Football: Spencer has broken forearm
Sophomore DB Jalen Spencer will miss the next "few weeks" with a fractured forearm, Coach Willie Taggart said during his weekly teleconference Thursday.
Spencer, who is projected to be a backup, was sidelined nearly all of last season after suffering a shoulder injury in the opener against McNeese State that required surgery.
Taggart said he's optimistic Spencer could return ahead of schedule if everything goes according to plan.
"We heal a lot differently," Taggart said. "He will get in with our trainers and work really hard. He said he's going to be back quicker than the doctor said. ... We anticipate Jalen coming back and helping this football team this year."
MCFARLAND TO PLAY: Taggart said senior TE Mike McFarland (left knee) will play in Saturday's season opener against Western Carolina.
McFarland was limited in on-field drills for most of preseason camp, but Taggart said the former Blake High standout has progressed well. He was seen fully dressed out for practice earlier this week, showing more mobility than he had in the previous couple of weeks.
"He's practiced with us this week and that's our plan, for him to play on Saturday," Taggart said.
ODDS AND ENDS: Taggart declined to comment on whether freshman DL Rohan Blackwood will return in the fall. The Nature Coast Tech alum has been off USF's roster because of academic-related issues. ... The first "Marshall Mayhem" pep rally for students will take place on Friday from noon-12:30 p.m. on campus at the Marshall Student Center. The event will include free food, a limited amount of free USF T-shirts and an appearance by the football team.