TAMPA — USF sophomore DB Jalen Spencer will miss the next few weeks with a fractured forearm, coach Willie Taggart said Thursday.
Spencer, projected to be a backup, was sidelined nearly all last season after hurting a shoulder in the opener against McNeese State and having surgery.
Taggart said he's optimistic Spencer could return ahead of schedule if everything goes according to plan. "We heal a lot differently," Taggart said. "He will get in with our trainers and work really hard. He said he's going to be back quicker than the doctor said. … We anticipate Jalen coming back and helping this football team this year."
MCFARLAND TO PLAY: Senior TE Mike McFarland (left knee) will play in Saturday's opener against Western Carolina, Taggart said. McFarland was limited in on-field drills for most of preseason camp, but the former Blake High standout has progressed well, Taggart said. "He's practiced a little bit this week, and that's our plan, for him to play on Saturday."
FSU: Foe names QB
ARLINGTON, Texas — J.W. Walsh will start at quarterback for Oklahoma State in the opener Saturday against No. 1 Florida State, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. Walsh, a junior, had an up-and-down season a year ago, finishing with 1,333 passing yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games. He was battling Arizona transfer Daxx Garman. Both could see playing time in the Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium. "Daxx Garman brings a different twist to our offense," Gundy said. "He's more of a pocket-style quarterback. With these (two) guys, there will be a little different style of offense depending on who is in there."
UCF: Knights adjusting
DUBLIN, Ireland — Players were noticeably jet-lagged during the first day of practice in Ireland, but a good night's rest gave them a bit more pep during Thursday morning's practice, said UCF coach George O'Leary.
"They went out in pads (Wednesday), and they came out and were moving around pretty good. You could tell there was a little bit of jet lag there, but I always believe you work them hard," O'Leary said. "I went around for bed check (Wednesday) night, and there weren't too many stirring around when I went around, including some coaches. I think it's been a good trip. They got their legs back and are a little more bouncy, which they should be."
Players will have a walk-through of Croke Park today and get a chance to measure the field's depth perception in final preparation for Saturday's opener against Penn State.
UM: Vogel will punt
MIAMI — Hurricanes walkon sophomore Justin Vogel of Berkeley Prep will handle punts in the opener at Louisville on Monday night. The transfer from Florida said he also climbed to the top of the depth chart — the one only players and coaches have seen — on kickoffs. "I've always been No. 2 on kickoffs, but I had a really good day on Tuesday," Vogel said. "I had always been hitting them here and there. But then we did our game plan, scheme, and I just hit a couple of really good kicks. Coach (Al Golden) was, like, do it again the next day. So I replicated it again. That moved me up to first team."