GAINESVILLE — Gators fans waiting for the return of WR Chris Rainey can tentatively circle Oct. 30 on the calendar.
Urban Meyer said Wednesday that the junior is eligible to play against Georgia, but the coach added that he will wait until next week to officially decide Rainey's playing status.
Rainey last played in a win against USF on Sept. 11. On Sept. 13, he was arrested and charged with a felony, aggravated stalking, after sending a threatening text message to his girlfriend. Meyer suspended Rainey for violating the team conduct code.
Rainey accepted a plea deal reducing the charge to a misdemeanor Sept. 27, and returned to practice last week.
If Rainey does return, Meyer said he has not determined how prominent a role the playmaker will have against the Bulldogs, though senior C Mike Pouncey expects to see an impact.
"He's the best player on our team, and we really need him," said Pouncey, who has played with Rainey since the two attended Lakeland High. "He's an exciting player and as long as he keeps his mouth shut and keep doing what he do we'll have him (against Georgia)."
Injury report: Meyer said RBs Jeff Demps (sprained left foot), Mike Gillislee (hamstring) and Emmanuel Moody (quad) have been limited in practice this week. WR Andre Debose (sprained ankle), DT Jaye Howard (sprained ankle) and LB Jelani Jenkins (concussion) have not practiced this week. Meyer said K Caleb Sturgis, who has missed three consecutive games with a back injury, may return sooner than expected. Meyer said he may know more about Sturgis' status early next week.
Antonya English, Times staff writer; Tyler Jett, Times correspondent
UM: Adding Spartans
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State and Miami will play a home-and-home series in the next decade.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis announced that the Spartans will host the Hurricanes in 2020 and the next season will visit South Florida.
Miami leads the series 4-0, with the last meeting in 1989.
USF: Guard out
TAMPA — USF's offensive line depth took a hit, as sophomore Danous Estenor, the top backup at both guard spots, is out for Friday's game at Cincinnati with a knee injury.
Estenor, who has had significant playing time off the bench, took a medical redshirt last year with a knee injury, but it's unknown if this is related, or what the extent of the injury is.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
FSU: Getting right
TALLAHASSEE — Redshirt freshman CB Xavier Rhodes, who has been bothered by a nagging hip injury since the preseason, is using the bye week to heal up.
Rhodes has only made it completely through two of FSU's seven games.
"Very frustrating," Rhodes said. "… And I'll be doing good, but then I have to sit out for the rest of the second half because of the injury."
Rhodes is fifth on the team in tackles (22) and has one interception. He could play a key role against pass-happy N.C. State.
UCF: Harvey status
ORLANDO — Junior RB Brynn Harvey may know his fate soon. Coach George O'Leary hopes to determine this week whether Harvey, the former Largo High standout, is really ready to play again or should he redshirt this season.
Harvey, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, suffered a torn ACL early in spring football.
The big question is whether Harvey can handle contact.
"You don't want to see him go out there and not be 100 percent and all of a sudden lose the year, too," O'Leary said.