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Florida State Seminoles willing to wait on injured tackle

With Andrew Datko hampered by a left shoulder injury since preseason, FSU is developing its young offensive linemen.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times (2009)

With Andrew Datko hampered by a left shoulder injury since preseason, FSU is developing its young offensive linemen.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher isn't resigned to being without injured star LT Andrew Datko for the rest of the year, indicating his status as day to day.

But he's not willing to risk his long-term future by playing him with a left shoulder problem that has dogged him since the preseason and is talking about the need to "develop" young tackles Henry Orelus (redshirt freshman) and Garrett Faircloth (sophomore).

And it better be quick. The Seminoles (3-1, 1-0 ACC) play Saturday at Virginia (2-1, 0-0), which is allowing an average of 280.3 yards (19th out of the 120 Division I-A teams) and 12.3 points (12th).

Orelus, who was praised for his strong play in his first start against BYU, struggled last weekend against Wake Forest. QB Christian Ponder was blindsided on the opening series and lost the ball. Faircloth, a sophomore, came on in the second half, and Fisher said he played "solidly."

"Henry will be fine. He's going to be a good player," Fisher said Monday. "Sometimes having a whole week to (know you're going to) start is worse than getting thrown in on Friday with all the anxiety and all the things that go with it. … We've got to continue to develop one of those tackles, both those tackles. But you can't expose them too much, and (you have to) see what they're ready for."

Ponder looking good: Ponder, nursing a bruised triceps, practiced only one day a week ago (Thursday) but wasn't limited Monday. Fisher couldn't have been more pleased.

"It was one of his best days," he said. "He's starting to spin that thing. He's starting to get in a groove. I'm starting to see signs."

Jones hurt: Junior TB Ty Jones, the former Middleton High star and leading rusher this season (283 yards, a 7.9 average), injured an ankle late in Saturday's win against Wake Forest. Fisher said he's "hobbling. We'll just have to go day to day and see how it goes." FSU has been using a three-back rotation of Jermaine Thomas, Jones and Chris Thompson.

UM Time set: The FSU-Miami showdown Oct. 9 will kick off at 8 p.m. and be on Ch. 28.

USF: Mitchell honored

TAMPA — USF true freshman CB Terrence Mitchell, a Hillsborough graduate, was named Big East special teams player of the week after gaining 94 yards on two punt returns — including a 67-yard return that set up a touchdown — in a 24-12 win against Western Kentucky.

RB Demetris Murray, who rushed for a career-best 115 yards against WKU, was named to the Big East's honor roll.

INJURY UPDATE: Bulls coach Skip Holtz, speaking on the Big East's weekly teleconference, said he's "encouraged" by the progress of WR Dontavia Bogan, who missed Saturday's game with a right ankle injury but could return this week against Florida Atlantic.

"I think he's making tremendous strides. He's really doing a great job with his treatment," Holtz said. "I thought he came out there and ran around (Sunday) much better than I expected. I'm very encouraged with him and really even very encouraged with what I saw out of Sterling (Griffin) (Sunday)."

Griffin, who has missed USF's first three games recovering from a dislocated ankle suffered during the summer, had been targeted to return for next week's home game against Syracuse, but Holtz said returning against the Owls is possible.

"There's a possibility of this week, seeing the way he ran around," Holtz said. "I know the trainer is still very cautious, and we'll have to see how that goes this week."

The return of two preseason projected starters would be a huge boost for USF's passing game, which has struggled without proven receivers.

NOON KICKOFF: USF's Big East opener at home against Syracuse on Oct. 9 will have a noon kickoff at Raymond James Stadium, the league said Monday. The homecoming game's local broadcast will be on Ch. 28.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

UM: Franklin top OL

CORAL GABLES — Orlando Franklin has said he wants to be the leader of the offensive line.

Through the first three games, the senior left tackle has been just that.

Monday, he was named the ACC offensive lineman of the week. He graded at 96 percent with eight pancake blocks in Thursday's 31-3 win at Pitt.

While RTs Joel Figueroa and Jermaine Johnson each gave up a sack, Franklin was dominant defending QB Jacory Harris' blindside. The Hurricanes gained 348 yards — 248 passing.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Nation

Alabama: DE Marcell Dareus has a left ankle injury, but coach Nick Saban expects him back in practice by Wednesday. He is expected to play Saturday against Florida.

Wake, notre dame add games: Wake Forest and Notre Dame will play three times in a five-year period. The Demon Deacons will host Notre Dame on Nov. 5, 2011, and will visit the Fighting Irish in 2015. A 2012 game in South Bend, Ind., had been announced.

Poll change: Michigan moved up a spot to No. 19 and South Carolina moved down to No. 20 on Sunday night after it was learned that an out of date ballot was used in tabulating the Associated Press poll.

Associated Press

Up next

FSU: at Virginia, noon Saturday, Ch. 44

Miami: at Clemson, noon Saturday, ESPN2

USF: vs. Florida Atlantic, 7 Saturday, BHSN

Florida: at Alabama, 8 Saturday, Ch. 10

UCF: vs. UAB, 8 Oct. 6, TV TBA

Florida State Seminoles willing to wait on injured tackle 09/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 1:37pm]
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