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)

Florida Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins could return in time to face LSU Tigers

Linebacker Jelani Jenkins, top, tackling LSU’s Spencer Ware, broke his right thumb during Florida’s second game of this season at Texas A&M, but he could be back in time to face the Tigers next month.

Getty Images (2011)

Linebacker Jelani Jenkins, top, tackling LSU’s Spencer Ware, broke his right thumb during Florida’s second game of this season at Texas A&M, but he could be back in time to face the Tigers next month.

GAINESVILLE — Reinforcements could be on the way for Florida's defense.

Coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday that LB Jelani Jenkins, who broke his right thumb against Texas A&M on Sept. 8, might return Oct. 6 against LSU.

"They changed his cast, and I want to say in eight days they're going to pull a pin out of there and take another look at it," Muschamp said. "He's going to start lifting and running (Wednesday)."

Muschamp also said DE Dominique Easley is questionable for Saturday's home game against Kentucky. He left last week's game at Tennessee with swelling in his knee.

"We were just trying to stabilize," Muschamp said. "He's still got a little swelling on the knee, and he's moving around okay."

In addition, T Matt Patchan was ruled out with a pectoral strain. Muschamp said there is no timetable for the Armwood High graduate to return.

More turnovers: Florida finished 113th in Division I-A in turnover margin in 2011 at minus-12. In their first two games this season, the Gators forced a combined one. They doubled that in Game 3 with two interceptions against Tennessee.

But defensive coordinator Dan Quinn expects more.

"We thought we maybe had a chance on a couple of those to get the ball out," Quinn said of the Tennessee game. "We're really trying to get three or more a game."

USF: Offense line changes could come

TAMPA — As USF looks to correct the offensive line problems from last week's 23-13 loss to Rutgers, it is considering moving senior Mark Popek back to left tackle and inserting senior Damien Edwards at left guard for Saturday's game at Ball State.

Coach Skip Holtz, who has expressed frustration over the way sophomores Austin Reiter and Darrell Williams handled their first Big East starts, said the staff is evaluating its options.

"Damien has played both (guard and tackle)," Holtz said. "Mark has played both. Darrell … has only played tackle. If something were to happen to Darrell, do you move Mark out?

"We're kind of in a rotation process right now with those guys. They'll probably all play. The flexibility of the two fifth-year seniors in Mark Popek and Damien Edwards … helps us right now."

Another change: S Ernie Tabuteau won't be back as the nickel defensive back after missing assignments on third downs against Rutgers. Holtz said one option is sophomore LB Reshard Cliett with strongside LB Sam Barrington moving inside to middle linebacker. Holtz said he would eventually like to have younger linebackers such as Cliett, redshirt freshman Zack Bullock and freshman Tashon Whitehurst see more time.

THIS AND THAT: RB Marcus Shaw, out two games with an ankle injury, has shown enough progress that he'll travel to Ball State. He was the Bulls' leading rusher in the season-opening win against Chattanooga. … S JaQuez Jenkins has missed the past two practices with lingering back issues, but Holtz was confident he would return today. Holtz's general policy is a player doesn't start if he doesn't practice on Tuesday or Wednesday and doesn't play if he doesn't practice by Thursday.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

Miami: Coach watches freshman's workload

CORAL GABLES — Miami freshman RB/KR Duke Johnson had 14 carries Saturday against Bethune-Cookman, one more than his first two games combined.

"I don't think his play count has been crazy," coach Al Golden said. "I don't think we're getting to a point where he's going to carry it 30 times. (Eduardo Clements and Mike James), I want all three of them active in terms of the running game."

Johnson's 27 carries represent 29.3 percent of Miami's runs and rank second on the team behind James' 32.

Coming back: WR Allen Hurns is "a full go" for Saturday's game at Georgia Tech, Golden said. The junior led the team in catches before sustaining a head injury during the first series against Kansas State on Sept. 8.

South Florida Sun Sentinel

>>Fast facts

Up next

UF: vs. Kentucky, 12:20 Saturday. TV: Ch. 38

Miami: at Georgia Tech, 3 Saturday. TV: Sun Sports

USF: at Ball State, 4:30 Saturday. TV: BHSN

FSU: vs. Clemson, 8 Saturday. TV: Ch. 28

UCF: vs. Missouri, noon Sept. 29. TV: FSN

Florida Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins could return in time to face LSU Tigers 09/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 10:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.