CORAL GABLES — Miami running back Mark Walton needs season-ending surgery on his right ankle, a major blow for the unbeaten Hurricanes, coach Mark Richt said Sunday.
The team's leading rusher was injured in Saturday's win at Florida State. He has 428 yards and three touchdowns, his 7.6 yards per attempt ranking No. 23 nationally.
The junior who recently became a father is considered to be a candidate to enter the NFL draft in 2018.
Travis Homer, UM's next back in line, has played well. He rushed for 29 yards Saturday; on the season he has 207 yards and three touchdowns. DeeJay Dallas, a touted member of UM's recruiting class, could also get playing time.
The Hurricanes host Georgia Tech this week in a battle between Coastal Division contenders.
GATORS FALL FROM POLL: A home loss to LSU knocked the Gators out of the AP poll that was released Sunday. Florida will try to rebound when Texas A&M visits Saturday at 7 (ESPN2). Louisville, Utah and West Virginia also fell out of the rankings. Miami rose two spots to No. 11, idle USF stayed No. 18 and UCF jumped three spots to No. 22 after a rain-shortened 51-23 win at Cincinnati, which visits USF on Saturday having dropped three straight. Alabama stayed No. 1, followed by Clemson, Penn State (its best ranking since 2008), Georgia and Washington. The Huskies and No. 8 Washington State are in the top 10 together for the first time since Oct. 26, 1997. Georgia Tech just missed the Top 25 as the next leading vote-getter behind No. 25 Navy.
NO DOUBTS HERE: Michigan State has made last season look like an aberration. And, the Mark Dantonio-led Spartans have proven their dominance against Michigan is no fluke. "We've done it eight times," Dantonio said. "I don't know why there's a lot of doubt." With a defense that took advantage of mistakes and an offense that didn't make many miscues, double-digit underdog Michigan State beat the seventh-ranked Wolverines 14-10 in the series' first game completely under the lights.
NO COMMENT OF THE DAY: With Michigan's home loss to Michigan State, coach Jim Harbaugh fell to 1-2 against the Spartans and he's 0-2 against Ohio State. Asked about that record against rivals, he chose not to address it. In other Michigan news, starting quarterback Wilton Speight is reportedly out for the season with a back injury that he sustained two weeks ago. It's not clear if surgery is needed.
CLEMSON: Coach Dabo Swinney expects quarterback Kelly Bryant (left ankle) to practice later in the week to try and prepare to face Syracuse on Friday night.
KENTUCKY: Reserve quarterback Luke Wright said examinations "all came back good" after he collapsed on the sideline Saturday night during a victory over Missouri. Play was stopped for several minutes as medical personnel treated him.
"I'm trying to get our players to listen to me instead of listening to (the media). All that stuff you write about how good we are. All that stuff they hear on ESPN. It's like poison. It's like taking poison. Like rat poison.''
Nick Saban, Alabama coach