Holtz wants subs in during first half vs. FAMU
USF coach Skip Holtz put his second-team players in on the second series of the second half against Ball State last week, and he'll turn to his bench even soon during Saturday's home game against I-AA Florida A&M.
Holtz said Wednesday that he'll work his second-stringers into the game during the first half against the Rattlers, not as an indication of his competition Saturday but his desire to get his backups ready in case injuries press them into larger roles.
"We're looking at getting them on one of the early series, to let them know they're not out here just practicing for an emergency backup role, of if they were to get an opportunity to play late in the game," Holtz said. "We need them to keep coming, because as you go through the course of a season, one of these guys somewhere on our 2s is going to have to step in and play a significant role down the line."
USF's No. 2 offense mustered only 20 total yards in five series led by sophomore Bobby Eveld, and the defense saw a shutout spoiled in the fourth quarter. Eveld said some of his struggles were related to playing for the first time since November, and he hopes to be better prepared this week.
"Now that I know what I need to work on, I feel like I can use that to improve my game and get better," he said. "I think my pocket presence was a little bit jittery. I need to calm down a little bit."
The game should lend itself to significant playing opportunities for backups -- in its last 10 games against teams from BCS automatic-bid conferences, FAMU has been outscored by an average margin of 53-7. The least points given up by the Rattlers was in its 2005 trip to Tampa, when USF won 37-3, holding the Rattlers to 85 yards of total offense.
THIS AND THAT: Freshman Antoine Pozniak, who moved from linebacker to defensive end at the start of preseason camp, is now back at linebacker, where he'll stay for next season after redshirting this fall. Holtz said the emergence of senior Claude Davis (3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles) as the Bulls' No. 5 end allowed Pozniak to return to his natural position. ... FAMU right tackle Brandon Curry spent one season with USF defensive coordinator Mark Snyder when he was head coach at Marshall. Curry transferred in 2008 after redshirting his only year with the Thundering Herd.