Tom Hagerty

Key Position Battles Heat Up Under the Lights

August 20, 2013


USF Senior Writer

TAMPA – Tuesday night was a very important time for the Bulls to “do something” under the lights at the Frank Morsani Football Practice Complex.

A full team of referees trotted out to meet the Bulls on the turf in what marked the team’s final scrimmage before game week preparations really start to ramp up.

“I told our guys, ‘Treat it like a game. This scrimmage is going to count big towards you guys going forward with us and helping us win ballgames this year,’” head coach Willie Taggart said before practice. “I think everyone out there understands the significance of the scrimmage.”

Among the coaching staff’s tasks is finding a starting quarterback and the four Bulls battling for the spot had a prime opportunity to pull ahead in the race with a big performance.

“We’re going to rotate the quarterbacks in there, let them all get reps with the ones, and see how it goes,” Taggart said.

Several other starting spots on the field are still up for grabs with the season opener against McNeese State approaching fast and Taggart said Tuesday’s scrimmage will play a “big-time” role in determining the depth chart.  

“I think towards the end of this week we’ll have a clear understanding of where we’re going with our football team in every aspect,” he said.

Head back to on Wednesday evening to get Taggart's assessment of the Bulls’ final audition and much more from camp.

“I want to see some big-time plays on both sides of the ball. More importantly, I want some consistently out of our guys and not a lot of missed assignments. I want our guys knowing exactly where they’re going,” Taggart said.

Ciabatti Wins Punting Battle

Mattias Ciabatti’s fall camp experience just keeps getting better.

The former walk-on was put on scholarship earlier in August and has officially won the competition for the starting punting job.

“He was looking forward to the opportunity to be the man. We’re excited with where he’s at right now and his approach,” special teams coordinator Stu Holt said.

Ciabatti, a sophomore, redshirted in 2011 and picked up some game experience last fall when he punted for 43 yards in USF’s season opener against Chattanooga.

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