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USF dealing with two injured defensive starters

USF linebacker Reshard Cliett, center, the second-leading tackler for the Bulls, hurt his shoulder Saturday at Michigan State.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

USF linebacker Reshard Cliett, center, the second-leading tackler for the Bulls, hurt his shoulder Saturday at Michigan State.

TAMPA — USF might miss two defensive starters for Saturday's home game against Florida Atlantic, as LB Reshard Cliett and DT Elkino Watson awaited the results of MRI exams taken Monday.

Cliett, the Bulls' No. 2 tackler and weakside starter, injured his shoulder late in Saturday's loss at Michigan State; Watson left with a knee injury and also had a thumb injury. The severity of the injuries is unknown.

The Bulls have depth at defensive tackle, with junior Todd Chandler and sophomore James Hamilton rotating in regularly. At linebacker, USF could turn to true freshman and Hillsborough High product Nigel Harris, who had two tackles Saturday.

Familiar foe: USF hasn't played Florida Atlantic since 2010, but coach Willie Taggart knows the Owls well — he faced them in each of his three seasons at Western Kentucky, going 1-2 with a 37-28 home loss last season. USF is 3-0 against FAU, including a 31-3 win in 2010.

UM: Offensive issues

CORAL GABLES — No. 15 Miami is back in the polls, but as the Hurricanes enter a bye week, they understand they have offensive issues to work through.

Miami is averaging 357.5 yards a game, 85th in the nation. UM was again ineffective on third down, converting 1 of 11 Saturday against Florida to go 5-of-25 for the season. The Hurricanes are ranked No. 116 in that category.

"We have to do a better job on third down," coach Al Golden said. "Give Florida a lot of credit. They're an excellent defensive team, but we have to get that fixed."

South Florida Sun Sentinel

FSU: Wilder getting better

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State running back and former Plant High star James Wilder showed no pain or discomfort in his injured shoulder, but he was limited in practice.

Coach Jimbo Fisher said his team made the most of the early bye week, saying Monday, "As crazy as it sounds … (the bye week) came nicely, at a very opportune time. We got back to some fundamental things, got some guys healed up."

Orlando Sentinel

UCF: Much bigger house

ORLANDO — After winning Friday at FIU Stadium, which seats 20,000, this Saturday UCF is preparing to play Saturday at Penn State's Beaver Stadium, which seats 106,572. "Each and every one of us, including coaches, are going to have to play their best game," Knights coach George O'Leary said.

Orlando Sentinel

Up next

FSU: vs. Nevada, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN

UCF: at Penn State, 6 p.m. Saturday, Big Ten Network

USF: vs. FAU, 7 p.m. Saturday, no TV

UF: vs. Tennessee, 3:30 p.m., Sept. 21. Ch. 10

UM: vs. Savannah State, 7 p.m. , Sept. 21, TV TBA

USF dealing with two injured defensive starters 09/09/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 9, 2013 10:37pm]

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