GAINESVILLE — If Chris Rainey is allowed to play against Georgia on Saturday, it's possible he'll be used in the backfield to help ease Florida's injury situation at running back. He was converted to receiver this season.
"Certainly the possibility exists for that because Chris is a guy that's very talented, that's versatile and can do a lot of things," offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Tuesday.
A drawback to moving Rainey is that he hasn't practiced much at running back this season, Addazio said.
Rainey was suspended from the team after being charged with aggravated stalking in September but has been reinstated on a provisional basis. Coach Urban Meyer said that if Rainey fulfills specific obligations this week, he will be allowed to play.
Missing Patchan: OL Matt Patchan, a former Armwood High standout, remains out with a fractured wrist he suffered in the preseason. Although the wrist has healed, he hasn't been cleared to play. Meyer is hopeful Patchan might be ready this week and said it's not just his on-field presence the Gators are missing.
"You talk about energy-givers and energy-takers, and everyone wants energy-givers," Meyer said. " … He's the guy that supplies energy, and that's an evaluation of a player that is so overlooked. He's a half-a-step slow … but he supplies energy for the entire program, and that's real important."
Antonya English, Times staff writer
USF: Sanchez stepping up
TAMPA — Armando Sanchez made a splash against Florida Atlantic when he returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, but he's making a consistent name for himself in kick coverage as USF's top special-teams tackler.
"All I do is run down there and try to keep my vision open to everything. I don't know if I'm lucky or (what)," said Sanchez, a sophomore linebacker from Northeast High. "Another thing the coaches say is, 'Don't think somebody else is going to make the tackle.' I always run with that mind-set. I just want to help the team out, so I always run down there with the intentions of making the tackle."
Nearly all of Sanchez's 12 tackles have come on punt and kickoff coverage; he had three of USF's four special-teams tackles at Cincinnati on Friday and is one short of last season's total.
Sanchez earned the special-teams captain nod for the opener, and he has shown himself to be a leader on that unit throughout the season.
"He's not the fastest guy on kickoff coverage, but he's always the first guy down there," said Vernon Hargreaves, who coaches special teams. " … He's really embraced his role — he's on all four teams, and he's busting his butt on all four of them. You need guys like that. Quite frankly, we need about three or four more like that."
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
FSU: Wary of Wolfpack
TALLAHASSEE — After studying N.C. State for the past week and a half, coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday that this is the best Wolfpack team he has seen since he arrived at Florida State as offensive coordinator in 2007.
"I would say that," he said, "when you talk top to bottom and being healthy — and offense, defense, special teams and the way they're playing."
Quick hit: DT Everett Dawkins is expected to play with a protective covering over his injured thumb.
UM: Senior on the rise
CORAL GABLES — Miami coach Randy Shannon has seen this before. When seniors start to realize they have just a few games left, their productivity typically soars. Allen Bailey seems to be at that point.
The defensive lineman had one sack in a 10-game stretch going back to last season but has followed that with 4½ sacks in the past two games.
"Now Allen is coming around," Shannon said. "It's about who's hot at any given time. And right now, he's hot."
Bailey's take? "I've been relaxing and having fun, and it just came. The whole team's having fun. … It's all the work paying off."
UCF: Time for 'extra focus'
ORLANDO — UCF is well aware of what's at stake when it hosts East Carolina on Saturday: The winner will lead the pack vying for the Conference USA East Division title and a spot in the league championship game.
And the Pirates (5-2, 4-0) have an 8-1 lead in the series against the Knights (5-2, 3-0).
"Everybody's putting in just a little bit more," senior LB Chance Henderson said. "A little more time in the film room. That extra focus. … The coaches don't have to say anything."