London: Dowling, McLeod 'close to 100 percent'
Senior cornerback Ras-I Dowling seeed a tad rusty during the 27 plays in which he took part Saturday against Virginia Military Institute, which was understandable given that he'd missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury.
While evaluating Dowling's play Monday during his weekly press conference, Coach Mike London acknowledged that Dowling got beat on a few plays. But London noted that Dowling was in good position on several plays and that he was moving around the field fairy well.
For both Dowling and junior strong safety Rodney McLeod -- who returned to the field after sitting out the previous two games with a knee injury -- London said he "wanted to make sure when they were in the game they had a chance to hit cover, get involved in making calls and the checks.
"Rodney didn't play as many plays as Ras‑I did, but after the game he felt really good. He's feeling pretty good now, and we're looking forward to him being with us here on Saturday. Same with Ras‑I. I think they'll be back to being close to 100 percent."
The Virginia secondary's two primary concerns Saturday against Florida State will be junior wideouts Bert Reed and Taiwan Easterling. Reed serves as the Seminoles' possession receiver. He leads the team with 23 receptions and averages 9.1 yards per catch.
Florida State will try to stretch the field with Easterling, who had a big game last weekend against Wake Forest with six catches for 112 yards. Easterling has tallied 14 catches on the season and is averaging 17 yards per catch. Also dangerous is sophomore wide receiver Willie Haulstead, who has caught nine passes and is averaging 17.3 yards per catch.
Relatively healthy versions of Dowling and McLeod will go a long way toward helping the Cavaliers in their effort to keep the Seminoles' wide receives under control.
McLeod "is not all the way healthy," Safeties Coach Anthony Poindexter said. "But I thought for the plays he went in, you've got to really look at the tape close to see that he was injured. We'll just see how he looks this week, and we'll go from there."
| September 28, 2010; 7:07 AM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Cavaliers preparing to face fast Florida State defensive front
Next: Virginia looks to create 'cracks or crevices' against Seminoles run defense