Originally created 09/26/03

ACC season filled with injuries so far

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Injuries have been one of the big stories in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season.

The same holds true for this weekend as three league games are on the slate.

Will ACC player of the year Matt Schaub return for the first time since separating his throwing shoulder in Virginia's season opener?

Is reigning rookie of the year T.A. McLendon healthy enough to give his sore hamstring a go as North Carolina State takes on rival North Carolina?

Can Chris Rix keep Florida State undefeated in the ACC while Bobby Bowden waits for two of his running backs to get healthy?

And can tailback Bruce Perry stay on the field for consecutive weeks for Maryland?

Virginia (2-1, 1-0) has had a week off to get ready for Wake Forest and allow Schaub an opportunity to take some snaps in practice.

However, it's unclear if the quarterback will be back under center Saturday against the Demon Deacons (3-1, 1-0).

"Given his circumstances I need to see more," Virginia coach Al Groh said. "But he's moving along nicely.

"We want to be really sure with this thing," Groh added. "We don't want to have a circumstance where after having four weeks invested in his rehabilitation we have to start all over again. That would add up to eight weeks and that would be a hard thing for the team to accept."

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe is uncertain if his team will see Schaub. The Demon Deacons caught a break a few weeks ago when McLendon was injured and didn't play in Wake Forest's 38-24 win against the Wolfpack.

"We don't have any expectations as to who will play quarterback," Grobe said. "We're preparing for their offense. They've got 10 other really good players regardless of who the quarterback is."

Grobe, a former Virginia player, will head back to Charlottesville, Va., for the second time since taking over the Demon Deacons in 2001.

"A lot of people ask me if I have special feelings going back to Charlottesville and I may if I was going back in the spring or summer," Grobe said. "But when you're going up there to play the Cavs right now there is no time to be sentimental or nostalgic about anything."

Meanwhile, McLendon's status remained uncertain for the game against the winless Tar Heels (0-3, 0-1). The star tailback injured his hamstring last week against Texas Tech and has been limited in practice.

"I don't feel good about it and I'm not going to trick anybody about it," Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato said of McLendon's leg injury. "He's getting a ton of treatment. A hamstring is a tough thing for a skill player to come back from."

FSU coach Bobby Bowden shouldn't have a problem against Duke (2-2, 0-1) this weekend without Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker, However, Bowden said his team's offense has suffered the last few weeks without the speedy running backs.

"You can see the difference," Bowden said. "What we're not going to do is play them if there's any danger of them getting hurt worse. But they need some work."

The sixth-ranked Seminoles (4-0, 3-0) are off after the Duke game before taking on Miami on Oct. 11.

The non-conference schedule Saturday includes Maryland (2-2) at Eastern Michigan and Georgia Tech (1-3) at Vanderbilt.

Clemson (3-1) is off before taking on Maryland on Oct. 4.


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