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Bad news: Cook, Ponder hurt

The first bad news of the fall has come out -- linebacker Glenn Cook and safety Lovon Ponder (who were both expected to be starters) -- are injured.

As UM scrimmaged for the first time this fall, both were out with injuries. Coach Randy Shannon told reporters Cook is expected to miss between three to four games. Ponder, who was seen on crutches around school Wednesday, could return to the team before the start of the season.

Cook's loss means Miami will be without its most experienced linebacker to start the season. Cook was tied for the lead for most starts with Tavares Gooden with 14. But without question, he was expected to replace Jon Beason as the brainchild and leader of the linebacking corps from the weakside. Now, Gooden or Spencer Adkins will likely replace him in the starting lineup alongside sophomore Darryl Sharpton and Colin McCarthy.

Willie Cooper who made the big interception to save UM from an ugly loss to Duke last season is now expected to carry the load at safety alongside Kenny Phillips until Ponder returns. Freshmen Jojo Nicholas could also see some time there.