TALLAHASSEE — Florida State senior QB Christian Ponder had fluid drained from his right elbow Monday after he re-injured it last weekend.
"We'll go day to day (with him)," coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I doubt he'll practice (today)."
If Ponder can't play Saturday against visiting Clemson, redshirt sophomore EJ Manuel will take over as he did when Ponder suffered a season-ending shoulder injury after last year's Clemson game. Manuel is 3-1 as a starter and was the MVP of the Gator Bowl win against West Virginia but has played sparingly this year. He's 16-of-23 for 279 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
"I'd be lying if I said preparing as a starter vs. as a second-string guy isn't different," he said, adding that Ponder's uncertain status doesn't make it tough for him "because I think the best way to do it is just act like you're going to play on Saturday."
He spoke to Ponder on Monday and said he "seemed like he was all right; I'm sure he's still kind of groggy after all the medicine and stuff, but they pumped a lot of that stuff out of his arms, so hopefully he'll recuperate pretty fast."
Ponder first injured the bursa sac in his throwing elbow early in a win against Boston College on Oct. 16. In the next game, a loss at North Carolina State on Oct. 28, he had two fumbles but threw the ball well. He threw it even better Saturday in a loss to North Carolina, despite hurting it again early in the game.
Fisher didn't know until Sunday. "He said he got hit on it, didn't tell anybody and played the game," he said.
Ponder has played with cracked ribs during his career and a bruised triceps this season. Fisher, hoping to snap a two-game skid and remain alive for a berth in the ACC title game, said he would like Ponder to practice once or twice this week.
Award watch: Ponder was named one of 10 finalists for the Wuerffel Award, which goes to the player who combines stellar work in his community with excellence in the classroom and on the field. The winner will be announced Dec. 7.
Game time: The Seminoles' game at Maryland on Nov. 20 is set for an 8 p.m. kickoff (Ch. 28).
Brian Landman, Times staff writer
UM: Support for QB
CORAL GABLES — The Hurricanes are rallying around freshman QB Stephen Morris, who showed poise during a 26-20 win over Maryland and seems like a lock to start again this week with Jacory Harris still ailing.
"He's our quarterback right now," K Matt Bosher said.
Miami visits Georgia Tech on Saturday for a game loaded with conference-title implications. When Harris recovers from a concussion and gets medical clearance to return, he's expected to start again.
For now, the job belongs to Morris, and some teammates chanted "Our quarterback" when he left the field after the Maryland win.
"I'd seen him on scout team every day, so I already knew what kind of character he had, what kind of quarterback he was," Miami DL Allen Bailey said. "He's composed. He's calm under pressure."
The fact that Morris doesn't know how much longer the job will be his doesn't appear to be a factor.
"Stephen's kind of a mature guy," Miami coach Randy Shannon said Sunday. "He's a good person. We talk, we joke around, we get serious about a lot of things. He doesn't let petty things bother him. Petty things, that's not his demeanor.
"He doesn't get caught up in a lot of other things that have nothing to do with what we're trying to get done."
Shannon was thrilled with the effort and how Morris was able to stay cool under fire.
That being said, both after the game Saturday and again Sunday, Shannon stressed that Morris is filling in, not taking over.
"He knows he has a lot to improve on," Shannon said. "Don't you all start trying to start a quarterback controversy. He did a good job of going in the game and managing the game."
UCF: Two honored
ORLANDO — UCF freshman QB Jeff Godfrey and junior LB Josh Linam were named Conference USA defensive players of the week for their performances during a 40-33 win at Houston.
Godfrey completed 15 of 19 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns against the Cougars. He also rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown, giving him 399 yards of total offense in the win. Godfrey's 243.66 passing efficiency at Houston is a UCF single game record.
Linam led UCF with 17 tackles against Houston. He also added 11/2 tackles for loss and broke up a pass. The 17 tackles were six better than UCF's previous season high and more than doubled Linam's previous high of seven.