GAINESVILLE -- Florida junior weak-side linebacker Dustin Doe is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday to correct sports hernia, according to UF coach Urban Meyer. Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong says he plans to elevate reserve linebacker Brandon Hicks to first-string defense until Doe returns.
Strong expects Doe to miss this Saturday's away game against Arkansas and the home game against LSU in two weeks. Hicks will start against Arkansas in place of reserve linebacker Ryan Stamper, who is still recovering from a sprained ankle he suffered against Miami.
The Gators' two-deep depth chart at linebacker for this Saturday will be:
A.J. Jones (RSo., 6-1, 225)
Lorenzo Edwards (So., 6-2, 232)
Brandon Spikes (Jr., 6-3, 245)
Ryan Stamper (RJr. 6-2, 232) [IF HEALTHY]
Lorenzo Edwards (So., 6-2, 232)
Brandon Hicks (So., 6-2, 225)
John Jones (So., 6-2, 225)
WHEN WILL MOODY RETURN?
Redshirt sophomore Emmanuel Moody is questionable for Saturday's game in Fayetteville. Meyer would like to get Moody back into the starting line-up as soon as possible. The coach was pleased with what he saw out of Moody against Tennessee and Ole Miss.
"I thought he ran real hard," Meyer said. "When you envision a running back dropping his pads on a safety like he did, getting those extra yards after a run -- I'm real impressed with the way Emmanuel is running. That's two weeks in a row."
Meyer listed Moody as probable for next week's game against LSU.
Wednesday's practice will focus on finalizing a couple starting positions. Hicks is expected to start at weak-side linebacker for an injured Doe and redshirt sophomore Carl Johnson (6-6, 320) is penciled in at left guard to replace Marcus Gilbert and Jim Tartt.
"We're going berserk on fundamentals right now, so there wasn't a whole lot of rah-rah and win one for the Gipper," Meyer said. "We're just trying to find who is going to replace a couple of injured players."
MORE PERCY AT RUNNING BACK
Receiver Percy Harvin led the Gators in rushing against Ole Miss with 82 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown. Meyer says "it's possible" that the junior could receive more carries against Arkansas, considering Moody won't be available and every other running back on the roster combined for 19 yards on six carries against the Rebels.
"We're still finalizing some game plan right now," Meyer said.
Harvin says he's ready to help the team any way he can and disappointed about the loss to Ole Miss despite his career day. In addition to his show at running back, Harvin also caught 13 passes for 186 yards and a receiving touchdown. On Tuesday, he said he was satisfied because his fumble in the third quarter led to Ole Miss points.
"Me putting the extra weight on was in case I had to take a few more snaps in the backfield," Harvin said. "I'm prepared if needed."
EIGHT STARTERS OUT
Meyer says Florida has lost eight starters due to injuries since the offseason. The coach has pointed out the number several times this week. If you're counting, the Gators are technically down to their fourth-string option at left guard. (Carl Johnson is the projected starter for Saturday, followed by James Wilson and Ronnie Wilson.)
"That's why you recruit," Meyer said.
Here are the injured eight:
Cornelius Ingram TE
Dorian Munroe SS
Ryan Stamper LB
Dustin Doe WLB
Jim Tartt LG
Marcus Gilbert LG
Emmanuel Moody RB
Maurice Hurt LG
SEC BETTING LINES
Let's see which teams are favored this weekend and by how much...
No.12 Florida (-25) at Arkansas
South Carolina at Ole Miss (-2 1/2)
Kentucky at Alabama (-17)
Auburn (-4 1/2) at Vanderbilit
Northern Illinois at Tennessee (-15 1/2)
OPEN: Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State