Saturday, June 23, 2018
Colleges

FSU safety Hunter has neck surgery, out for season

TALLAHASSEE, — Florida State junior S Tyler Hunter had surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck and is out for the season.

Coach Jimbo Fisher said Hunter is expected to make a full recovery and will be back in 2014.

Hunter had eight tackles and an interception in three games this season. He can take a medical redshirt and would have two years of eligibility remaining.

The Seminoles will continue to use freshman Jalen Ramsey in place of Hunter. Ramsey has 22 tackles and an interception.

"He is very mature; very intelligent,'' Fisher said of Ramsey. "He can contain and process a lot of information."

FSU, which has a bye week, returned to practice Tuesday after two days off, beginning preparations for next week ACC showdown at Clemson.

UF: Worries about LSU

GAINESVILLE — No. 10 LSU, which hosts No. 17 Florida on Saturday, is having a down year by its defensive standards. The Tigers are ranked seventh in the SEC in total defense and have given up 2,202 yards through six games, but UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease said the numbers are misleading.

"There's still some very talented guys there," Pease said. "I look at Game 1 through where they are now. They have shown improvement. They're kind of settling on who their guys are in these positions, who is kind of quarterbacking the defense back there at the linebacker spot. Now they're getting more consistent. Their guys are getting better at fundamentals. They're playing faster and faster and faster, so you can see them coming on."

LONG-TERM BENEFITS: Last season's game against LSU — a 14-6 UF victory — was a turning point for Gators LB Antonio Morrison that has helped him ever since. "You just saw the physicality that can go on in an SEC game like that," Morrison said. "And me getting that opportunity to play in a big game like that, and getting that experience last year, that really helped me moving forward."

Antonya English, Times staff writer

USF: TV update

TAMPA — Contrary to reports last week, Ch. 28 will not carry Saturday's USF-UConn game or any other American Athletic Conference games this season.

USF announced Sept. 30 that the station would televise the game as part of ESPN's regional network. But Ch. 28 director of marketing Dennis Elsbury told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday that the ABC affiliate does not have TV rights to USF games this year. He said the game was never on the station's schedule.

"At the end of the day, we do not have any agreement to carry USF or other conference games," Elsbury said. "Even if we wanted to, we couldn't. The ABC network already has a game scheduled at noon."

USF said the game will air in the Tampa Bay area on Bright House Sports Network Ch. 47.

HISTORY LESSON: It has been nearly 13 years since USF defeated UConn on the road, but coach Willie Taggart isn't thinking about the past. The Bulls won 21-13 in their first trip to UConn on Oct. 28, 2000. Since then, USF has four consecutive losses there. "I don't know what happened all these years before, but this is a new year and a new football team," Taggart said.

MEDICAL MATTERS: QB Steven Bench (knee) was dressed for practice but did not participate in passing drills. Senior RB Marcus Shaw (leg) was not on the field.

Jeff Odom, Times correspondent

Comments
Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Times wiresOMAHA, Neb.  —Defending champion Florida failed to win a third straight elimination game, losing to Arkansas 5-2 Friday night and departing the College World Series.The Gators (49-21) had to win to force a rematch. The Razorback...
Published: 06/22/18
Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

OMAHA, Neb. — JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night....
Published: 06/22/18
Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

For the first time in almost two decades, Florida and Florida State will open the men's basketball season against each other.The Seminoles will host UF on Nov. 6, both programs announced Wednesday morning. FSU has won four in a row in the series."Any...
Published: 06/20/18
With starting QB Josh Jackson’s status resolved, FSU will open against full-strength Hokies

With starting QB Josh Jackson’s status resolved, FSU will open against full-strength Hokies

Florida State's primetime opener against Virginia Tech looks a little tougher now than it did a few days ago.Hokies starting quarterback Josh Jackson has had his academic eligibility resolved and remains on the team, the Roanoke Times reported Tuesda...
Published: 06/19/18
As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

USF's expanded partnership with Yuengling — including naming rights to the Sun Dome — is only the latest part in an evolving relationship between college sports and alcohol, as my colleague, Joey Knight, wrote on the front page ...
Published: 06/18/18
Florida’s Brady Singer voted top college baseball player of year

Florida’s Brady Singer voted top college baseball player of year

OMAHA, Neb. — Florida pitcher Brady Singer has won the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball's player of the year.Singer, who received the award Friday, carries a 12-1 record and 2.30 ERA into the College World Series, which begins Saturday. T...
Published: 06/15/18
Former Plant QB Rex Culpepper cancer-free; ready to return to Syracuse lineup

Former Plant QB Rex Culpepper cancer-free; ready to return to Syracuse lineup

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Rex Culpepper is back. The smile on his face said it all. The redshirt sophomore quarterback had his first full workout with Syracuse on Friday after overcoming testicular cancer. He said he broke down and cried when he was told he w...
Published: 06/15/18
Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

During his question-and-answer session with more than 500 Manatee-Sarasota boosters Monday evening, FSU's Willie Taggart was peppered with the normal inquiries about recruiting, offensive scheme and the Seminoles' quarterback derby.All well and good....
Published: 06/12/18
When Willie Taggart filled in for Tommie Frazier at Manatee High

When Willie Taggart filled in for Tommie Frazier at Manatee High

It would have been easy — expected, even — for Willie Taggart to be nervous when he started in place of the injured Tommie Frazier as Manatee High's starting quarterback in 1991.Nope. Taggart wasn't, even though he was the first...
Published: 06/12/18
FSU football coach Willie Taggart gets local hero’s welcome

FSU football coach Willie Taggart gets local hero’s welcome

SARASOTA — He slithered and scrambled his way into the local consciousness in the fall of 1991.Manatee High's Willie Taggart, 145 pounds in a sopping jersey, suddenly found himself with the keys to the Hurricanes' ruthlessly efficient opti...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18