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Seminoles lose key defensive lineman for season
By TIMES STAFF WRITERS and ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published September 12, 2006
TALLAHASSEE - Florida State's Paul Griffin, whom coach Bobby Bowden called his "second-best defensive lineman," tore his left ACL Saturday and will have season-ending surgery in two weeks.
The junior-college transfer started against Miami and Troy and was credited with one tackle, but his play alongside Andre Fluellen had been critical in setting up plays for linebackers Buster Davis and Geno Hayes. He was hurt on the game's opening series against the Trojans and taken off the field on a cart. A MRI exam Monday confirmed the injury.
With backups Letroy Guion nursing a sprained right ankle (he missed the second half Saturday) and Emmanuel Dunbar (lower back) out, redshirt freshman Kendrick Stewart is the probable starter. He was in for 31 plays Saturday.
"It was a spur-of-a-moment thing, but that's why I came here, to step up," Stewart said. "We're going to miss Paul, but I've got to fill his shoes."
AWARD WINNER: Davis earned his second straight award as ACC defensive player of the week. His interception set up the go-ahead touchdown against Troy.
TIME SET: FSU's home game against Rice on Sept. 23 will begin at 3:30 and air on ESPNU.
- BRIAN LANDMAN, Times staff writer, D.C. REEVES, Times correspondent
USF: Trio to remain out
TAMPA - Three key suspended players - running back Ricky Ponton, receiver Jackie Chambers and defensive end Josh Julmiste, won't be back any time soon.
The three remain on "indefinite suspension" for an unspecified violation, sports information director John Gerdes said Monday.
YEAR OFF: Sophomore receiver Jessie Hester, who caught three passes in nine games last season but hasn't dressed this season, will redshirt to recover from lingering shoulder and knee injuries.
"The receiving corps is pretty strong," his father, Jessie, said. "So he won't be missed as much and will be back healthy next year."
TIME AND TV: The Sept. 23 game at Kansas will air on Fox Sports Net and begin at 7.
- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer
UF: SEC honors receiver
GAINESVILLE - Receiver Percy Harvin was named the SEC freshman of the week Monday. Harvin caught four passes for 99 yards against UCF, including a 58-yard touchdown.
However, he also dropped a pass and lost a fumble. And after the touchdown, he spiked the ball, which made coach Urban Meyer unhappy.
"I'm very pleased with the leadership that the team is providing," Meyer said. "One of the more notable examples being when (Harvin) scored a touchdown and threw the ball on the ground, and we don't do that here.
"We throw the ball to the official, and we have a rule that you go find a lineman and give him a hug. I didn't have to tell him that. I heard Dallas Baker explaining it to him."
TIME ANNOUNCED: The home game against Kentucky on Sept. 23 will begin at 7:45 and air on ESPN.
- IAN FISHER, Times correspondent
Around the nation
CLEMSON: Safety Michael Hamlin was diagnosed with a broken foot and will miss 4-6 weeks, including Saturday against Florida State. The sophomore was hurt trying to make an interception Saturday against Boston College.
MEMPHIS: Backup quarterback Will Hudgens was diagnosed with a broken right leg and is out for the season. Hudgens, hurt Saturday against Chattanooga, redshirted as a freshman after he hurt his knee playing high school basketball and missed all but three games last season because of a broken bone and ligament damage in the same leg.
SMU: DeMyron Martin, the team's leading rusher last season, is out 4-6 weeks with a dislocated bone in his right foot sustained Saturday against North Texas.