TAMPA -- Jerry Anderson, one of 12 people on the Advocare 100 Independence Bowl selection committee, said Saturday he would love to pit the Hurricanes (6-5) against 10th-ranked Boise State in their bowl game Dec. 26.
"We like the TV appeal because they're a national team and have been for a long time," Anderson said. "They came [to Shreveport, La.] and played when [quarterback] Brock Berlin first started. So, the local people know them. We'll have a very good local turnout for Miami, whether we have Boise or San Diego State. If we can have Boise, it would be a pretty big deal."
UM, under NCAA investigation for gifts players accepted from former booster Nevin Shapiro, could end up declining a bowl invite to try and get a step ahead of potential sanctions that could be handed down.
Asked if there has been any talk of doing that, UM coach Al Golden said: "Not that I’m aware of , no. the first time the question was posed to me was in one of the interviews. I don’t know what day, Wednesday or whatever. My job is to get the team bowl eligible. That’s the first time I heard it when somebody brought it up the other day."
Center Tyler Horn said he doesn't care where UM plays its bowl game. "A bowl is a bowl. It's always a lot of fun," Horn said. "I've got 30 days left with these guys -- some of my best friends. The fact I can play football with them a little longer feels good."
Seantrel Henderson spent nearly all season fighting his way through off-season back surgery to get in UM's starting lineup.
The 6-8, 350-pound sophomore, who made his third consecutive start Saturday at right tackle, now has a new battle on his hands -- a right knee injury that Golden expects will keep him out of the season finale against Boston College on Friday.
With 5:05 left in the second quarter, Henderson went down face first on UM's 10-yard line after a teammate rolled up behind him. Henderson, who started his third consecutive game at right tackle, was carted off the field shortly after with ice on his right knee. He returned to the UM sideline on crutches early in the fourth quarter.
"I don’t think it’s good," Golden said of the injury. "I think it’s safe to say he won’t play next week. Let’s not speculate any further until we can get an MRI. But I think it’s safe to say he won’t play next week."
Redshirt freshman Jonathan Feliciano, who started UM's first six games at right tackle, was flagged twice for false starts after replacing Henderson. Feliciano leads the team in false starts.
"He’s a redshirt freshman. He’s got to just keep his poise a little bit, but he made some great blocks in the final drive," Golden said. "He’s just got to relax a little bit. What you can sense from the guys, and I was trying to make it light for them, was that they wanted to win so badly, and they wanted to do it for the seniors. So I think he’s part of the guys who are pressing right now."
UM's offensive line gave up a season-high six sacks and the running game was limited to a season-low 57 yards on 40 attempts.
A week after giving up an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown to Florida State's Greg Reid, Golden praised punter Dalton Botts effort Saturday. Botts had eight punts for an average of 43.4 yards. Only three were returned for 12 yards -- one was brought back for 11.
"Dalton Botts might have been the MVP of the game to be honest with you," Golden said. "I don’t know what his number are going to be but there were no returns I don’t think. It was all hang. He was either dominant or he was over 4.0 [seconds] because I don’t think there were any returns unless I’m mistaken. That made a big difference in the game.”
> Backup quarterback Stephen Morris, who had seen action in special packages in three consecutive games, didn't play Saturday at all.
"We just had a different game plan," Golden said. "Again it was a different running attack. You have to give them so much credit. They have an excellent defense and those two guys inside were all we could handle."
There were a couple of firsts for the Hurricanes Saturday:
> Receiver Phillip Dorsett made his first college start and cornerback Brandon McGee recorded the first interception of his college career when he yanked down a floater from BJ Daniels on USF's first offensive play from scrimmage. It was also the first interception of the season by a Hurricanes cornerback.
"We need to have more disruption at that position and get more turnovers," Golden said. "But clearly it’s big that he’s growing and maturing and he took a leadership role at the hotel last night."
> Receiver LaRon Byrd made his first start since the season opener at Maryland and hauled in a 25-yard pass on the opening play from scrimmage.