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Thursday's practice report

Just walked off Greentree practice field where the Canes have only one practice remaining before Saturday's finale at the OB against Virginia. Not a lot of news to share, plus I'm under the gun for two stories I'm doing for tomorrow -- a feature on UM basketball coach Frank Haith and a story on the West End Zone Crew's final game at the OB.

Here's some quick nuggets...

* Linebacker Colin McCarthy did not practice Thursday and was seen walking in around in what I would be describe as pajamas. McCarthy had his right hand and wrist taped. Coach Randy Shannon said McCarthy "just needed to see the doctor." He said he expects Colin to play Saturday night. But if he doesn't, that would be a huge loss to UM's defense.

* There still isn't a winner in the starting kicking battle. Coach Joe Pannunzio told me there is usually a winner by now. Shannon said we'll have to see who makes the winning kicks at the end of Friday's practice. Matt Bosher, Daren Daly and Francesco Zampogna are all competing.

* Offensive coordinator Patrick Nix said UM will not be doing anything special scheme-wise to protect Kyle Wright's ailing ankle and leg. He said if they have to, Wright will have to come out of the game. UM's biggest challenge Nix said will be to run the football on a tough Virginia run defense.

* Yesterday's news regarding Northwestern receiver Kendall Thompkins committing to UM was somewhat surprising. He's the Bulls No. 3 receiver and didn't really have any offers before UM. I like Thompkins, but I'm skeptical as to just how good he is considering Aldarius Johnson and Tommy Streeter draw a lot of coverage. Still, Thompkins has been putting up numbers and might be a nice diamond in the rough find for the Canes. The bigger deal -- along with the commitment from quarterback Cannon Smith (Tuesday) -- is who that means gets crossed off the recruiting list for the Canes. I'm hoping to have some answers for you in the near future.

* As for basketball, for those of you still confused -- both the women and men's seasons open tomorrow. Even though tickets say Nov. 10 -- both games were moved to Friday night as not to conflict with the final game at the OB.

* Also of note, I'll be going out to the Carol City-Edison game tonight where Chiefs coach Walt Frazier is expected to coach his final high school game. Of all the high schools greats still in the game, there isn't a more classy and old-school individual than The Conductor. He's meant a lot to the Northwest Miami-Dade community for many years. So long Coach Frazier. We'll miss you.