TAMPA — Senior Lindsey Lamar, who has sparked USF's offense in his return to running back, likely has played his final snaps as a Bull after fracturing his collarbone in Saturday night's loss to Syracuse.
Lamar was injured early in the fourth quarter and had difficulty breathing, prompting a trip to Tampa General Hospital, where he stayed until late Sunday afternoon.
"I hate it. He's really been coming along, been developing every week," said coach Skip Holtz, who added that Lamar had a nonsurgical procedure to set the collarbone. "It'll be a blow to us offensively, with the productivity he's had in the last two weeks, rushing for (255) yards. We're definitely going to miss that production, and we're going to have to make it up."
Holtz said three other injuries to key players could affect Saturday's game at Connecticut: Senior G Danous Estenor (ankle), senior TE Evan Landi (ankle) and junior WR Derrick Hopkins (knee) are "questionable to doubtful."
"I would not think we're going to have all of them," Holtz said. "I just don't know which ones are going to be back at this point."
Lamar reset his career high in rushing yards each of the past two games, first with 110 in a loss at Louisville, then 145 Saturday. His absence means the Bulls will utilize junior Marcus Shaw more in rotation with senior Demetris Murray. Junior Bradley Battles could help, and redshirt freshman Willie Davis had his foot in a boot this past week due to a sprained ankle.
THIS AND THAT: Holtz said he had not made any decisions about changes he might make to his defense and had not ruled out changes to his defensive coaching staff after the Bulls gave up a 75-yard touchdown drive in the final 1:23 to lose 37-36 to Syracuse. … Holtz said he was pleased to see first-time starters shine in true freshman DE Eric Lee (six tackles) and redshirt freshman G Thor Jozwiak, who played "really well" as part of a young offensive line.