Football notes from second scrimmage ...
I'm busy with the women's Final Four in town, but correspondent Joe Rienzi was able to watch USF's second scrimmage of the spring in its entirety Saturday afternoon and offers this report:
Tyrone McKenzie was the starting middle linebacker, with Brouce Mompremier and Chris Robinson playing on the outside. Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham liked what he saw out of both McKenzie today and Mompremier last Saturday, but knows that the defense needs to improve in certain areas.
“We are really young at the tackle position,” Burnham said. “Whoever steps up in there will have to be a really good reader and adjuster, and do things to help the younger guys in case they make mistakes — which younger guys do. Whoever it is (at MLB) will have to do that. Both (McKenzie and Mompremier) can play it, I just need to figure out who can do it more effectively.”
After being held out of the first scrimmage entirely, senior defensive end Jarriett Buie was on the field, working with the first team defense.
Junior middle linebacker Kion Wilson was in uniform, but had a noticeable limp while participating in position drills. Burnham does not believe he will be healthy enough to participate in the Spring game next week.
“We won’t know about Kion until next fall now, and that’s a shame,” Burnham said. “He really needed this work so I could find out (if he could start at middle linebacker). I don’t know much more about him now than I did when he got here.”
Delbert Alvarado had another bad outing, going 3-for-6 on field goal attempts, with junior cornerback Jerome Murphy blocking his second attempt of the spring. All of the field goals were kicked into a stiff wind, but head coach Jim Leavitt doesn’t think that is an excuse.
“Our kicking is not very good right now,” Leavitt said. “That part has been disappointing, and we really don’t have any excuses. We’ve had a bunch of reps, just not a lot of success. It’s something we struggled a lot with last year. Alvarado will get his shot first, then (Justin) Teachey.
In two scrimmages, Alvarado is 4-for-11 on field goals and 2-for-4 on extra points. Teachey is 3-for-4 after missing his only attempt today.
Sophomore tackle Joe Herzhauser suffered a sprained right ankle on the first series of the day. Senior safety Danny Verpaele is no longer wearing a boot on his sprained foot, but he was not in pads for the scrimmage.
The offense’s only touchdown came on a 17-yard touchdown run by freshman walk-on running back Joel Miller.