GAINESVILLE — Florida junior QB Tyler Murphy returned to practice Monday after missing nearly two weeks because of a sprained shoulder.
"He's thrown about 30 balls up until (Monday)," offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "So his arm — his accuracy was off a little bit."
In his most recent games, against LSU and Missouri, Murphy was sacked 10 times and the Gators gained just 170 rushing yards — 59 vs. Missouri. Florida has a combined 221 passing yards in those games. Asked if it's critical for the offense to play well against Georgia on Saturday to help regain its confidence, Pease replied: "No doubt."
Kent Taylor redshirt?: After battling an ankle injury early in the season, former Land O'Lakes standout TE Kent Taylor still has not played. On Tuesday, Pease said the reasons are varied, and suggested Taylor may redshirt.
"You know we said this was going to be more of a time where we were going to use him as a redshirt," Pease said, adding that Taylor hasn't proven he's ready for game action. "You've got to be able to block in that position, and run routes, and you've got to see that you can perform and your performance has got to show up. But I don't know if his development is totally there."
USF: Showcase game
TAMPA — USF coach Willie Taggart embraces having the national spotlight on his team when it travels to American Athletic Conference opponent Houston on Thursday night.
Taggart said it's a unique chance to show the country what his team can do, despite the Bulls' 0-9 record on Thursday nights since a 51-10 win over Florida Atlantic in 2002.
"We need a lot of people that want to go out there and make a name for themselves and make a name for this university," Taggart said. "That's what it takes: Guys just fired up about going out there and letting everyone know they can play football with the big boys."
LOW POINT: Monday marked exactly one month since USF's last offensive touchdown, scored with two seconds left in a 49-21 loss against Miami. While Taggart admitted the season-long struggles have been stressful, he quelled the notion that players aren't giving a complete effort.
"It's not like they're not trying, they're working hard," Taggart said. "They've got to stay mentally focused throughout the entire game and focus on doing their job."
MEDICAL MATTERS: Taggart said senior RB Marcus Shaw (hamstring) will play Thursday, barring unexpected setbacks. Also, Taggart said OL Thor Jozwiak (irregular heartbeat) is out for the season after having surgery last week. Taggart is optimistic that the sophomore will be healthy by spring workouts.
Jeff Odom, Times correspondent
UM: Back to Tally
CORAL GABLES — Miami offensive coordinator James Coley, a former Florida State assistant and student, said Saturday's matchup in Tallahassee will be interesting for him.
"I'll tell you afterwards. It'll be different," Coley said when asked what it would be like to walk into Doak Campbell Stadium as a Hurricane. "I'm looking forward to seeing what that's like. I have a lot of great memories. (FSU) has done a great job this year. I'm looking forward to seeing them again."