Dile wearing boot; Ford, Taylor held out
With a short week to prepare for Thursday's game at Cincinnati, USF held a rare Sunday night practice, and if the Bulls want to be at full strength for the Bearcats, they have a lot of healing to do in the next four days.
Most notable is senior right tackle Marc Dile, who watched practice with a boot on his injured right foot, making it unlikely he would be able to play Thursday. Coach Jim Leavitt and his staff are not commenting on injuries. Freshman Danous Estenor, who played three quarters of Saturday's loss at Louisville in relief of Dile, worked with the first-team offensive line at right tackle.
USF rushed for a record-low 8 yards against Louisville, with injuries limiting the carries for top backs Mike Ford and Jamar Taylor. Neither participated in drills Sunday and both were limping with undisclosed injuries; Taylor had his left ankle wrapped. Tight end Trent Pupello (concussion), safety Carlton Williams (knee), linebacker Brouce Mompremier (head/neck) and receiver Dontavia Bogan (unknown) also did not practice, but could be fine by Thursday.
There is good injury news, however, as sophomore guard Zach Hermann, who has missed six games with a broken foot, ran with the team for the first time Monday, a first step toward returning to game action. Hermann started every game at right guard last season as a redshirt freshman.
FLAGS FLYING: Watching tape of Saturday's loss didn't make Leavitt any happier about the officiating, questioning several of the 14 penalties levied against the Bulls. He said he expects to hear back from the Big East's director of officiating on Monday about several disputed calls.
"That's something the league office will look at," Leavitt said. "But none of that matters. We didn't play good enough to win. Our offensive line got crushed, we didn't have enough protection on Matt (Grothe) and our defense didn't stop them with nine minutes to go. ... Our defense or offense didn't respond in the two losses we've had, but we have responded (against) Central Florida and Kansas. It's been inconsistent this year."
TIME OFF: Leavitt said freshman linebacker Quavon Taylor, who is redshirting, has not been allowed to practice or be a part of the team because of problems with missing classes and other obligations.
"When he first came here, he missed all kinds of classes, missed treatments, missed weight room," Leavitt said. "I gave him two or three chances, and he kept missing. So I took football away from him, until he understood what it was to go to class, go to weight room, go to treatment. We're still working on that. Discipline. ... I told him, 'I can't take class away, but I can take football away from you.'"
UP FOR GRABS: Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said he likely won't decide until Tuesday or Wednesday whether to start senior Tyller Roberts, who was beaten for a long touchdown pass Saturday, or redshirt freshman Quenton Washington, who replaced him during the game, at cornerback. He said the two will share equal repetitions in practice for the next few days until a decision is made.