College Football Notebook: Spikes out a game

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 5, 2009

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
GAINESVILLE, Fla. ó With all the negative attention “weighing heavy on his heart,” Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes asked to serve a full-game suspension for apparently trying to gouge the eyes of a Georgia running back.
Coach Urban Meyer obliged, saying Wednesday that it was in the top-ranked Gators’ best interest that Spikes sit out Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt.
“I really don’t want to be a distraction to the team,” Spikes said after practice. “I want the guys to prepare without any negative things going on, and I feel like if I would play, it would be a big thing going on. I’m just trying to stay out of the way and just motivate the guys.”
Meyer had faced some criticism for only suspending his star defender for the first half of the Vandy game. The Southeastern Conference accepted the original punishment.
Spikes stuck his hand into the facemask of Georgia’s Washaun Ealey during Florida 41-17 victory against the Bulldogs. There was no penalty called at the time, but after talk about the play spread, Meyer reviewed it and decided to punish Spikes.
Meyer, Spikes and defensive coordinator Charlie Strong agreed to increase the punishment.
It turns out that Duke (5-3) will need two more wins to qualify for its first bowl since 1994.
The quirk in the Blue Devils’ standard for bowl eligibility centers around its two games against Football Championship Subdivision teams. Bowl Subdivision schools may count only one FCS victory per season toward the six necessary to make the postseason.
For Duke, which opened the season with a loss to Richmond, the win over North Carolina Central wound up not counting toward that bowl total.
Wake Forest quarterback Ryan McManus went from imitating Miami’s defensive backs to trying to beat them.
As a freshman in 2005, he was so low on the Demon Deacons’ depth chart that he was reduced to playing safety on the scout team. But the fifth-year senior fell into some meaningful playing time last week against the Hurricanes.
McManus, who entered the Miami game with one career completion, played the final six minutes of the 28-27 loss after Riley Skinner left with a mild concussion.
C.J. Spiller learned quite a bit about Clemson coach Dabo Swinney before ever stepping foot on the Tigers’ campus.
Clemson’s star runner recalled a two-hour car ride from the Atlanta airport after Swinney picked him up for his official visit a few years back.
“That’s when I really realized that ‘Hey, that guy can talk,”‘ Spiller said Tuesday.
Swinney’s pitch must have worked since Spiller surprised recruiting analysts by picking Clemson.