TAMPA, Fla. – Head coach Jim Leavitt came away pleased with the University of South Florida’s second official scrimmage of the preseason.
“I liked the way we competed and the way we played,” said Leavitt. “They went hard. The running backs really ran well and the quarterbacks did some good things. I was pleased with those two groups.”
The offense scored on two of five possessions and the defense was stingy the rest of the night.
Junior QB Grant Gregory was efficient with the No. 1 offense and led the unit on its only extended drives of the evening.
After a three and out in the first offensive series, Gregory settled in and connected with WR Marcus Edwards on a pair of catches for 21 yards. He then hit WR Jessie Hester Jr. on a 29-yard catch and run over the middle.
The drive was finished off by redshirt-freshman running back Aston Samuels, who scored from two yards out.
The offensive play of the night for coach Leavitt was a 28 yard, improvised scamper by freshman RB Tyson Butler. On a standard run, Butler took the handoff and cut towards the sideline before turning the corner and notching the second longest play of the night.
“Now that was play by Tyson,” said Leavitt. “He had a good scrimmage and that was great run. He really showed something there.”
During work on the red zone offense, freshman RB Jamar Taylor had a nine yard TD run that was called back on off-setting penalties. Moments later from same line of scrimmage, Gregory hooked up with WR Cedric Hill on a nifty pass to the far side of the end zone.
The play of the night for the defense was a fumble recovery by DE Jarriett Buie that was lateraled to fellow DE George Selvie. Selvie took it into the end zone for six. The recovery and run went for over 50 yards.
“They scored two, we scored one,” said defensive coordinator Wally Burnham. “We were able to work some of those young guys in there. We will have to see the film and see if any of them are ready to contribute early.”
DB Micah Morgan and Tyller Roberts both recorded pass breakups, while LB Sabbath Joseph collected the only solo sack of the evening.
The Bulls will return to the practice field Thursday from 3:30-5:25.
Saturday the football squad will host Bulls Fan Fest at Raymond James Stadium. The free fan appreciation event will take place from 3:30-6 p.m.
* Returning starting QB Matt Grothe was held out of the scrimmage with a hip injury, that offensive coordinator Greg Gregory said that, “nothing has changed from this morning.” After the early practice Gregory said that, “if USF was playing Elon today, Grothe would be in the lineup.”
* Junior Carlton Hill, who moved back to quarterback today, did not take any snaps in the scrimmage. Since camp opened, Hill has moved from defensive back to wide receiver before returning to his original position of quarterback.
* USF and the BIG EAST are scheduled to be featured Thursday afternoon on College Football Live at 2:30 p.m. Grothe was the subject of a feature story by columnist Ivan Maisel that debuted on ESPN.com today. USF beat writer and St. Petersburg Times staffer Greg Auman will be a (via phone) guest on the show.