No. 3 Florida State reportedly loses QB Deondre Francois for the year to knee injury


Florida State’s worst fears have been realized. Far worse than Saturday night’s 24-7 loss to Alabama was the anxious feeling that the knee injury that knocked quarterback Deondre Francois from the game would cost him more than one doomed series.

On Sunday, reports from the Tallahassee Democrat and ESPN stated Francois suffered a torn patella tendon and will be lost for the remainder of the season. ESPN reports Francois is set for surgery later this week.

Francois would finish his season hitting 19-of-33 passes for 210 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He started the game single-handedly carrying FSU’s offense, putting the Seminoles on top with a touchdown pass to Auden Tate in the second quarter. But as Florida State failed to make Alabama respect its running game — 40 total yards on 27 carries — the Tide’s attack pinned its ears back and made life miserable for Francois, intercepting him in Florida State territory on two consecutive passes before a Ronnie Harrison sack knocked him from the game.

Francois immediately started grabbing his left knee on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium turf. He was helped from the field and spent time briefly in an injury tent on the Florida State sideline before emerging with a brace around his knee and crutches on each side. He was carted to the locker room, where reporters saw him after the game with negative body language.

Francois started all 13 games for Florida State last season as a redshirt freshman, throwing for 3,350 yards with 20 touchdowns against seven interceptions.

With Francois out — Florida State has not confirmed the injury yet — Jimbo Fisher indicated last night the ‘Noles would turn to true freshman James Blackman at quarterback. Florida State hosts Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday before No. 18 Miami comes to Tallahassee on Sept. 16.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.