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UM injury woes worst at fullback


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000

The Hurricanes are short-handed at fullback. Freshman D.J. Williams, who started the past two games, separated his right shoulder early in the first quarter. It's doubtful he will play Saturday against Virginia Tech.

Williams had a 13-yard reception and 8-yard run before landing awkwardly on his right shoulder.

The freshman moved into the starting lineup because senior Will McPartland remains bothered by a series of concussions. McPartland has had five concussions in two seasons. He played sparingly Saturday.

UM prefers not to overwork Najeh Davenport at fullback, because that takes away from him spotting tailback James Jackson. Tight end Robert Williams, a 6-4, 240-pound junior, can play fullback.

JACKSON BACK ON TRACK: Jackson, who struggled early in the season, posted his second straight 100-plus yard rushing game.

Jackson finally looks like the back that got preseason All-American consideration. The senior gained 152 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns in the first half. His long run in the half was 35 yards.

Last week Jackson gained 118 yards on 15 carries against Temple. It was his first 100-yard performance of the season, and the first three-touchdown game of his career.

LEWIS UP FOR OUTLAND: Senior defensive tackle Damione Lewis, back after missing two of three games with a fractured toe in his right foot, is one of 40 candidates in contention for the Outland Trophy, awarded to the top interior lineman in college football.

Lewis, a four-year starter, also is a Lombardi Award (best defensive lineman) candidate.

INJURY REPORT: Sophomore center Brett Romberg fractured his right pinky in the first quarter. He could have returned, but UM went with junior Scott Puckett. ... Senior defensive end Quincy Hipps of Tampa missed another game because of a high ankle sprain.

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