Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

EJ Manuel to start at quarterback for Florida State Seminoles with Christian Ponder hurt

Quarterback Christian Ponder separates his throwing shoulder late in Saturday’s loss at Clemson and is out for at least this weekend’s matchup at Wake Forest.

Associated Press

Quarterback Christian Ponder separates his throwing shoulder late in Saturday’s loss at Clemson and is out for at least this weekend’s matchup at Wake Forest.

If the Florida State Seminoles are to win a critical game against Wake Forest next weekend, they'll have to do it with redshirt freshman EJ Manuel at quarterback and not Christian Ponder.

Ponder, one of the nation's top passers and a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award (nation's top player), separated his right (throwing) shoulder in the waning minutes of Satur­day's 40-24 loss at Clemson. The redshirt junior will be re-examined today, including X-rays, to determine the course of his rehabilitation. But in a news release, the school declared him out for at least the noon game in Winston-Salem, N.C.

With the Seminoles (4-5, 2-4 ACC) needing to win two of their last three to be bowl eligible — don't forget, they end the regular season at No. 1 Florida — that puts Manuel on the spot heading into his first collegiate start.

Offensive coordinator "Jimbo (Fisher) will just have to take him and prepare him," coach Bobby Bowden said Sunday. "He'll have to feed him what he can handle. I'm sure he's not going to be able to feed him the whole package like he could Ponder, but he'll feed him as much as he feels like he can handle and go from there."

As the backup since the spring, the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Manuel has been receiving about half the practice reps (with the second unit). He worked with the first team most of last week with Ponder nursing bruised ribs.

"I felt like watching him last week that he has really improved, and I think Coach Fisher felt the same way," Bowden said. "Now you get into a ballgame, that's different. That's a different type of improvement (needed) there. At least he got in three or four plays. That don't hurt."

Manuel played FSU's final series after Ponder injured his shoulder making a tackle on Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel, who was returning an interception, Ponder's fourth of the game. Manuel was 0-for-2 passing and was sacked once.

He appeared briefly in two other games (BYU and USF), hitting 1 of 2 passes for 4 yards and running twice for 7 yards.

"No matter how much we've watched Manuel practice since he's been here, we'd see him go out there and have a good day; we'd seen him go out there and not have a good day. How's he going to play in a game? I don't know. You never know," Bowden said. "Some kids really come out in a situation like that. Some don't. How is he going to do? I don't know. But I'm anxious to see."

Expect freshman Ryan Becker (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) to be the second-string this week. FSU wants to redshirt freshman Will Secord.

Brian Landman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3347.

EJ Manuel to start at quarterback for Florida State Seminoles with Christian Ponder hurt 11/08/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 9, 2009 8:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'

    Blogs

    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.
  3. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you

    Blogs

    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  4. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American

    Blogs

    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.

  5. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    1. Armwood (7-0)

    Up next: vs. Brandon

    Armwood quarterback Devin Black (7) shakes hands with Plant defensive back Keon King (26) after the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hawks beat the Panthers 27-7.