Originally created 09/23/04

Georgia's Ware should be ready after off week



The No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs are hopeful that freshman running back Danny Ware will be able to play in a crucial game against Louisiana State University.

The Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) are off this week, giving Ware extra time to recover from a bruised lung.

"Danny is probable for the LSU game," coach Mark Richt said. "Right now we just have to make sure he is in game condition."

Ware, a freshman, rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns in a season-opening victory over Georgia Southern. He was hurt the following week against South Carolina, and sat out last week's victory over Marshall.

The Bulldogs are trying to solidify their running game. Ware and another freshman, Thomas Brown, have been the most impressive runners early in the season.

FLORIDA: The Florida Gators are ready for some home cooking.

The Gators (1-1, 0-1) meet Kentucky on Saturday for the first of four straight games at The Swamp. The next three are against SEC opponents - all vitally important after a 30-28 loss at Tennessee last weekend.

"Having four straight weeks in The Swamp really is going to get us on a nice comfort basis," quarterback Chris Leak said.

Then again, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has lost some of its mystique in Ron Zook's two-plus years as coach. The Gators have lost five home games since he took over in 2002.

Steve Spurrier lost only five home games in his final nine seasons at Florida.

KENTUCKY: Coach Rich Brooks wishes he could redshirt his freshmen players, but with the Wildcats still hampered by scholarship reductions - the result of NCAA sanctions in 2002 - he's rushed several of them into the lineup.

This week's Kentucky depth chart showed two true freshman - running back Tony Dixon and left tackle Aaron Miller - have been elevated into starting roles. Dixon rushed for 105 yards on nine carries in a 51-32 win over Indiana and reeled off a 67-yard touchdown run, the longest in three years by a Kentucky player.

TENNESSEE: Quarterback isn't the only position where the No. 11 Volunteers are using more than one player.

Tennessee (2-0, 1-0) had four tailbacks carry the ball in its 30-28 win over Florida last weekend.

Coach Phillip Fulmer was looking for one tailback to take over and be the main rusher for the season, but that hasn't happened and he doesn't mind.

MIAMI: Devin Hester has been so impressive as a backup cornerback for Miami that he fueled speculation he might get another chance at wide receiver. He switched positions last spring.

That won't happen, according to Hurricanes coach Larry Coker.

"He likes where he is," Coker said. "I think he's going to be good there, and he has talent there. To do too much, I don't think he's ready for that yet. To play offense and defense, talent-wise he could do it. But the mental part of it right now, picking everything up and being sharp with it, that'd be tough."

Hester has been relegated to a backup role on defense, but has been spectacular on special teams - blocking a crucial field goal attempt against Florida State in the opener and returning two punts for touchdowns against Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

BOWDEN BOWL: The Bowdens face each other again this week, with Bobby Bowden's Florida State team hosting Tommy Bowden's squad from Clemson.

It'll be the sixth renewal of the Bowden Bowl; the Tigers upset the Seminoles last year to give Tommy his first victory over his father.

That spurred a late-season charge that saw Clemson win its final four games and finish 9-4.

Tommy Bowden was rewarded with a contract extension, so if the Tigers lose to Florida State this week, Bobby Bowden isn't worried about his son's future.

"You can go to the beach if you fire him," Bobby Bowden said. "Before, they didn't have that."