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Florida loses starting linebacker Doe to double hernia

GAINESVILLE — Florida starting OLB Dustin Doe is scheduled to have double hernia surgery today and miss two games, coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday.

Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong said that Doe was hurt against Miami on Sept. 6. After limited action against Tennessee on Sept. 20, it flared up during Saturday's loss to Mississippi.

"It's not a question of if injuries will happen," Meyer said. "We've had eight starters go down. That's kind of a lot. But everyone's dealing with issues."

Sophomore Brandon Hicks will start for Doe on Saturday at Arkansas. Redshirt junior Ryan Stamper normally backs up Doe. But he sat out Saturday with a sprained ankle. Strong said he expects him to see limited action.

Strong also said he is not worried about depth at linebacker. Sophomores John Jones and Lorenzo Edwards will see increased playing time.

USF: Linemen work out

TAMPA — USF junior DE George Selvie and sophomore DT Terrell McClain did some work at practice, but coach Jim Leavitt would not say they are ready for Thursday's Big East opener against Pittsburgh.

"I expect them to play," he said. "But I won't know until they get all out there and move around."

Kickoffs: Leavitt said he was unaware of the status of senior Justin Teachey, who has handled kickoffs but has been hampered by a thigh injury.

"(Delbert Alvarado has) been handling the kickoffs this week, but we expect Teachey to practice (today)," he said. "Right before the game, we'll have to see how he feels."

FSU: Barometer game

TALLAHASSEE — With Florida State (3-1, 0-1 ACC) and Miami (2-2, 0-1) attempting to reclaim their place among college football's elite, Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden believes Saturday's matchup could signal which is further along.

"It's an interesting race," he said. "This game will tell a lot between our two schools."

Parker searching for spark: Junior WR Preston Parker, who led the Seminoles with 1,513 all-purpose yards last season, has caught just three passes for 34 yards since coming back from suspension two weeks ago. He also lost a fumble against Wake Forest.

Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said he expects Parker to regain his form as early as Saturday, which would be ideal for Parker. Growing up in nearby Delray Beach, Parker dreamed of playing in Dolphin Stadium, where the Hurricanes now play their home games.

"I've always dreamed of playing in there because I'm from down there," Parker said. "Now I've got an opportunity to play in there. It's just a good opportunity."

UCF: Players meet

ORLANDO — Central Florida coach George O'Leary said there was a players-only meeting Monday, two days after a 58-13 loss at previously winless UTEP.

"I think it gets to a point where they have to determine what kind of football team they want to be," he said. "Coaches can talk all the time. And it sounds like rhetoric, but it is a players' game."

Times correspondents Joe Rienzi and Ira Schoffel contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

>>up next

USF vs. Pittsburgh: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, ESPN

Florida at Arkansas: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 38

Florida State at Miami: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 28

Florida loses starting linebacker Doe to double hernia 09/30/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:38pm]

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