Thursday Report

Florida tailback Ran Carthon bruised his foot Wednesday, but he still expects to play....

Just when TB Ran Carthon thought his health issues were behind him, the senior has been set back again.

Carthon was limited during practice Thursday because of a bruised foot, Coach Ron Zook said. The tailback was stepped on during Wednesday's practice, although he finished the workout.

Despite the injury, Zook said Carthon expects to be able to play Saturday.

"He's going to be alright I think, but he didn't practice much," Zook said. "He thinks he'll be ready to go."

Carthon missed the first game of his career at Arkansas because of a pulled hamstring. He had previously played in 43 consecutive games.


If defensive coordinator's mid-week premonitions were correct, DE Travis Harris will start in place of Bobby McCray on Saturday.

Strong told Zook he wanted to start Harris, who had 1 ½ sacks and two tackles for losses against Georgia. The junior replaced McCray while he served a one-game suspension for skipping class.

"Charlie said that's who he wanted to start," Zook said. "Travis did a great job and had a great game."

McCray, however, still leads the SEC with eight sacks in his last five games played. Zook said McCray had the best week of practice he's had all season. Expect to see plenty of both.


Last season, with the critics on his back, Zook was faced with a choice. Should he bench K Matt Leach, who was struggling to gain any confidence? Or should he stick with the guy who he believed had the most potential?

"I had to go with my gut," Zook said. "I never questioned his leg and that's one of the reasons I went with him."

At this point in the season, it appears Zook, a former NFL special teams coach, made the right choice. Leach's 33-yard, game-winning kick against Georgia solidified the junior's success this season.

As a result, he was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week for special teams, and he is one of 20 semifinalists for the Goza Award given to the nation's best kicker.

"I told Matt before the season that I don't expect him to make 100 percent of his field goals. I don't want him going out there worrying that if he didn't make this kick then he wouldn't be the kicker. He's relaxed now and his confidence has grown."

Leach ranks second in the SEC, as he has made 15 of 20 attempts. But Saturday's final field goal still seems to stick out a little more than the others.

"Everyone on campus has been like, 'Nice game, nice kick,'" Leach said. "That was without a doubt the biggest kick I've ever made."


As OT Max Starks continues to bounce between right guard and left tackle, the former Lake Highland Prep standout remains clear about this much: he doesn't care. The senior, who has started at both positions, said he has become accustomed shuffling around throughout the game. "I don't think it would be any better, because I'm just trying to be in a place where I can help the team the most. That's one thing I focus on. I've played next to all those other guys on our offensive line, so I've gotten used to all of them, and whatever position I play doesn't matter.''

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