TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's long-term injured list grew by one over the weekend, as the Seminoles lost a piece of their defensive line.
Junior DE Jacobbi McDaniel will miss the remainder of the season with a dislocated ankle, coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday. Surgery is scheduled today.
"That's disappointing because he was getting better and really getting in with his group and his play," Fisher said.
McDaniel left Saturday's game against Duke on the first drive, when a teammate rolled onto him during a scramble for an interception. DE Bjoern Werner tipped a pass into the air as DT Everett Dawkins came down with the turnover.
McDaniel joins WR Willie Haulstead, RB Chris Thompson and OT Andrew Datko as players expected to miss the rest of the season. Fisher said Datko might medically redshirt.
Hopkins honor: PK Dustin Hopkins was named ACC specialist of the week. Against Duke, he made both field-goal attempts, one a 48-yarder into a stiff breeze. He converted all of his point-after attempts to post a school-record 110 consecutive PATs made. Hopkins is one shy of tying Graham Gano's 18 consecutive field goals streak set in 2005.
USF: Turnovers key
TAMPA — Coming off a game in which his team committed four turnovers while forcing only two, USF coach Skip Holtz said takeaways will be a major challenge Saturday against Cincinnati, which is second nationally in that key statistic.
"The thing that's probably the most impressive is they're No. 2 in the country in turnover margin," Holtz said. "Turnovers are a huge indicator in the win-loss column, more so than probably any other statistic. We were able to outgain Connecticut by maybe 80 yards but still lost the game. We finished minus-2 in the turnover battle."
Last season, the Bulls won 38-30 at Cincinnati and didn't commit a turnover. In the Bulls' best win this season, the opener at Notre Dame, USF had five takeaways and committed no turnovers. Holtz said correcting turnovers will go a long way toward getting out of an 0-2 Big East start.
"Right now, everybody's scratching their heads a little bit: 'What do we need to do to win?' I talked about the turnover battle and how important that is," Holtz said. "We're here as an 0-2 football team in the league, and we're minus-3 in our last two games. When we can stop turning the ball over and eliminate some of the penalty yards, so many of the problems we had were self-inflicted."
GIDDINS HONORED: Sophomore DE Ryne Giddins was named to the Big East honor roll after getting a career-best 11 tackles, including two sacks, and a forced fumble Saturday. UConn's Byron Jones, who returned a Darrell Scott fumble 10 yards for the winning touchdown, was named league defensive player of the week.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
UCF: Quick turnaround
ORLANDO — With a Thursday night game at UAB, the Knights don't have much time to rebuild confidence after dropping to 3-3 with a loss at SMU.
Coach George O'Leary said coaches and players equally contributed to the loss.
"Collectively, we didn't play well," O'Leary said, repeatedly accepting the blame.
UCF has been in this hole before. The Knights started the 2007 season 3-3, rallying to win the C-USA championship. UCF started the 2009 season 3-3 and earned a spot in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
O'Leary said it's important to stay positive and wants seniors to provide leadership to inspire a midseason turnaround.
Iliana Limon, Orlando Sentinel
UM: Apologetic return
CORAL GABLES — Miami DE Olivier Vernon apologized to the school, coach Al Golden, president Donna Shalala, his teammates and UM fans for his involvement with former booster Nevin Shapiro.
Having completed a six-game suspension from the NCAA for accepting impermissible benefits, Vernon will make his season debut Saturday against Georgia Tech.
With the regular season half over, "I feel like it's a JV season in high school. I have to not expect anything big but do what I have to do," said Vernon, who's listed behind Marcus Robinson and Shayon Green on the depth chart. "It's tough, but things happen. I've just got to work with what I've got."
Vernon said he was "baffled" and "shocked" when he learned his suspension would be six games. Of the eight UM players suspended for their involvement with Shapiro, Vernon's punishment was the most severe. He said he appealed about three weeks ago to get his suspension reduced, but the NCAA denied his request.
Issue at left tackle: Golden has been disappointed with LT Brandon Washington. There is now an open competition between Washington and Seantrel Henderson.
South Florida Sun Sentinel