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Ellis' injury status still hazy for Florida State

Virginia coach George Welsh has had a lot to worry about after his starting quarterback went down in last week's win against Maryland. But time should prove to be a valuable tool for the Cavalier football team.

Since the Cavs have this weekend off, Dan Ellis has an extra week to recover from the hamstring injury he sustained in the second quarter of last week's game. Ellis pulled up lame in pursuit of Terp safety Shawn Forte, who was returning his pass attempt for a touchdown.

Welsh acknowledged Ellis will be dearly missed if his injury prevents him from playing in next week's game at Florida State.

"There isn't anything good about Ellis going down," Welsh said in a teleconference yesterday. "He was starting to get hot again. He was doing a real good job."

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    Before he went down with 1 minute, 30 seconds left in the first half, Ellis was indeed doing a spectacular job. The senior quarterback had been perfect, as a matter of fact, not only completing 6-for-6 passes for 148 yards but also throwing for a touchdown. Ellis led the Cavs to a 28-3 lead before Forte's touchdown.

    Welsh informed the media that though Ellis' recovery is moving rapidly, it is still uncertain whether he will be able to play in Tallahassee.

    "His progress has been good," Welsh said. "But I don't know if he'll be ready yet."

    And so Welsh has to consider his redshirt freshman quarterbacks, Bryson Spinner and Matt Schaub, both of whom played about a quarter against Maryland last week. If Ellis can't make it back in time, Welsh will depend on one of the youngsters to lead the Virginia offense. Neither one had impressive statistics Saturday, since both spent most of their time handing off to the Cav running backs.

    Spinner was the first to replace Ellis last week. He finished out the second quarter and continued through the third, misfiring on all three of his pass attempts, including one long interception.

    Schaub, who replaced Spinner for the fourth quarter, led the Cavaliers on a 49-yard drive that culminated in a David Greene field goal. Schaub was 2-for-2 for 14 yards passing.

    "I think there is a strong consideration for using both quarterbacks," Welsh said. "If Ellis can't practice by next Tuesday we will designate a starter by midweek and then make sure both [Schaub and Spinner] are ready."

    Though the Cavs might have to play without Ellis against the Seminoles, Welsh is excited about having sophomore tailback Arlen Harris back in the lineup. Harris started the season opener against Brigham Young but missed the next five games with a knee injury.

    "I like the idea of having Arlen Harris back," Welsh said. "He's quick and he's a good complement [to the other tailbacks]."

    The Cavaliers have been resting some nagging injuries this week, but they will return to their regular practice schedule next week in preparation for Florida State. With a week off, practice this week will be light but didactic. Virginia hopes the time off will give Ellis ample time to recover, so that the Cavs may be in full force against the No. 7 Seminoles next week.


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