USF senior S Danny Ver-paele will likely miss the rest of the regular season after breaking a bone in his right foot in Saturday's win against Syracuse. He is scheduled for surgery Thursday and is expected to be out six weeks, possibly playing in a bowl.
Verpaele, who has 17 tackles and has started when USF has opened games with five defensive backs, was not at Monday's practice. Walk-on LB Lucas Darr, a special-teams regular, is also out Saturday and watched practice with a boot on his injured right foot.
"It looks like they're going to be long term," coach Jim Leavitt said.
The players most likely to step in are redshirt freshman CB Quenton Washington, who played in the nickel package in Saturday's victory over Syracuse, and senior S Louis Gachette, who has split time with Verpaele in the nickel. Gachette has 11 tackles this season, Washington has five.
TALL ORDER: USF's defense will face Louisville's Josh Chichester, a 6-foot-8 receiver who is second on the team with 18 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown.
"We'll have to stand two of our guys together to get him at 6-8," defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said. "That's probably the tallest kid I've ever gone against. They throw him some jump balls and fade routes, and we're going to have to have a plan in the red zone."
USF's tallest defensive back is senior S Carlton Williams, who is 6-4.
GROTHE HONORED: QB Matt Grothe was named the Big East offensive player of the week for the third time in seven games. He threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 72 and another against Syracuse. No other player has won the award more than once.
STAT FIX: A forced fumble originally credited to DT Aaron Harris that set up a 1-yard touchdown on Saturday was forced by redshirt freshman DT Keith McCaskill.
FSU: LB hobbled
TALLAHASSEE — Florida State junior starting LB Dekoda Watson, who was sidelined early in a victory over N.C. State last week with a pulled hamstring, originally sustained the injury two weeks earlier against Miami.
The ailment, which wasn't previously disclosed to the media, kept him out of practice for most of the past two weeks.
"I've been out for a while now," said Watson, who plays weak side. "All I can do is just rehab and hope for the best, as far as Saturday" against Virginia Tech.
Furlong faces surgery: Right G Will Furlong is scheduled to have surgery today for a left foot injury. Freshman David Spurlock, who filled in for Furlong against N.C. State, is expected to start Saturday. FSU's trainers would not speculate on when Furlong will return.
Game time set: The FSU-Georgia Tech game on Nov. 1 will start at 3:30 (Ch. 28).
Times correspondent Ira Schoffel contributed to this report.