GAINESVILLE — DT Dominique Easley, one of the most disruptive players on Florida's defense, tore his ACL and medial meniscus in his right knee during a noncontact drill in practice Tuesday and will need season-ending surgery, the school said Wednesday.
"We will continue to look for his leadership and experience throughout the season," coach Will Muschamp said. "Watching any of your players go through this is one of the hardest things about being a coach."
Easley posted on Twitter: "Gatornation thank you for all of 4 yrs of sticking with me but god has something else planned for and have no worries #believe."
Easley could qualify for a medical redshirt and return to UF for one more year. In order to be eligible for a medical redshirt, a player must play less than 20 percent of his team's contests and not play past the midway point of the season, per NCAA rules.
He is the fifth UF player to have a season-ending injury this year, joining QB Jeff Driskel (broken right leg), OT Chaz Green (torn labrum), WR Andre Debose (torn ACL) and LB Matt Rolin (torn ACL).
Driskel update: Driskel had successful surgery on his broken right fibula. He had a plate and screws inserted for the fibula fracture. Doctors also repaired his medial ligaments and put two screws across his ankle joint. He is out for the year.
USF: Bracing the defense
TAMPA — Miami sophomore RB Duke Johnson enters Saturday riding a streak of seven consecutive games with at least one touchdown, and Chuck Bresnahan has seen enough video to know why.
"If he gets a gap … he's gone, and you see that time and time again on tape," USF's defensive coordinator said.
For the season, Johnson has 304 rushing yards, three catches for 50 yards and has returned four kicks for an average of 37.8 yards.
"We have to be very disciplined in our run fits, we have to be very disciplined in our pass entry when they check it down to him," Bresnahan said, "because he'll take a check-down and turn it into a 30- or 40-yard gain at the drop of a hat."
Joey Knight, Times staff writer
UM: Respectful of Bulls
CORAL GABLES — Miami coach Al Golden is wary of USF and worried about overconfidence in his own team. "If we're not mentally tough and mature, and we don't have the leadership, and we're letting things get into this building that really have no impact on the game, then maybe we're not the team I thought we were," he said. "You turn on the film, that's not a winless team you're watching." QB Stephen Morris (ankle) isn't 100 percent but remains on target to play Saturday.
South Florida Sun Sentinel
UCF: A lot to try to stop
ORLANDO — UCF faces a stern test in No. 12 South Carolina, which is averaging nearly 500 yards of offense per game. QB Connor Shaw has accounted for 863 total yards, and RB Mike Davis leads the team with 341 yards rushing. "They're going to run the ball, run the ball and then all of a sudden play-action," UCF coach George O'Leary said.