Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boot off, South Florida Bulls quarterback Grothe more likely to play vs. UConn

TAMPA — USF QB Matt Grothe remained a spectator at Wednesday's practice but without a protective boot on his injured left ankle, a small step toward playing in Sunday's final home game against Connecticut.

Coach Jim Leavitt acknowledged that these few practices are crucial to preparing senior Grant Gregory in case Grothe is out.

"I think (Grothe) will be fine," Leavitt said. "… Grant hasn't played much. So if he has to play, we want to give him a lot of reps."

Gregory has attempted only 15 passes this season with an interception and fumble. Asked if he's confident in Gregory's ability to handle the offense in a crucial game, Leavitt was blunt: "He's going to have to. I thought he did a good job last game, moved the offense down."

Grothe twisted his ankle in the fourth quarter Saturday vs. Rutgers and had the boot on Tuesday, but he said he's confident he can play Sunday.

RBs Mike Ford and Jamar Taylor, who barely played in the last two losses because of ankle injuries, both looked ready to play in practice. Both ran pass routes and carried the ball at full speed. Tackles Jake Sims (ankle) and Danous Estenor (knee), recovering from injuries, did not participate in practice.

UF: Assistants' names get bandied about

GAINESVILLE — The effect of having a successful season is nationwide attention. Eventually, it often turns to assistant coaches and rumors about open positions elsewhere. Offensive coordinator Dan Mullen and defensive coordinator Charlie Strong have been mentioned as jobs open up.

Mullen said he wouldn't even consider talking to another team until after the No. 3 Gators play in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 6, still it's okay that his name is out there. "I'll say as long as it was in a positive manner; that's a good thing instead of a negative manner," he said.

This isn't the first time Strong's name has come up. "I have a great job here, and I don't even listen to it anymore," he said.

Coach Urban Meyer said: "The great thing is you don't leave Florida unless it's going to another spot as a head coach or maybe the NFL for a ridiculous amount of money. If it's a chance to better your family, I'm in favor of bettering your family."

NOTABLE: QB Tim Tebow is one of five finalists for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup awarded annually to a collegiate and professional athlete who has made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. Winners are announced Jan. 14. … LB Brandon Spikes is a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy given to the best defensive player in the nation. The others: TCU DE Jerry Hughes, USC LB Rey Maualuga, Texas DE Brian Orakpo and Wake Forest CB Alphonso Smith. The winner will be announced Dec. 7.

FSU: Spirits rising

TALLAHASSEE — FSU's defensive players are practicing playing with emotion. Loud cheers could be heard outside the gates of Tuesday's and Wednesday's closed practices, as the Seminoles tried to regain enthusiasm.

Players and coaches agreed the team seemed flat during a 27-17 loss to Boston College.

"Nobody was really showing enthusiasm," S Jamie Robinson said. "… So we're coming out this week trying to turn it around."

Times correspondents Phil Kegler and Ira Schoffel contributed to this report.


Up next

UF: vs. Citadel, 1:30 Saturday, pay-per-view

FSU: at Maryland, 7:45 Saturday, ESPN

USF: vs. UConn, 8 Sunday, ESPN

Boot off, South Florida Bulls quarterback Grothe more likely to play vs. UConn 11/19/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008 5:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays add another piece to bullpen, acquiring Steve Cishek for Erasmo Ramirez


    The Rays made another deal to change the look of their bullpen, acquiring RHP Steve Cishek from the Mariners for RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

    Cishek, 31, has a 3,15 ERA in 20 games for the Mariners this season after returning in mid-May from off-season hip surgery, and a 2.83 ERA over parts of eight with the Marlins, …

  2. Why don't defensive players get more Heisman Trophy love?


    In a story we posted online earlier today (and coming to your doorstep in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times), I made my case for why Florida State safety Derwin James should be a preseason …

    Boston College defensive end Harold Landry didn't get any Heisman love last year, despite leading the country in sacks.
  3. On the defensive: Heisman history not in Derwin James' favor


    The lowdown on Derwin James? "No offense to (Michigan's Jabrill) Peppers (a Heisman finalist last year)," ESPN analyst Rex Ryan says, "but he only wished he was the player this kid was." (Monica Herndon, Times)
  4. Kevin Kiermaier: Return to action Thursday 'didn't set the world on fire'

    The Heater

    Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's return from the hip injury that sidelined him since June 8 could have gone better Thursday in Port Charlotte. He broke two bats and went hitless in two at bats while playing for the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs.

    Kevin Kiermaier takes cuts in the cage during batting practice before the game between the Rays and Texas Rangers Saturday at Tropicana Field. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Live updates, what you need to know about Bucs training camp (w/photos, video)


    Bucs training camp is here.

    This morning was the first of 13 practices that are free and open to the general public, so we have all the details to answer your questions about where and when and so on.

    Dirk Koetter is nothing if not precise, with practices starting at 8:45 a.m. and running until 10:27. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]