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USF back may be out rest of season
By Times Staff
Published September 6, 2006
TAMPA - Redshirt freshman Moise Plancher, USF's starting running back, could miss the rest of the season after injuring his right knee in the Bulls' season-opening win against McNeese State.
"He's going to be out a while," said coach Jim Leavitt, who said Plancher's injury is worse than the indications of only a hyperextension. Asked if Plancher could miss the season, Leavitt said, "maybe."
Plancher was wearing a brace on his left knee and walking gingerly at practice Tuesday. Sophomore Ricky Ponton, the top returning rusher from last season, was suspended from Saturday's game for an unspecified violation of team rules and is expected to sit out this week's game with Florida International. Ponton wore a different-numbered jersey Tuesday as part of USF's scout team.
That leaves the Bulls with four walk-ons and two true freshmen, though they had promising results from two backs Saturday. Senior Walt Smith, who earned a scholarship two weeks ago, rushed for a team-high 70 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman Keeley Dorsey rushed for a 52-yard touchdown on the game's final play.
PLAYER ARRESTED: USF tight end Will Bleakley was arrested in Tampa early Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, just two days after he made his first collegiate start.
Bleakley, 22, refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test after he was stopped by Tampa police officers at 3:30 a.m. at Bruce B. Downs and Amberly Drive, about 2 miles from USF's campus. He was released from jail Tuesday afternoon on $500 bond.
Bleakley did not practice and Leavitt said he'll have a new starting tight end Saturday.
SMILEY OUT: Defensive end Josh Smiley, one of five true freshmen to play Saturday, could be headed for a medical redshirt after reaggravating a foot injury that sidelined him for two weeks in August.
"He's not going to play this week, and if he doesn't play this week and we can't get everything better, we'll keep him out," Leavitt said.
- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer
UF: Freshman a bright spot
GAINESVILLE - Freshman running back Brandon James ran faster than 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash just two weeks after knee surgery , and might return this week.
Urban Meyer said James could play this week. When James injured his knee, preliminary reports were that he would miss at least four weeks. He most likely will only return kicks.
"Probably not," Meyer said when asked if James will play running back. "He's not ready for that yet. He will be. He's real close right now. He did a whole practice (Tuesday). They timed him (Monday) and he did a sub 4.5. All they worried about is the cutting ability. We'll know more Thursday."
While James was a bright spot, the rest of the team struggled overall.
INJURIES AND UPDATES: Defensive tackle Steven Harris was carted off with cramps but is expected to be fine. ... Meyer said Harris and defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, who were suspended, are expected to play Saturday - at least as of Tuesday.
- ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times staff writer
FSU: No rest for weary
TALLAHASSEE - Less than 24 hours after their win at Miami, the Florida State Seminoles were on their practice field for the shortest workout of this young season. No time for a break, not with another game Saturday, the home opener against Troy.
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman running back Marcus Sims suffered a concussion on special teams early in the fourth quarter against the Hurricanes. He was at practice but didn't participate, and his status for Saturday is uncertain.
AWARD TIME: Kicker Gary Cismesia, who hit his lone PAT and both field goals, including the eventual winner, joined linebackers Buster Davis and Geno Hayes as an ACC players of the week.