Defense Shines in USF Spring Game
TAMPA - The University of South Florida football team returned to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday for it's annual spring game, and their second of three scrimmages during spring workouts.
The Bulls structured the game by placing offense against defense with scoring drives accredited to the respective quarterbacks. Quarterbacks Matt Floyd and Bobby Eveld played for the "Bulls" team, while B.J. Daniels and Brandon Smith represented the "USF" team.
After kicker Maikon Bonani got the first score of the game on a 31-yard field goal giving the "Bulls" a 3-0 advantage, both Floyd and Daniels would exchange a pair of touchdown passes. Daniels hooked up with Sterling Griffin to take a 7-3 lead early in the third quarter only to have Floyd retaliate and connect with Derrick Hopkins for a 70-yard touchdown on the next play, putting the "Bulls" up 10-7.
The rest of the scrimmage would turn into a defensive battle, with both teams holding their respective lines as each offense worked on the running game.
After the game, Holtz commented on the "poise" of quarterback Matt Floyd, who saw his first action in front of a crowd since joining the USF program in January. Seemingly, Holtz thought his team's performance was "good defensively" and made the comment that this serves as a "work scrimmage." In Holtz's eyes, the scrimmages are both "critical" and "invaluable" in measuring the team's preparation for the season.
On the offensive side of the ball, Floyd had a big afternoon passing for 233 yards and the 70-yard TD pass on 20-of-34 passing. Daniels was 13-of-29 for 145 yards and a TD on the afternoon.
Running back Demetris Murray ran for 57 yards on 10 carries and J.J. Peterson rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries.
Primary targets of the receiving corps were Hopkins, who caught two passes for 87 yards and one touchdown, and Terrence Mitchell, who had four receptions for 65 yards.
Griffin had three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown and Deonte Welch recorded 56 yards on five receptions.
Defensively, linebacker Ruben Garcia led the way with seven total tackles, including four unassisted. Linebacker Curtis Weatherspoon recorded six tackles, all solo.
Two players accounted for the team's three sacks with defensive tackle Luke Sager leading the way with two, for nine yards, both coming on back-to-back plays and getting to quarterback B.J. Daniels. Claude Davis also ran down Daniels behind the line of scrimmage for a 14-yard loss.
Cornerback Quenton Washington had one interception for 31 yards while Mark Joyce recorded a pick for 25 yards.
Washington and linebacker Reshard Cliett each had two passes broken up.
The Bulls' final scrimmage, the Green & Gold Bowl, will take place at the USF Track & Field Stadium on Saturday, April 9 at 5 p.m. as a part of the USF Day festivities.