Saturday, December 16, 2017
Colleges

Florida Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins might return to face LSU

GAINESVILLE — Florida LB Jelani Jenkins will be evaluated by a specialist Friday, is expected to have the pin removed from his broken thumb, and might return Oct. 6 against LSU after missing two games.

"If he were to play, it would be in a cast, and again that goes back to pain level and comfort level of playing with the cast," coach Will Muschamp said. "There will be some sort of covering if he's able to play. And right now we feel like he should be able to go. But again you never know until the guy looks at it. So I don't want to sit there and say he's going right now. I'm not ready to say that."

NARROW THE FOCUS: The Gators will practice today before taking the weekend off. The first part of the week focused on self-improvement.

"The first two days of this week, we've been really focusing on ourselves," defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. "I want to make sure each player knows exactly where they stand and what they need to improve on. We've made some cut-ups, not necessarily by scheme, but by the individual player. … As we get into (today's) practice, that's when we'll really take the first look at LSU with the players."

Antonya English, Times staff writer

FSU: Punt ability

TALLAHASSEE — Two punt return touchdowns have been enough to convince Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher to stick with Rashad Greene on special teams. Fisher said he remains confident in Greene despite two drops on punts.

"We've got to fix that," Fisher said.

On one drop, Greene had difficulty as his blocker, Ronald Darby, tripped with a Clemson player at his feet.

"Part of those issues go back to we're not holding up (punt coverage players) like we need to all the time properly," Fisher said. "Still, there's no reason to put the ball on the ground."

KEEPING RHYTHM: Fisher said sophomore RB Devonta Freeman hasn't been bypassed. Chris Thompson and James Wilder are getting more carries because the offense is in synch with them, he said.

Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel

USF: Imposing foe

TAMPA — USF offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler has been in college football since 1980, but he can't recall a defensive line like what the Bulls will face against No. 4 Florida State.

"I don't know that I've seen a team, except maybe the early '90s Florida State teams, that has the depth of quality players," Shankweiler said. "Honestly, after a while, you lose track of who's in there, because they all look the same."

FSU's defensive line has gotten its best pressure from the outside — starting ends Bjoern Werner and Cornellius "Tank" Carradine have 12 of the team's 13 sacks. USF's offensive line hasn't let QB B.J. Daniels avoid pressure, but because of his elusiveness, the Bulls tie for fourth nationally in tackles for loss allowed, having given up only 11 in four games.

USF tweaked its offensive line last week, returning senior Mark Popek from left guard to the left tackle spot he held all of last season, with senior Damien Edwards stepping in at left guard.

THIS AND THAT: FSU's Jimbo Fisher hasn't lost to an in-state opponent as head coach yet, with two wins each against Florida and Miami.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

UM: You again

CORAL GABLES — Once again, Al Golden will face a former employer.

North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien hired the Miami coach to lead the Boston College linebackers in 1997. He spent three years in the program before moving on.

A week ago, Golden faced Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh, who once hired him as an assistant when Groh coached Virginia.

South Florida Sun Sentinel

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