Bulls may have a new kicker for Memphis
Though he hasn't been ruled out for Saturday night's game at Memphis, Bulls PK Emilio Nadelman's full recovery from a quad injury might require more than a bye week.
Nadelman, injured late in the Bulls' 52-45 victory against Navy two Fridays ago, exited Tuesday morning's practice using a crutch. But Coach Willie Taggart said the week's still early.
"You know around here, we heal differently," he said.
If Nadelman -- perfect on seven field-goal attempts this season -- remains sidelined, Jacksonville University transfer Brandon Behr takes over. A 23-year-old junior, Behr had a 48-yard field-goal try blocked late in the fourth quarter against Navy, leading to a Midshipmen TD.
Last season at JU, he was perfect on 41 PATs and hit 14 of 23 field goals including a long of 48 yards. In 2014, he was a second-team All-Pioneer Football League pick, connecting on 13 of 18 field goals including a 50-yarder against Drake.
As a senior at Fleming Island High, he missed only two of 11 field goals.
"We always say if a guy goes down, the next guy's got to be ready to go," Taggart said. "Same thing with Brandon. He's got to be ready to go and we know he'll get it done for us."
GODWIN 'GRAY-SHIRTED': Senior FS Nate Godwin, who fought through a preseason hamstring injury to return to USF's starting lineup, was rewarded last week with a coveted gray jersey.
The distinction is given to defensive players as a reward for work ethic on the field and in the classroom. Roughly 10 players have one.
Godwin, who lost his starting job at striker (aka nickel back) following his injury, returned to the starting lineup Sept. 17 at Syracuse when Khalid McGee injured his ankle in the season's second game. With SS Malik Dixon (shoulder) out for the year, he has started the last four games at that position.
His 49 tackles rank third on the team.
"We all were happy when they announced it in the defensive meeting room," DT Bruce Hector said. "We were all clapping for him, just happy for him. It was a good time in that room when we heard that."
IMMORTALITY AWAITS: With 79 rushing yards Saturday night at Memphis, Bulls junior Quinton Flowers will become the first Division I collegiate quarterback in Florida history to run for 1,000 in a season. His 921 yards currently rank second among D-I QBs, behind only Lamar Jackson of Louisville (1,181).
Among the most impressed: Taggart, who ran for 3,997 yards at Western Kentucky -- albeit in a far more run-oriented scheme. Flowers, by contrast, is only 59 passing yards shy of 2,000 for the season, putting him on the cusp of becoming the Bulls' first 1,000/2,000 performer.
"I think what Quinton is doing is a little more remarkable," Taggart said.
"It's better because he's not necessarily in the option offense. I was in the option offense where we were going to run the football, so that was kind of the expectation to get to 1,000 yards. And for him to do what he's doing, not only rushing for 1,000 but close to throwing for 2,000...it's big time."
ODDS AND ENDS: Taggart reiterated Tuesday how pleased he was with the Bulls' practices during the bye week. "For whatever reason, they had a lot of energy -- guys flying around," he said. Perhaps it's an omen of change; USF is 0-5 after a bye week in the Taggart era. ... With one TD at Memphis, the offense ties the program's single-season record (54) set in 2015. ... With 126 rushing yards against the Tigers, TB Marlon Mack (3,206 career yards) moves into sole possession of 10th place on Florida's all-time collegiate list. ... The Bulls have recorded 11 TD plays of 20 or more yards in their last three contests. ... Flowers, whose girlfriend gave birth to the couple's daughter in September, visited his family during the bye week and learned how to change a diaper. "It went all right," he said with a smile.
AUDIBLE: "It's fresh because I'm still ticked about it. But we're not gonna let that road game mess with this road game." -- Taggart when asked if the Bulls' 46-30 loss at Temple on Oct. 21 remains fresh in his mind
AUDIBLE, PART II: "I voted for Coach T. I turned around two programs (WKU and USF), I can turn around this country." -- Taggart, when asked Tuesday if he had voted.