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Arm feels fine, but Ponder will cut back in practice

FSU’s Christian Ponder, celebrating a touchdown against BYU, says his surgically repaired right shoulder is 100 percent.

Associated Press

FSU’s Christian Ponder, celebrating a touchdown against BYU, says his surgically repaired right shoulder is 100 percent.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State senior QB Christian Ponder was still wearing a protective sleeve on his right (throwing) arm Monday to limit the swelling from a bruised triceps he suffered in the Oklahoma game.

"The arm's good," he said, joking that the sleeve was a fashion statement.

Although the triceps tightened up at halftime of last weekend's win against BYU, he said it wasn't a big deal and stressed that his surgically repaired shoulder is 100 percent and "doesn't bother me at all."

After Ponder scored on a 1-yard run late in the third quarter to give the Seminoles a 27-10 lead, trainers worked on his arm. On the next series, he hit WR Bert Reed for an 11-yard gain and later scrambled for 18 yards, getting submarined.

Coach Jimbo Fisher said he will cut down Ponder's throws a bit in preparation for Saturday's ACC opener against visiting Wake Forest.

Injury update: LT Andrew Datko (left shoulder), who didn't play Saturday, was expected to be held out of practice, and Fisher said he is day to day. Redshirt freshman Henry Orelus stepped in and played well against BYU.

Odds and ends: G Rodney Hudson was named the ACC offensive lineman of the week. … The ACC and its television partners have put a six-day hold on announcing the start time for the FSU-Virginia game Oct. 2 in Charlottesville, Va. The decision will be made by noon Sunday. … Fisher said freshman Christian Green, who's making the transition from a star quarterback at Tampa Catholic to a wide receiver, is likely to redshirt.

Brian Landman, Times staff writer

USF: Bowl projections

TAMPA — Three weeks into the season, there have been enough wrinkles and surprises that many mainstream sites are updating bowl projections, and USF is being sent all over the Southeast for its projected postseason.

The uncertainty of the Big East — most of the league's top teams have disappointed, with West Virginia as the only convincing unbeaten left. Rutgers, a wobbly 2-0, can validate itself with a home win against North Carolina, and Pittsburgh and Cincinnati have tough ranked opponents this week in Miami (on Thursday night) and Oklahoma. A road win by West Virginia at LSU would help the league's standing considerably.

Before the season, it was hard to argue with early expectations of USF being a match to return to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, where the Bulls beat Memphis two seasons ago. USF would have to outperform expectations to rise above the bottom tier of Big East bowls, where geography would naturally marry them to Tropicana Field.

At ESPN.com, Mark Schlabach has the Bulls in Birmingham against Louisiana-Lafayette. Andrea Adelson has USF playing Kentucky in the Liberty Bowl.

The folks at Collegefootballnews.com like USF for Birmingham, on Jan. 8, with Kentucky on the other side. CBSsports.com is sticking with the St. Petersburg pick, against Southern Miss.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

UM: Dominant WR

CORAL GABLES — WR Leonard Hankerson is hesitant about accepting the label.

"I wouldn't say I'm his go-to guy," he said. "I've just been lucky to get the ball thrown to me."

Call him what you want, Hankerson is QB Jacory Harris' favorite target. The senior, UM's leading receiver last season with 45 catches for 801 yards and six TDs, has 13 catches for 205 yards and two TDs this season.

Combined, the other receivers with a catch this season — Travis Benjamin, LaRon Byrd, Aldarius Johnson and Kendal Thompkins — have 15 receptions for 168 yards and no TDs.

"I'm not really looking for him. I guess he's just in the right spot at the right time," Harris said.

At his current pace, Hankerson would finish the regular season with 78 catches for 1,230 yards and shatter Willie Smith's school record for catches (66) and Eddie Brown's record for receiving yards (1,114). Both were set 26 years ago.

Notable: Coach Randy Shannon said adjustments to the wind conditions at Pitt's Heinz Field on Thursday will be up to K/P Matt Bosher and special teams coach Joe Pannunzio. … The time for UM's Oct. 2 game at Clemson likely will be announced Sunday.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

UCF: Nall top defender

ORLANDO — UCF junior DE Darius Nall earned Conference USA defensive player of the week honors for his performance during a 24-10 win at Buffalo.

He made a career-high nine tackles, including three tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. Nall was credited with a forced hurry, creating an errant pass that DE Bruce Miller intercepted and returned 30 yards for a touchdown.

"Nall is probably playing the best of any of the defensive players right now," coach George O'Leary said. "He's playing very, very well off the edge."

He missed the 2008 season while battling cancer. Nall returned to the lineup last year, but he wasn't at full strength. He has hit his stride this season.

Notable: Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said he is preparing for a fast UCF team Saturday. "They can run. Really well," he said. "The new young quarterback (Jeff Godfrey) is an extremely talented player that can hurt you in a lot of different ways. They have some guys that can do some damage on defense. The defensive ends are really very, very fine players. Just young guys that play hard every snap."

Orlando Sentinel

Up next

FSU: vs. Wake Forest,

3:30 Saturday, Ch. 28

Florida: vs. Kentucky,

7 Saturday, ESPNU

USF: vs. Western Kentucky, 7 Saturday, BHSN

Miami: at Pittsburgh,

7:30 Thursday, ESPN

UCF: at Kansas State,

12:30 Saturday, FSN

Arm feels fine, but Ponder will cut back in practice 09/20/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:48pm]
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