More notes from USF's first scrimmage
Spent the day with the wife and kids at the beach at Honeymoon Island -- hard to believe school starts Monday, but a nice last goodbye to summer before things start getting busy all over. Lots of leftover notes from Saturday's scrimmage, including stats I think you'll only find here.
Again, it's hard to read too much into anything from the scrimmage -- the No. 2s and 3s spent much more time on the field than the starters, and several players were limited due to the heat and other injury concerns.
CATCHES: I counted 16 different players that caught passes -- you have 150 snaps with three different offenses, that's not that surprising. Freshman walk-on Stephen Bravo-Brown looked surehanded, especially on screens, catching a team-high four passes for 29 yards. Only other player catching more than two was the mercurial Derrick Hopkins, who had three for 24, including a nice 18-yarder on third down. Isaac Virgin looked great on his two catches across the middle, good for 30 yards, Lindsey Lamar got 30 on his two catches, newly added walk-on Justin Wilkins caught two for 29 and Dontavia Bogan had two grabs for 12 yards. (They tried Bogan deep a few times, but were never able to connect.)
The rest? Faron Hornes was a nice one, as Jamius Gunsby rolled to his right and heaved a long, high pass as Hornes and safey JaQuez Jenkins ran in stride down the right sideline. With Jenkins draped all over him -- a flag was thrown but politely declined -- Hornes hauled it in over the shoulder at the 12-yard line, setting up the day's only touchdown. If you had any doubts about Gunsby's arm, that was 58 yards, all in the air.
Deonte Welch had a beautiful sideline toe-tapper for 16 yards, walk-on tight end Tyler Guy caught a 14-yarder across the middle, Bradley Battles caught one for 13 near the end, Victor Marc went across the middle for 12, Joel Miller brought down a high pass for 10, T.J. Knowles took a screen for 8 yards and needed like five defenders to bring him down, Mo Plancher had one for 8, Kevin Gidrey one for 7 and walk-on Tyler Stowell one for a 1-yard loss.
CARRIES: The overall numbers were pretty rough -- I tallied 44 carries by running backs for a combined 86 yards. The hard stats: freshman Marcus Shaw, 11 for 38 yards, and he lost five on his last two carries. Easily the best numbers of the day. After that, it drops off -- Mo Plancher 8 for 17, Demetris Murray 9-12, Joel Miller 6-10, Bradley Battles 9-6. If you were counting Plancher, Murray and Battles as the top three entering the day, they combined for 26 carries, none of which longer than 5 yards.
Runs of four yards or longer? Shaw had seven, Plancher four, and the rest of the backs totaled four. Fullback Kevin Gidrey got one carry and got the job done on a fourth-and-2 at midfield.
PASSING: As we mentioned Saturday, a rough day for Daniels, who at one point was 1-for-12 for 13 yards. Entering his final series, he was 4-for-18 for 46, though he did well in a hurry-up offense on that last series, going 3-for-4 for 24 yards and converting three first downs on the drive. Daniels was consistently high on quick screens and wasn't in rhythm with his receivers downfield. Gunsby had by comparison a nice touch, going 11-for-17 for 169 yards, including the long pass to Hornes. Walk-on Bobby Eveld struggled with the three interceptions, but Holtz pointed out he was the last player off the field, getting extra instruction from coaches after the scrimmage. "Nobody works harder," Holtz said. Walk-on Ryan Eppes didn't play as much, but had a nice series near the end, going 4-for-4 with the No. 3 offense, with a nice 26-yarder to Wilkins and finishing his drive inside the opposing 25-yard line.
DEFENSE: I didn't chart much defense -- hard to log both sides at same time during a live scrimmage, but the interceptions were easy -- Mistral Raymond, JaQuez Jenkins and freshman Reshard Cliett. I tried to note TFLs whenever possible -- Claude Davis had at least three, including sacks on the last two plays of the scrimmage. Terrence Mitchell had a nice open-field tackle of Mo Plancher. ... Anthony Hill was offsides on a third-and-4 to give the offense a first down. In all, I counted just five penalties in 150 snaps. ... DeDe Lattimore had a TFL on Plancher, and Sabbath Joseph dropped Miller for a 4-yard loss. ... Also had Jacquian Williams and Luke Sager with sacks.
THIS AND THAT: With Quenton Washington nursing a hamstring, George Baker got to work with the No. 1 defense. ... Defensive tackle Terrell McClain wasn't working with the first unit, but I think that's injury-related. He got to Daniels for a 6-yard (whistled) sack. ... Justin Brockhaus-Kann looked good on punting, with an edge on freshman Chris Veron. ... Kickers only attempted two field goals, with Maikon Bonani and Eric Schwartz both good from 37 yards.