Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Knee injury keeps Florida State Seminoles' Moses McCray on the sideline

TALLAHASSEE — For Florida State DT Moses McCray, the toughest times are Saturdays.

"It's okay for me until game day," he said.

Instead of racing out of the tunnel onto the field and then trying to help his teammates win football games, the former Hillsborough High standout is a spectator, watching from home or at Doak Campbell Stadium, maintaining a safe distance from the sideline. McCray tore his left ACL during the first week of practice and had surgery on the knee this month, ending what he and his coaches hoped would be a breakout season before it even began.

"I still go to meetings," he said. "I still lift. I still talk to the guys to try to keep them up."

All of that helps the psyche when you're out, and McCray, 20, who started as a freshman in 2008 and played in 12 games as a sophomore despite elbow and shoulder injuries that required offseason surgery, is remarkably upbeat. In fact, he said this year will help him improve as a player.

"It's different outside the box because you see a lot more than when you're playing," McCray said. "I'm not going to say I like sitting out, but I kind of like the feeling of learning more."

"Sometimes as an injured player, it can put a perspective on things because you really get to sit back and see what the coach sees,'' added coach Jimbo Fisher. "When they come back, it can really help them become better players because of the perspective and the world that got opened up to them from seeing things in a different light. But he's done a great job of that, and he's been a very good team leader, and he's done a good job with our young defensive linemen.''

McCray also is using the year to focus on his academics and has an eye toward a second degree before his five years are up. As for his return to the field, he's looking at possibly spring practice.

"I'm recovering pretty fast," he said. "But I'm not rushing it."

Chapter 2: Fisher enjoyed last week's win for, oh, about five minutes before his attention shifted to Saturday's showdown against Wake Forest (2-1, 1-0 ACC).

"The season now begins," he said. "The preseason's over."

That's not to suggest he didn't want to win his first three games. But he recognizes this one looms far larger for his Seminoles (2-1) — it is their ACC opener and if Fisher and his team are to regain national relevancy, they must start out by regaining that status among their league brethren.

The Seminoles won at least a share of the ACC title the first nine years they were in the league (1992-2000) and 11 of their first dozen years. They rolled up a 98-6 record in ACC play during that time.

But after winning the ACC again in 2005, the first time the conference had a championship game, they've come up empty of that goal. In the past four years, they were a mere 16-16 in league play.

History lesson: Speaking of the ACC opener, the Seminoles have lost that game the past three years, one of which came against Wake Forest. That home loss on Sept. 20, 2008 was QB Christian Ponder's first ACC start, a game he'd just as soon forget. He had essentially promised a win and then, on his first play, threw the first of three interceptions.

"I was young and naïve," he said. "Obviously, they came out motivated, and the first play of the game I go out and throw a pick, and I just let that frustrate me the rest of the game."

Hitting home: Ponder and Houston QB Case Keenum met a couple of summers ago at a camp run by former FSU Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward. Ponder and Keenum were counselors this summer at the Manning Passing Academy. Now they share another experience.

Keenum, a prolific passer and a preseason candidate for the Heisman, sustained a season-ending knee injury last weekend when he tried to make a tackle after he threw an interception. Ponder missed the last four games of the 2009 season (and needed surgery) when he made a tackle after throwing a pick.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347. Follow his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/seminoles.

Knee injury keeps Florida State Seminoles' Moses McCray on the sideline 09/22/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 4:11: Interesting that Bourjos is not in lineup vs. LHP Santiago and lefty swinger Dickerson is, but Twins LH starter Hector Santiago has allowed a .500 average (13-for-26) to lefties, but .210 (35-for-167) to righties.

    Here is the Rays lineup:

  2. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety

    Bucs

    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]
  3. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  4. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  5. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.