Rainey expected to play Saturday


Florida players Chris Rainey (left) and Trey Burton talk after the game against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.

Tailback Chris Rainey and two other starters who missed the Vanderbilt game last week will be 100 percent for Saturday's game at South Carolina, Florida coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday.

“Chris is good,” Muschamp said. “He practiced yesterday.”

Rainey sprained his ankle in the Georgia game. He dressed out for the Vandy game, but did not play.

Muschamp said offensive tackle Chaz Green (ankle) and middle linebacker Jelani Jenkins (concussion) also returned to practice Tuesday and will play. Starting outside linebacker Lerentee McCray (shoulder) has not been cleared to play.




“Lerentee was a little bit slowed yesterday,” Muschamp said. “He's probably a game-time decision at this time. He would be the only one on our team that I wouldn't be pretty sure about playing on Saturday.”

Muschamp also said quarterback John Brantley (arm and ankle) is “good” for Saturday's game.

Competition at center

Muschamp said Jonotthan Harrison, Sam Robey and Dan Wenger all are taking reps at center this week. Harrison, the starter, was benched in favor of Robey last week when Harrison rocketed a shotgun snap over Brantley's head.

“Jon has played well for us,” Muschamp said. “The consistency with shotgun snaps has been the only issue. As far as assignments and blocking, he's fine.”

UF likely won't decide on a starter until later in the week.

Muschamp on the PSU situation

Muschamp was asked on the SEC coaches teleconference if he would comment on the news that legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno is stepping down at the end of the season amid the sex-abuse scandal at PSU.

“Obviously, it's tragic,” Muschamp said. “I don't know all the facts. If the allegations are true, my thoughts are with the victims and the victims' families.”

USC quarterback good to go

Starting South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw, who sustained a concussion against Arkansas last Saturday, should be full go for Saturday's game against the Gators, USC coach Steve Spurrier said.

“It appears he's going to be able to play,” Spurrier said. “He passed all the tests the trainers and doctors administer after concussions. He concussion was not real severe. The trainers said he could practice normally (Wednesday).”

The news is not as good regarding starting strong safety De'Vontae Holloway, who also suffered a concussion in the loss to the Razorbacks. Spurrier said Holloway is doubtful for Saturday's game.

“His response has not been as good (as Shaw's),” Spurrier said.

Spurrier's sideline antics

Spurrier was asked Wednesday if Muschamp's emotional moments on the sideline remind him of his sideline antics earlier in his coaching career.

“It reminded me this season a few times,” Spurrier said. “Young coaches are emotional. They show it. A lot of coaches are more animated than others. I've tried to remain a little bit calm this year. I've lost it a couple of times.”

Weis a big Brantley fan

Charlie Weis has been around quarterback John Brantley for only 10 months, but the highly respected offensive coordinator already has a great appreciation for what Brantley has been through and what he's accomplished this season.

“I wish I had him another year. You know. I'd love to have him,” Weis said. “He'll move on. I don't think his football-playing career will end when he leaves here. I like the fact when I got here he was a beaten-down young man and he stood as tall as you could possibly stand. That's what I like more than anything else.

“You don't think these kids hear the boo birds when they go off the field? They hear it, they take it to heart. There is no doubt the team looks to him as the leader of the team. That's something I didn't know whether or not would happen, but they definitely do.”

Big, strong back on campus

Much has been made this season about the Gators' need for a big, strong, downhill running back. Well, they actually already have one — true freshman fullback Hunter Joyer, who had a chance to show off his running skills in the victory over Vanderbilt.

“It's the most plays he's played in the game,” Weis said. “He played over 30 plays in the game, didn't have a mental error in the game. For a young guy, his arrow is pointing way up.

“He's still figuring it out, but he's a football player, he's got good football intelligence. He's physical, and he's not even playing as physical as he can yet because sometimes you're still kind of feeling your way through. I'm really high on Hunter."

The 5-foot-10, 242-pound Joyer had three carries for 17 yards against Vandy, with a long run of nine yards. Weis said there's a chance Joyer will get more carries in the future.

“I think that he'd be great,” Weis said. “As your system evolves and your personnel changes, I think he'd be a great pound-it runner, just turn around and run inside zone to the right and then run it to the left, then run it to the left and run it to the left.

“I think he's be really good at that. He reads holes really well. You can see in those carries he had last week he knows where to find the openings right there. I could see that matriculating down the road.

“He's definitely a fullback, but he definitely could be one of those one-back, stand-up guys that the defenses are getting hit harder than they're hitting, one of those type of things."

Position switch for Murphy?

Third-team quarterback Tyler Murphy could end up switching positions, but that's a decision that would not be made until after the season, Weis said.

“Right now, this is game 10. We're just worried about getting the team ready to play South Carolina,” Weis said. “Those questions are ones that are answered in the offseason. They're not ones that are answered in the middle of the season."

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