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News Nuggets, 10.10.03

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Fall break frees up tickets for Pirates-Tar Heels battle


10.09.03: Countdown ticking towards blast off for Pirate hoops... .. Thursday night's college football TV capsules... .. Glantz-Culver Division I-A Power Index... .. More...
10.08.03: Longer-range three-point line on the way... .. Attendance on the rise for C-USA football... .. Emergency fund for ECU athletes needs your pocket change... .. More...
10.07.03: ECU harrier adds to career haul of league honors... .. Army Heisman heroes still receiving honors... .. Tough stretch ahead for ambitious Hokies... .. More...
10.06.03: College football weekend: The good, the bad and the ugly... .. Frogs regain momentum in both polls... .. Fan jailed for zonking UNLV coach on noggin... .. Paddy wagon loads up during drunken post-game melee... .. More...
10.05.03: Frogs still unblemished but Cardinals bite the dust... .. TCU No. 1 in Golfweek/Sagarin golf rankings... .. Baseball America honors Cougars' Cho... .. More...
10.04.03: Jersey of Pirate-killer Bruce to be retired by Tigers... .. Son of Buckeye legend will judge Clarett case... .. Another ranked BCS team falls to 'outsider'... .. More...
10.03.03: Wave athletics launches Losman into Cyberspace... .. Surgery sidelines Memphis basketball player... .. New ACC scheduling equation not equal for all... .. More...
10.02.03: Charlotte 49ers gearing up for Basketball Madness... .. OutKast to perform at Tulane Homecoming... .. MAC pulls trigger on Central Florida invitation... .. More...
10.01.03: Fans show ECU ticket office they're not ready to give up the ship... .. Vols' thoughts with critically ill player... .. 11-team configuration vexes ACC schedule makers... .. More...
09.30.03: Avast ye scurvy dogs! 'Bones' to officially fly in Ficklen... .. ECU releases 'new formula' hoops schedule... .. ACC, Miami lawyers squabble with Big East attorneys... .. More...

Thanks to a lower than expected student pick up, a hefty number of tickets for Saturday's East Carolina-North Carolina football game have been released for sale to the public. The tickets can be purchased through ECU's online ticketing system at, in person at the ECU Athletic ticket office, or by phone at (252) 328-4500.

The game, which will be the Tar Heels' first-ever visit to ECU's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, was announced officially as a sellout last week pending student pickup. As of Thursday, according to an athletic department employee, students had picked up about 8,000 of the 12,000 tickets set aside for them.

Earlier in the week, some students had camped out in advance and hundreds lined up to claim their share of the unusually generous allotment. The shortfall in the student pickup was attributed to the fact that the game happens to coincide with ECU's fall break.

To allow for full distribution of the additional tickets, the ECU Ticket Office will observe extended hours on Friday, opening at 9 a.m. and operating until 7 p.m., according to a news release from the ECU Media Relations office. Any remaining tickets will be available on Saturday morning beginning at 9 a.m. at the Minges Coliseum box office only.

Tickets purchased online or over the phone Thursday, noted the ECU announcement, will be available for pick-up Friday at the ECU Athletic Ticket Office. Tickets ordered Friday will be available at the stadium's Will-Call window, located at Minges Coliseum starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Saturday's game is scheduled for a 3:38 p.m. kickoff.

Friday night's TCU at USF TV capsule

ESPN2, 8:00 p.m.
No. 18 Texas Christian (5-0) at South Florida (3-1).

Opening Line: TCU by 1½.
Series Record: First meeting.
Last Meeting: First meeting.

What to Watch: TCU has been getting it done on defense this season, allowing 70 yards rushing per game, and just 12.4 points per game. CB Mark Walker has four INTs in the past three games (TCU has 10 total this season), and the Horned Frogs have three seniors on their defensive line - DEs Bo Schobel and Robert Pollard and T Chad Pugh. South Florida is coming off a big, 31-28 overtime win against Louisville last week. QB Ronnie Banks is 81-for-152 with six TD passes this season. Vince Brewer and Clenton Crossley split rushing duties. Brewer is listed as the starter, but Crossley leads the team with 187 yards rushing. TCU should get starting QB Tye Gunn back for this game. In Gunn's absence, Brandon Hassell was 40-of-75 for 635 yards and four touchdowns in three starts. Freshman RB Robert Merrill has also been a good sub, filling in at tailback after Lonta Hobbs injured his ankle in a 30-14 win over Vanderbilt on Sept. 20. Merrill has rushed for at least 100 yards in all three of his starts. Hobbs may return, however.

Streaks, Stats and Notes: TCU has turned the ball over 10 times, but allowed just 17 points off the seven fumbles and three interceptions. ... South Florida has won 21 games in a row at home, Division I-A's second-longest home winning streak behind Miami. This is its first home game against a ranked team. ... Gary Patterson is 21-9 in his third season as TCU coach. The Horned Frogs were 10-2 last season.

'Vote' for the Blazers, urges UAB campaign

BIRMINGHAM — In what might be viewed as taking a page from the guide book of political campaigns, UAB is giving its fans the opportunity to show their support of Blazers football right in their own front yard.

The UAB athletic marketing office has yard signs available for fans to put in their yards to help promote upcoming UAB football games. The yard signs, which are available at no charge, may be picked up at the Bartow Arena ticket office.

Supplies are limited, so fans are encouraged to pick up a sign today, the UAB athletic department said in a realease.

Gamecocks start fast, then hang on

COLUMBIA — Daccus Turman had three short touchdown runs and South Carolina survived Kentucky's fourth-quarter rally to win its fourth straight over the Wildcats, 27-21 on Thursday night.

At 5-foot-11 and 232 pounds, the sophomore isn't the big, powerful fullback type who can easily pound his way into the end zone when he wants. But when he's down near the end zone, he definitely feels that way.

Turman said the plan wasn't to go with him for the short, tough yards. "But whoever the ball is going to, you got to have the mentality that you've got to score," Turman said. "That's what we did."

The Gamecocks (4-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) looked on their way to an easy victory, leading 27-7 through three quarters and with Wildcats senior quarterback Jared Lorenzen out of the game after a helmet-to-helmet hit from South Carolina defensive lineman Moe Thompson.

But Kentucky backup Shane Boyd led two touchdown drives in the final quarter. He hit Chris Bernard in the left front corner of the end zone on fourth-and-7, then four minutes later, broke free from an apparent sack for a 15-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 27-21 with 6:05 remaining.

The Wildcats (2-4, 0-3) got the ball back one last time with 2:07 to go. However, Boyd overthrew Derek Abney on fourth down with 16 seconds to go and the Gamecocks held on.

"We were not ready for Shane Boyd. When Shane Boyd came in he had us scrambling," Gamecocks coach Lou Holtz said.

Kentucky is 0-3 in the SEC for the third time in four years.

Vandy downsizing prompts Turner to jump ship

NASHVILLE — Todd Turner, Vanderbilt's recent athletic director who once served a stint as AD at N.C. State, turned down another job at the Southeastern Conference school and criticized the radical reorganization of the athletic department. Turner sent former colleagues an e-mail saying he would not stay at Vanderbilt as Chancellor Gordon Gee's special assistant for athletic and academic reforms.

"I do not feel the strategy (Gee) has chosen for Vanderbilt will produce the results many of us have worked so hard to achieve," Turner wrote. "No doubt, Vanderbilt will continue to do things the right way, but being isolated administratively from Division I-A peers rather than in concert with them will challenge Vanderbilt's credibility and effectiveness when it comes to leadership in Division I-A athletics."

The Tennessean newspaper first reported about the e-mail Thursday, and Vanderbilt spokesman Michael Schoenfeld confirmed the contents to The Associated Press. In a separate e-mail to the AP, Turner said he was "surprised and disappointed" to see his comments in the newspaper because they were intended for his former staff. He declined to comment further.

Gee announced the shakeup last month as a plan to curb the ills of big-time college sports. Vanderbilt merged the departments that control varsity and intramural athletics, putting intercollegiate sports under the central university administration. The move eliminated Turner's position, which he held for seven years.

Schoenfeld said Gee and other Vanderbilt officials appreciated Turner's service. "We wish Mr. Turner well. Vanderbilt has made a decision that is in the best interest of our university and, ultimately, intercollegiate athletics," Schoenfeld said. "We will continue on in that direction."

Vanderbilt's football team has 20 consecutive losing seasons, but the school has had some success in other sports. The women's basketball team has gone to the NCAA tournament four straight years, while the men's tennis team was second in the nation.

Vanderbilt trimmed its athletic department budget by $1.5 million this year because fund-raising is down, as are tickets sales in football and men's basketball.

Bulls baseball stages 'blood' match

South Florida's baseball team is capping off its fall practice with a high-stakes intrasquad game on Saturday. The opposing Bulls teams will be playing for blood, literally, according to a release on the school's athletic department website.

The Bulls baseball program calls the game the "Blood Bowl" and bills the affair as "a winner take all, loser donates blood game of the century." Each member of the USF team will play in the game and every pitcher will throw at least one inning.

Florida Blood Services will be on hand to provide everyone in attendance information about the importance of giving blood. While at the game, the group will book opportunities for volunteers to donate blood in the subsequent week or two.

Attendance for the game is free of charge, according to the announcement — unless you count the pint of blood. The game will be played at Red McEwen Field at 5:00 pm.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2003 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Page Updated: 02/23/2007

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