GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Will Muschamp staunchly defended his decision to allow three suspended players to return to play against Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
DT Darious Cummings, DT Jay-nard Bostwick and WR Demarcus Robinson were suspended for the Aug. 31 season opener for violation of team or university rules. The game was suspended after one play. Muschamp was criticized in the media for not sitting the players for a full game.
"It's not just about suspending players for games, okay?" he said Wednesday. "There are a lot of things that go into discipline. It's about altering and changing behavior, which we've done here. I think our discipline speaks for itself and how we've handled our football team, okay?
"There are a lot of things that go into those situations, a lot more than people know, and it's very frustrating for me as a coach or any coach to have someone being critical and you don't even have all the information. So at the end of the day I make the decisions in this program, I handle the discipline in this program and it's been handled very well."
injury update: Sophomore LB Jeremi Powell, a former Pinellas Park standout, had arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday and likely will miss games Saturday, Sept. 13 against Kentucky and Sept. 20 at Alabama. Muschamp said it was not related to an ACL injury he had last season.
USF: Defense adjusts
TAMPA -- In the wake of Western Carolina's bubble-screen clinic Saturday night, Bulls defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan said his unit will be given "more tools" with which to defend the short passing game.
Western Carolina amassed 454 yards — 374 in the air — in USF's 36-31 win. Maryland, which visits this weekend, also will try to spread the defense while taking more shots downfield.
"The game plan was to not let any balls go over our head," sophomore S Nate Godwin said.
"We gave 'em limited tools because we wanted to see them run, play fast, and they did," Bresnahan added. "Now we'll add some more tools to help with the dink and dunk, the perimeter passing game."
injury update: WR Andre Davis (sternum) and LG Thor Jozwiak (shoulder) did not appear at the early portion of practice open to the media. Jozwiak is awaiting results of an MRI exam taken Tuesday.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer
UM: Working on OL
CORAL GABLES — Coach Al Golden said QB Brad Kaaya had inadequate protection during Monday's loss at Louisville and that needs to be fixed quickly if the Miami offense wants to find its rhythm.
"We clearly did not protect him well enough. He was hit too many times, and we were not good enough on third down. That obviously hurt the time of possession,'' Golden said. "I want to make sure we give Louisville credit. I thought they played really well and clearly, they were going to jam the front with eight or nine guys, and they were constantly moving around. It made it difficult. Sometimes we were looking around instead of just attacking and executing."
South Florida Sun Sentinel