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FSU goes back to Sean Maguire to start under center

Sean Maguire rallies Florida State to victory after coming in off the bench against North Carolina State.
Sean Maguire rallies Florida State to victory after coming in off the bench against North Carolina State.
Published Nov. 16, 2015

Florida State's quarterback carousel might be done spinning.

Two days after benching Everett Golson, coach Jimbo Fisher announced that redshirt junior Sean Maguire will start Saturday's home finale against Chattanooga — and possibly Nov. 28 at rival Florida.

"Hopefully he'll play well," Fisher said Monday, "and we won't have to relive that."

If Maguire meets Fisher's challenge, he will end a debate that has been ongoing for months.

Golson transferred from Notre Dame in the offseason and earned the Seminoles' starting job during fall camp. Maguire stole it against Clemson, but the more mobile Golson regained it last week as No. 16 FSU prepared for North Carolina State's strong defensive front.

When Golson committed three turnovers in his first five drives Saturday, he gave the job back to Maguire, probably for good.

Fisher won't say so, but this week's game against the Division I-AA Mocs is little more than a tuneup for the Gators and an audition for the future.

With Golson's eligibility set to expire, Maguire will be FSU's only experienced quarterback on next year's roster. Although the Seminoles' title hopes are over for this transition season, they are expected to reload next fall and reenter the national championship picture. Monday's announcement gives Maguire two more games (plus a bowl) to show whether he's the quarterback who can lead FSU back into that discussion.

GATOR INJURIES: Florida's defensive line depth continues to shrink.

The No. 8 Gators will be without standout DE Alex McCalister (foot) and DE Jordan Sherit (hamstring) Saturday against Florida Atlantic, coach Jim McElwain said Monday. DL Joey Ivie (leg) won't play again, either. McElwain said he doesn't know when McCalister and Sherit, a Hillsborough High alumnus, will return, suggesting they might not be ready next week against the 'Noles.

McCalister has been one of UF's breakout players, leading the Gators with 61/2 sacks and ranking third with 91/2 tackles for a loss.

"It's hard to see him on crutches," McElwain said, "but you know what? Somebody will step in and play."

McElwain said DE Justus Reed (Clearwater Central Catholic) "did a heck of a job" when he was forced into action last week.

'CANES COACH SEARCH: Former Bucs QB and Miami Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde is part of the six-member advisory committee that will help UM find its next coach. Testaverde — whose son, Jesuit High product Vincent Testaverde, is a Hurricanes sophomore — joins former UM LB Jonathan Vilma, three trustees and deputy athletic director Jennifer Strawley on the committee.

The Hurricanes will also use a search firm, Korn Ferry, to help find a replacement for Al Golden, who was fired last month.

"We are well underway in our search process, and, as expected, there is already a tremendous amount of interest in the U," athletic director Blake James said in a statement.

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WEEKLY HONORS: Gators TE Jake McGee was named one of eight national semifinalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the country's top tight end. McGee ranks among the Gators' leaders in receptions (31) and touchdown catches (three). …FSU's offensive line was one of 20 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, given to the country's top unit. … FSU S Derwin James earned positional ACC honors after recording a game-high 10 tackles and recovering a fumble against North Carolina State.

'HUNTING GROUND': The Hunting Ground, the documentary on campus rape that includes the Jameis Winston case at FSU, will air at 8 p.m. Thursday on CNN. Zephyrhills' Erica Kinsman tells her version of events in the film, which also includes stories of other women at other universities. FSU issued a statement Monday that objected to CNN's airing of the film, calling it an "advocacy piece" rather than serious journalism.

TUNING IN: The UF-FSU game will have a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.