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University of South Florida Bulls brace for hot-handed Rutgers quarterback

TAMPA — A big part of Rutgers' last two wins against USF was running back Ray Rice, now with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, but the Bulls are well aware of the threat posed by Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel.

Teel has thrown two touchdown passes in his two victories against USF, but defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said the passer is coming into Saturday's game between the teams on a tear. Teel has nine TD passes in wins against Pittsburgh and Syracuse after throwing three in the first seven games.

"No doubt, he is hot as a firecracker," Burnham said. "He's done a great job. They don't do a whole lot of different routes. They do a lot of formations, but they run the same stuff. Every time it's the same reads, and every once in a while he throws it to (receiver Kenny) Britt as far as you can throw it. They've changed a bunch from what they were last year, when it was Ray Rice, Ray Rice."

INJURIES: Senior Justin Teachey, a former walk-on from Palmetto who has handled kickoffs throughout his four seasons, won't play again this season because of an injured quad. He's best remembered for his strong leg — 45 touchbacks in 210 career kickoffs — and his rugby-style punting as the primary punter during the 2006 season. Freshman Maikon Bonani has handled kickoffs since Teachey's injury. He has one touchback in 11 kickoffs.

Cory Grissom, a true freshman defensive tackle who played in one game, won't play again because of a leg injury. The school will seek a medical redshirt for him. Walk-on Joe Herzhauser, a Lakewood graduate who has played in six games primarily on special teams, is also done for the season with a knee injury.

UF: Guard improves

GAINESVILLE — Redshirt sophomore Carl Johnson will likely start at left guard against South Carolina on Saturday, UF coach Urban Meyer said.

Johnson suffered an knee sprain in a 42-14 win Saturday against Vanderbilt, but Meyer expects him to play.

"He's a 330-pound man that's got to move to his right a little and to his left. It's fine," Meyer joked. "He's not going to be running post routes."

The original starter at the position, Jim Tartt (shoulder), is practicing again and will be available. OL Maurice Hurt (shoulder) also practiced, and Meyer said redshirt freshman James Wilson could get playing time.

NOTABLE: Junior QB Tim Tebow was named one of 13 finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy, the All Sports Association announced. The award honors the college football player who combines community service with outstanding academic and on-the-field achievement. It is named after Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, who led the Gators to a national championship in 1996. The winner will be announced Feb. 20.

FSU: Tailback okay

TALLAHASSEE — FSU coach Bobby Bowden said freshman RB Jermaine Thomas practiced well despite a recent bout with turf toe.

Thomas gained 94 yards on 11 carries against Clemson.

"I see no effects of it, thank goodness," Bowden said. "It can be bad, but thank goodness it's not."

(Players, fraternity involved in campus fight, 1C)

UM: QBs aplenty

MIAMI — Virginia Tech and Miami could combine to use five players at quarterback tonight. The Hokies will likely start Sean Glennon, and it's possible Tyrod Taylor and tight end Greg Boone could take snaps.

Preparing for more than one QB shouldn't be a problem for the Hurricanes, who are on a four-game winning streak behind the combination of Jacory Harris and former Plant standout Robert Marve.

"I think we do that enough in practice with Marve and Jacory," cornerback Chavez Grant said. "I think it's pretty much the same thing."

UCF: More execution

ORLANDO — Coach George O'Leary brushes off criticism that UCF needs a more diverse offensive playbook. "The best teams I've ever seen have a very small playbook," O'Leary said heading into this weekend's game at Marshall. He contends the coaches have to get the players to execute better.

Times correspondents Phil Kegler and Ira Schoffel, the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.

>>Up next

Miami: vs. Virginia Tech, 7:30 tonight, ESPN

USF: vs. Rutgers, noon Saturday, Ch. 28

UF: vs. South Carolina, 3:30 Saturday, Ch. 10

FSU: vs. Boston College, 8 Saturday, Ch. 28

University of South Florida Bulls brace for hot-handed Rutgers quarterback 11/12/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 13, 2008 1:52am]
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