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UM Canes coach Golden today: RB Duke Johnson practices, QB Morris' ankle better.

Hurricanes coach Al Golden spoke to us on the ACC Coaches' Teleconference Wednesday afternoon and offered up some positive news:

* Running back Duke Johnson, Golden said, "practiced today. The X-Rays were negative. Was he 100 percent? No. But he was certainly over 90, enough to practice.''

   Keep in mind that Johnson had a foot examined during the FSU game, and that Golden reminded reporters on Sunday that it was a separate injury from his turf toe. "I'm not sure if it's an ankle or a foot,'' Golden said Sunday. Today, Golden did not talk specifically about the turf toe, just that Duke seems to be much better regarding the most recent injury.

   Reporters have no access to practice through at least Friday (another day off on Friday), so we're not sure if Johnson wore a yellow jersey (limited) or was full-go.Today was UM's first day of practice since its loss to FSU.

* The update on Stephen Morris' sprained left ankle is also positive.

   Golden was asked if Morris is "still in a boot and still sore.'' His response: "No, he's doing better. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday helped him a lot. It's not like we're asking him to run the ball a lot or scramble today. It's mostly pocket stuff or handing the ball off or play-action. He did fine. I just think the combination of those three days and another day off Friday and a fairly light practice on Saturday should get us to where we want to be for game week.''

An interesting factoid in advance of the UM-Virginia Tech Thursday-night ESPN game Nov. 1:

The Hurricanes, according to ACC associate commissioner for football communications Mike Finn, have posted a 15-3 record -- .833 winning percentage -- in ESPN Thursday-night games, the best of any ACC school with five or more appearances.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

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