KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Tennessee quarterback Nathan Peterman will miss at least four weeks after undergoing surgery on his right hand.
Peterman injured his hand Saturday while struggling through his first collegiate start in a 31-17 loss to No. 20 Florida. Peterman went 4 of 11 for 5 yards with two interceptions and one fumble before being replaced late in the first half by junior Justin Worley, who had started Tennessee’s first three games.
Peterman’s injury solidifies Worley’s status as Tennessee’s starting quarterback at least for now. Worley, a former Northwestern standout, is atop Tennessee’s depth chart for Saturday’s game with South Alabama, while freshmen Riley Ferguson and Joshua Dobbs are listed together on the second team.
“As of right now, Justin Worley is the starter,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said.
Jones said the Vols don’t know exactly when Peterman got hurt during the game and added that the redshirt freshman’s removal wasn’t injury related. Jones said he would have a more definitive timetable for Peterman’s return later.
Worley went 10 of 23 for 149 yards with one touchdown pass and two interceptions after replacing Peterman at Florida. He has gone 45 of 80 for 521 yards with six touchdown passes and three interceptions this season.
Jones had reopened the quarterback competition last week after Tennessee’s 59-14 loss to No. 2 Oregon and said he would hand the job to whichever candidate practiced better. Jones said Worley “took some strides moving forward,” when he was pressed into duty Saturday after losing his starting spot.
“When he got in there, he didn’t feel sorry for himself,” Jones said. “He went in there, and he was leading.”
• Jones says he hasn’t spoken with Houston Texans running back Arian Foster about his comments that he got paid during his senior year with the Volunteers.
Foster says in an upcoming documentary that he “was getting money on the side,” as a senior in 2008.
Sports Illustrated first reported Foster’s remarks in the EPIX documentary, “Schooled: The Price of College Sports.”
Johnson: Players needed team OK for APU message
ATLANTA Coach Paul Johnson says Georgia Tech players who joined a show of solidarity for NCAA reform should have first given all players on the team a chance to vote on the idea.
Johnson said Monday coaches and most players had no idea quarterback Vad Lee, linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and a few other players were carrying the letters APU – for All Players United – on wristbands in Saturday’s 28-20 win over North Carolina. Johnson says he first learned of the message after the game.
Some players from Georgia and Northwestern also had the letters APU on their gear for changes in the NCAA.
Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers (4-0) moved up to No. 11 from 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll after a 50-17 win against Hampton. The Chants will play Elon on Saturday.
Kansas: Defensive tackle Marquel Combs, who was rated among the best junior college prospects in the nation last year, intends to transfer after being released from his scholarship.
Combs failed to break into the Jayhawks’ starting lineup after arriving this season from Pierce College. Kansas coach Charlie Weis said recently that it was possible Combs would redshirt, but instead announced in a statement that Combs intends to transfer.
Combs chose the Jayhawks over offers from numerous Division I programs. Among them were Big 12 rivals Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State.
Miami: Quarterback Stephen Morris is working through a bone bruise around his right ankle and plans to be in the lineup Saturday when the No. 15 Hurricanes (3-0) visit South Florida (0-3), the Hurricanes’ final contest before their slate of ACC games begins.
Ohio State: If a championship season is determined by a play here and there, then Urban Meyer wants his fourth-ranked Buckeyes to know what’s riding on Saturday night’s big showdown with No. 23 Wisconsin.
Two years ago, the Buckeyes’ Braxton Miller avoided a rush and hurled a 40-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds left to win it. Last year the Badgers’ Curt Phillips flipped a 5-yard TD pass to Jacob Pedersen to force overtime, where Ohio State won 21-14.