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