NCAA FB

No. 5 FSU hosts lower-division Buccaneers

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher looks at player injuries or suspensions as an opportunity for someone else.

Star punt returner and starting cornerback Greg Reid is suspended for Saturday's game against the Buccaneers which clears the way for Fisher to look at some of his young players handling punt and kickoff returns when the fifth-ranked Seminoles (1-0) host Charleston Southern (0-1).

He's especially interested in seeing what 18-year-old freshman Rashad Greene can do after watching him turn his first college catch into a 28-yard touchdown last week.

''I'm really anxious to see him in the return game,'' Fisher said.

You can hardly blame the coach for wondering what Greene might do with his first punt return. Fisher managed to get 18 first-year players into last week's game and would like to see more on Saturday. He knows he'll need everything he's got when top-ranked Oklahoma comes to town next week.

In his first college game last week, the freshman from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale hauled in 28-yard touchdown pass on redshirt freshman quarterback Clint Trickett's first snap during mop-up duty in a 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe. It was also Greene's first catch in college.

''The object on special teams is when they kick it to you to make sure you keep it,'' Fisher said. ''That's the first thing and don't try to make too big of plays. We want to make sure we get the ball in our hands and we do what we got to do and be smart with it.''

Fisher managed to get 18 first-year players, including a pair of junior college transfers, into last week's win and he'd like to see more play Saturday when the Seminoles host the underdog Buccaneers a week before top-ranked Oklahoma comes calling.

Despite the odds against an upset, Charleston Southern is fired up about getting to play in a state more than three dozen of its players call home.

''It's a chance to be in a big time college environment,'' Charleston Southern coach Jay Mills said. ''It doesn't get any bigger than Florida State.''

His players are equally anxious for a chance to prove they can compete against the larger Football Bowl Subdivision Seminoles.

''It's a great opportunity,'' said Buccaneers defensive back Charles James, who is from Jacksonville. ''Being able to go down there, compete against those guys, show those guys and show those coaches, too, that we can play with the big boys,''

But they'll have to be better than last week, a lot better. The Buccaneers lost to Central Florida 62-0 in their opener.

The smaller division Football Championship Subdivision school will receive $400,000 in exchange for giving Fisher a chance to work out some wrinkles before Oklahoma's visit Sept. 17.

Fisher isn't likely to risk playing anyone who is nicked up.

Willie Haulstead, the Seminoles' second-leading receiver last season, and reserve offensive lineman Henry Orelus are both out a second straight week while recovering from concussions suffered in practice.

Fisher listed starting defensive tackle Amp McCloud and safety Nick Moody as questionable and second-team linebacker Telvin Smith was suspended.

Tagged: Florida State, Florida, Oklahoma, Rashad Greene, Charles James

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