andre Davis missed last week's game against Pittsburgh because of a foot injury.

Also, Virginia Tech's defense has been shaky at best, giving up 28 points or more in three games.

The Hokies might have to lean on tailback Lee Suggs, who picked up the slack for Vick last week by rushing for 164 yards and three touchdowns against Pittsburgh.

The line: Miami by 9.


1. Shiny Happy (Valley) People. With quarterback Rashard Casey cleared of assault charges, and Penn State riding a two-game winning streak, and 1-8 Iowa coming to town, Nittany Lion fans should not have trouble adhering to the "no booing" resolution passed by the school last week. Word from the North Pole is that a Mr. S. Claus has faxed Philadelphia fans with outlines for similar legislation.

2. Arizona State passing a "No Nerfball resolution." How did the spongy orb contribute to last week's 56-55 double-overtime loss to Oregon? Arizona State Coach Bruce Snyder said he went for the two-point conversion in last week's second overtime because kicker Mike Barth's back tightened up. The conversion failed. Snyder said Barth wrenched his back earlier in the week kicking a Nerfball.

3. A Rose Bowl race: Purdue needs only to win at Michigan State on Nov. 11 and at home against Indiana on Nov. 18 to clinch its first Rose Bowl berth since the 1966 season. The Pacific 10 race is more complicated: Oregon goes if it wins out. Washington needs to win out and at least one Oregon loss. Oregon State needs to win out for Washington to lose. Don't ask yet about three-way ties.

4. Bowden Bowl II. The game lost some luster last week after Georgia Tech beat Clemson on a last-minute touchdown pass, but Tommy Bowden can still knock his dad's Florida State team out of the national title picture with a victory at Tallahassee.

5. A bowl game for Alabama . . . at Birmingham. There's speculation Mike DuBose's ouster at Alabama was due in part to the success of the school's satellite campus, Alabama Birmingham, which is already bowl eligible at 6-2 while Alabama is 3-5. Compare and contrast. Alabama has been playing major college football for 108 years, while UAB did not field a team until 1991 and did not upgrade to Division I-A until 1996.


**** Whoa, Nellie

*** The yardwork can wait

** OK to pay bills while watching

* For XFL scouts only

** Michigan State (4-4) at No. 16 Ohio State (6-2), 9 a.m., ESPN.

To keep with the bowl theme, Buckeyes changed the office air freshener this week from flowery scent (Rose) to fruity (Citrus).

* Line: Ohio State by 14.

** Minnesota (5-4) at Wisconsin (5-4), 9 a.m., ESPN2.

You know, when you add it all up, the teams are a combined 10-8.

* Line: Wisconsin by 4 1/2.

** Tennessee (4-3) at Memphis (4-4), 9 a.m., FSN.

In 1996, Tennessee suffered two losses. One was to Florida. The other was to Memphis.

* Line: Tennessee by 11.

*** Arizona (5-3) at No. 8 Washington (7-1), 12:30 p.m., Channel 7.

A rare chance for Associated Press voters to see a ranked Pacific 10 team play in broad daylight.

* Line: Washington by 7.

** Alabama (3-5) at Louisiana State (5-3), 12:30 p.m., Channel 2.

At his first stop on Southeastern Conference farewell tour, Mike DuBose receives a rocking chair and . . . a thumping?

* Line: Louisiana State by 2 1/2.

** Louisville (6-2) at No. 13 Southern Mississippi (6-1), 12:30 p.m., FSN.

This just in: Brett Favre and his alma mater combined for zero touchdown passes last week.

* Line: Southern Mississippi by 14.

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