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Florida's Harvin to miss season opener

GAINESVILLE — Florida WR Percy Harvin will miss Saturday's season opener against Hawaii because of his injured right heel, coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday.

But Meyer did not confirm an Orlando Sentinel report that the junior will sit out Sept. 6 against Miami as well as the SEC opener Sept. 20 at Tennessee.

"I don't know that," he said.

Harvin, who had surgery on the heel in April, has participated in seven-on-seven drills but has not finished a full practice.

Meyer also said LB Brandon Spikes (right foot) and OL Maurice Hurt (shoulder) also will sit out Saturday.

PATCHAN ON A TEAR: Tampa native and freshman DT Matt Patchan continues to be praised by Meyer and his position coach, Dan McCarney. Patchan has been cleared for full contact only since Monday after recovering from a pectoral strain.

"The short time that he's practiced, he's really, really left a strong impression with everyone," McCarney said. "His motor never stops. And when you say go play relentless for the Gators, he understands that about as good as anybody we have."

Kicking game: Meyer said senior Jonathan Phillips will handle field goals and freshman Caleb Sturgis kickoffs.

FSU: Defensive tackle leaves via ambulance

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State DT Emmanuel Dunbar, a projected starter with Paul Griffin and Budd Thacker suspended, suffered a lower-back injury and was taken by ambulance to Capital Regional Medical Center.

"I'm praying everything will be all right," defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins said. "We're going to go straight ahead and do the best we can do."

A redshirt junior from Deerfield Beach, Dunbar has a history of back problems, including surgery to repair two herniated disks in November 2006. Team officials cut Dunbar's jersey and shoulder pads off Wednesday in order to load him into the ambulance.

The school said only that doctors were examining Dunbar and his status for the Sept. 6 opener against Western Carolina is uncertain. With Dunbar sidelined, freshmen Moses McCray and Everett Dawkins will vie to start next to Kendrick Stewart.

PACKING THEM ON: Bloomingdale High grad Josh Dobbie, a walk-on tight end who transferred from Army in 2006, is in position to open the season as the starter if freshmen Ja'Baris Little and Bo Reliford remain academically ineligible.

Previously a receiver, Dobbie has gained 30 pounds since arriving to weigh 235.

"I pretty much ate just everything," he said. "I'm a naturally skinny person, so it was a little difficult at first."

EXTRA POINTS: P/K Graham Gano is recovering from surgery Friday to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. Gano had the knee drained of fluid Wednesday and said he is confident he can return sooner than the original diagnosis of 4-6 weeks.

USF: Pair receives academic clearance

TAMPA — Two USF players returned to practice. CB Theo Wilson resolved his academic issues, and TE Andreas Shields was cleared by NCAA. Only one scholarship player, freshman CB George Baker, awaits NCAA approval.

Coach Jim Leavitt said he expects Wilson, a former Dunedin High quarterback, to play Saturday against Tennessee-Martin and could make an impact as a nickel defensive back or punt returner. Shields is expected to redshirt.

Partial Workout: WR Aston Samuels, recovering from a broken shoulder socket suffered in spring drills, is still far from returning. But he worked out with the receivers Wednesday. Samuels had worked at running back in his first two seasons, but Leavitt said he'll be a "multipurpose" player when he returns, which might not be until next year.

Full workout: DT Sampson Genus worked at full strength for the second day in a row after being held out with an injured ankle. Defensive ends coach Kevin Patrick said Genus, Terrell McClain and Aaron Harris will see significant action Saturday.

Lose one, add one: DT Lou Alguadich of Fort Myers lasted one day after walking on this week. So USF added DE Rony DeLisca, who has been with the team since spring. He is the third walk-on from Wharton, joining RB Joel Miller and LB LaDre Watkins.

Around the nation

CINCINNATI: QB Ben Mauk lost his latest appeal (his fourth) to the NCAA for another season of eligibility. He appealed based on injuries sustained while at Cincinnati and Wake Forest.

Indiana: DE Greg Middleton, who led the nation with 16 sacks last season, and three others were suspended for Saturday against Western Kentucky for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. The others, all reserves, are TE Troy Wagner, S Brandon Mosley and DE Kyle Kozak.

LSU: The school doesn't expect Tropical Storm Gustav to be a problem for Saturday against Appalachian State. Computer models show the storm could head toward New Orleans.

Times staff writer Greg Auman and Times correspondents Scott Carter and Phil Kegler contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

>>scouting report

Tonight: Miami

vs. Charleston Southern

The Hurricanes play their first home game at Dolphin Stadium. And it comes against the I-AA Buccaneers and sixth-year coach Jay Mills: "Since the moment I arrived on this campus, we've talked about Miami's football program and what they've done in the last 25 years with five national championships and how we hope to emulate that on the (I-AA) level." The 2008 Hurricanes won't resemble the five national title teams. Coming off a 5-7 season, they start a freshman at quarterback, Jacory Harris, for the first time since Bernie Kosar in 1983. Harris starts for the suspended Robert Marve. Southern does have one player who has won in Miami. Starting QB Tribble Smith was the backup (but didn't play) for Clemson when it won 24-17 at the Orange Bowl in 2004.

Times wires

>>Fast facts

Up next

Florida: vs. Hawaii,

12:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 38

USF: vs. Tennessee-Martin, 7 p.m. Saturday, Catch 47

FSU: vs. Western Carolina,

6 p.m. Sept. 6, pay per view

Florida's Harvin to miss season opener 08/27/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:23pm]
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