DALLAS — Florida State CB Lamarcus Joyner was announced Thursday as a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded to the nation's defensive player of the year.
The other finalists: Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard, Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald, Alabama LB C.J. Mosley and Missouri DE Michael Sam. The winner is announced Dec. 9.
Joyner, a senior, has 51 tackles, a team-high 5½ sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles. He also is a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back.
Dennard has three interceptions and seven pass breakups. Donald leads the country with 22½ tackles for loss, including 10 sacks. Mosley leads Alabama with 79 tackles. Sam has 10 sacks.
USF: Corner leaving
TAMPA — USF sophomore CB Chris Bivins was granted his release and will transfer. Coach Willie Taggart said Bivins, who has not played this season, has been suspended for unspecified reasons since early in the season.
"Chris had some things he had to do to get back on this football team," Taggart said. "He had a choice he had to make if he wanted to do those things, so I guess he's decided to transfer."
Bivins, out of Gainesville High, missed the start of last season with a torn ACL. He played in four games, finishing with one tackle.
LYNCH INCIDENT: Taggart said he was aware of an incident between two fans and sophomore DL Aaron Lynch late in Saturday's loss to Memphis.
During a touchdown review by officials, two fans became belligerent toward Lynch, whose response triggered an exchange of words and inappropriate gestures. Taggart said Lynch was removed from the game but will not receive any further punishment.
"(Memphis) had just scored, and our guys didn't react the way they were supposed to," Taggart said. "We didn't react like a winning team. We let our frustrations get to us. Rather than getting upset with the fans, we've got to be upset with ourselves. We're the ones that's doing it."
BENCH BOOST? While committed to starting QB Mike White, Taggart said he's not opposed to finding situations for backup Steven Bench
"I do think there's a place where Steven can help us on the offensive side of the ball," he said. "We've got to be creative and allow him to do that at times."
Jeff Odom, Times correspondent
Miami: Receiver out
CORAL GABLES — Miami WR Phillip Dorsett was declared out for Saturday's game at Virginia. Dorsett, who partially tore a knee ligament Oct. 17 against North Carolina, started catching passes and participating in noncontact drills last week.
Also out are CB Artie Burns, who injured his ankle last week against Duke, and LB Alex Figueroa, who is wearing a sling but whose injury hasn't been disclosed.
South Florida Sun Sentinel