Backup QBs, RBs shine in first Vero scrimmage
VERO BEACH -- USF's first fall scrimmage was a chance for backups to make a case for the first depth chart, and several jumped at the opportunity as the Bulls got solid passing from quarterbacks Matt Floyd and Bobby Eveld and strong running from Marcus Shaw and Willie Davis.
"Standing back there, I thought both (quarterbacks) did some really good things. Both made really nice runs, made some really good decisions, didn't put the ball in danger," Holtz said. "I think both of them are having great camps. It's a heck of a competition going on with the two of them."
Floyd came out sharp, connecting on his first 11 passes and the scrimmage's first touchdown, a 14-yard pass to Ruben Gonzalez. Eveld started slow, with 9 yards on his first six attempts, but then hit his stride, with gains of 35 yards to Sterling Griffin, 24 yards to Terrence Mitchell and 27 to Chris Dunkley. All three quarterbacks hit more than half their attempts and topped 100 yards; starter B.J. Daniels had a 22-yard touchdown pass to Dunkley.
Shaw, entering camp as the No. 3 running back behind seniors Demetris Murray and Lindsey Lamar, rushed 10 times for 96 yards, and Davis, a redshirt freshman, made the most of his carries, getting 62 yards on five rushes.
"We're going to have to have some very unselfish skill players with the talent that we have," Holtz said. "We only have one football. Everybody can't catch 10 balls every game, everybody can't carry the ball 20 times. Everybody can't throw it X number of times. But when you have the competition which we're starting to get, the difference between starting or being a backup is a fine line."
The defense was opportunistic, with three interceptions all coming on deflected passes, by cornerbacks Kayvon Webster and Kenneth Durden and linebacker Hans Louis.
"I don't think we caught the ball very well today at the receiving group. We had three dropped balls that all were dropped/batted/deflected and end up being interceptions."
Of the true freshmen battling to play this fall, Holtz was impressed by tight end Sean Price and defensive end Eric Lee, and he wants to see more of weakside linebacker Tashon Whitehurst.
INJURY UPDATE: Backup running back Bradley Battles left the scrimmage with an ankle injury, and Holtz said he was concerned it could be a longterm injury. Others held out should only miss a few days - receiver D'vario Montgomery (shoulder), defensive end Aaron Lynch (concussion) and defensive tackle Todd Chandler (foot). ... Holtz said that junior college running back Mike Pierre is behind the other backs a bit because he didn't join the team until mid-summer, so redshirting is a possibility if he isn't among the top backs.