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St. Felix, Sawtelle absent today for USF; Ed Oliver out for Houston

USF wide receiver Randall St. Felix (84) makes the catch over Elon defensive back Zavier Williams (24) during the first half of the game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, September 1, 2018. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
USF wide receiver Randall St. Felix (84) makes the catch over Elon defensive back Zavier Williams (24) during the first half of the game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, September 1, 2018. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
Published Oct. 27, 2018

Redshirt freshman WR Randall St. Felix, the Bulls' third-leading receiver, still is nursing a knee injury sustained last weekend and did not make today's trip to Houston.

St. Felix (24 catches, 484 yards, two touchdowns) is listed on the team's travel roster, but team officials said a last-minute decision was reached to keep him home. On Tuesday, St. Felix told reporters he had injured his knee last weekend against Connecticut but was feeling better and expected to play against Houston.

On the other side, Houston DT Ed Oliver — the reigning Outland Trophy winner — is not expected to play due to a bruised knee. The Houston Chronicle first reported early Saturday afternoon that Oliver wouldn't play, and a school official later confirmed it.

Also absent for USF today: MLB Nico Sawtelle (shoulder) and RB Trevon Sands (unspecified). Junior Greg Reaves is expected to make his second consecutive start at middle linebacker after an eight-tackle performance against UConn, which amassed 322 rushing yards.

"We knew some of the issues we had with the running quarterback (David Pindell) and some of the fits that we had with his first time playing (at linebacker) were gonna be a little shaky," USF defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary said Wednesday.

"But now that he had a week of practice and had the game under his belt, he's been that much better this week. So we're hoping for obviously improved production and improved gap integrity for Houston."

Elsewhere, RB Elijah Mack returns after a four-game injury-related absence for USF. DB Naytron Culpepper (unspecified) also traveled and could make his 2018 debut, as could Duke transfer DL Brandon Boyce.