By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The Bulls got back to work Sunday night with an optimistic outlook towards the second half of the season.
USF had Friday and Saturday off during its bye week and head coach Skip Holtz liked what he saw in the first day of preparation for Louisville.
“It’s great to see them come back a little bit refreshed and energized,” Holtz said. “I think the attitude is good and they’re working hard. I think they’re excited to have an opportunity to get back into game week again.”
The Bulls start the second half of the season off with a three-game Big East stretch, starting Saturday against the No. 18 Cardinals. Louisville improved to 6-0 with a 45-35 victory at Pitt last week.
USF will get its next two conference tests at home with Syracuse visiting Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 27 and UConn stopping by on Saturday, Nov. 3. Kickoff for the Syracuse game is set for 7 p.m.
Still a Work in Progress
Holtz and his staff evaluated each snap of practice last week, but they still have not revealed any major changes to the depth chart.
“At this point I’d still say it’s a work in progress,” Holtz said. “There were a number of things that we looked at. With some of the injuries, a lot of guys got a lot of different look as far as placing guys at different positions, cross training a couple of guys. There are a couple of guys we moved around but I can’t say any of them are definite.”
Holtz called last week’s evaluation period “refreshing” for the team, even if it doesn’t result in any major changes to the lineup by Saturday.
“We graded every rep. Most guys probably got between 60 to 70 team reps,” Holtz said. “We made the grades and started to formulate the depth charts and we’ll continue it this week.
“Whatever we have to do to get the most passionate players on the field is what we’re trying to do,” he added.
Punt Return Game
Holtz was asked what he’s looking for out of the punt return game in the second half of the season and the coach said it’s all about security.
“I want ball security first. Once we get the ball, then you want somebody that has the opportunity to make a big return for you,” he said. “The guy that has caught the ball the most consistently in practice and games has been Andre Davis.”
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