GAINESVILLE — The Gators heard interesting news from Columbia, S.C., and got encouraging news at home.
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier revealed Wednesday that RB Marcus Lattimore did not practice because of a bruised right hip and the SEC co-leader in rushing touchdowns might not start Saturday against No. 3 Florida. Earlier in the day, Gators coach Will Muschamp said three injured starters on his offensive line were set to return to practice and expected to play.
Spurrier had said Lattimore was running well earlier in the week, but the injury limited him to spectator Wednesday.
"We are not sure if he is even going to be able to play," said Spurrier, adding that if Lattimore can't go, Kenny Miles and freshman Mike Davis would handle the load.
"We're sort of banged up all of a sudden," said Spurrier, noting that star DE Jadeveon Clowney (foot) has been limited in practice. DT Kelcy Quarles (shoulder) is doubtful and faces missing playing time after punching an LSU player last week. And then there's the flu bug that has kept some Gamecocks off the field.
Gamecocks WR Ace Sanders said he hasn't seen a problem with Lattimore: "I don't know anything about those (injury) reports. … He looked fine to me."
Meanwhile, Muschamp said C Jonotthan Harrison (right arm), LT Xavier Nixon (undisclosed upper body injury) and LG James Wilson (eye) all were cleared to practice, and DE Dominque Easley (left knee) returned to practice Tuesday.
Times correspondent Josh Jurnovoy contributed to this report.
USF: A friend to finally pick on?
TAMPA — USF senior CB Kayvon Webster has the challenge of helping stop the passing attack of Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, but the Miami natives have known each other for 15 years, as Bridgewater is a friend of Webster's brother Paul.
"I've known Teddy for a long time, since I was like 6," Webster said. "I've never really played against him. I always played a pound (division in youth leagues) higher, and my school never played his school. He's something like family to me. It's going to be a good game to play against him."
Webster played at Miami's Monsignor Pace High, where he played with Louisville CB Adrian Bushell his sophomore year. Bridgewater played at Miami Northwestern, along with Cardinals receivers Eli Rogers and Michaelee Harris, who Webster knows as well.
Webster missed last year's Louisville game with concussionlike symptoms but said he's looking forward to facing Bridgewater, hopeful the Bulls defense can get their first interception of the season.
"We have to do our job by breaking on the ball, doing what Coach teaches us," he said.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
Miami: QB Morris limited at practice
CORAL GABLES — QB Stephen Morris, who wasn't slated to return to the field from a sprained left ankle until today, instead practiced Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's rivalry game against No. 12 FSU.
But coach Al Golden cautioned against reading too much into the early start. "He just threw stationary," Golden said. "It's not a situation where he can drop yet or even plant. Ryan (Williams) took all the snaps, and Preston (Dewey) took some. We're moving forward with Ryan, and we'll see if Stephen, in the last 72 hours, can do something."
Golden said a decision on a starter may come at game time.
South Florida Sun Sentinel
FSU: Defense braces for star freshman
TALLAHASSEE — Devonta Freeman was 11, but he knew he saw something special. That's when he first saw 10-year-old Duke Johnson juke defenders at Miami's Liberty City Park.
"I knew he was going to be fast," Freeman, an FSU running back, said about his Miami counterpart. "It's his elusiveness."
Johnson, an impact freshman, has 428 rushing yards.
"Now, if this had been me last season, I would have been like, 'Aw, he's a freshman,' " FSU S Lamarcus Joyner said. "But after experiencing that nightmare that is (Clemson's) Sammy Watkins, we're definitely going to prepare for him. We're going to treat him like a man."
UCF: Full-on, always
ORLANDO — No one was shocked that Knights S Kemal Ishmael snagged an interception to secure a 38-31 double-overtime win over Southern Miss. Players say Ishmael doesn't discern between practice speed and game speed, something that has put him 29 tackles shy of Jason Venson's career mark of 322, the most for a UCF defensive back. "Kemal's out there, he works to win every day in practice," coach George O'Leary said.