Popek still out with flu; Sims may start at RT
Redshirt freshman Mark Popek, listed on USF's depth chart as the starting right tackle, missed practice Tuesday for the second day in a row because of the flu. Though coach Jim Leavitt said he expects Popek to be able to play in Saturday's opener against Wofford, he left open the possibility of junior Jake Sims getting the starting nod.
"He'll be ready to go," Leavitt said. "Sims might start. That will be up to Coach (Larry) Scott and Coach (Mike) Simmonds. Sims might be the starter at right tackle, but we'll wait and see."
Tight end Kenneth Luberice, who had a boot on his left foot at Monday's practice, did not have the boot on Tuesday, though his status for Saturday's game remains uncertain.
Familiar look: USF hasn't seen an offense like Wofford's "Wingbone" triple-option attack, but it's familiar to senior defensive end George Selvie, who played center in an option offense in high school in Pensacola.
"I ran it, so I know what it can do. It's a real good offense," Selvie said.
Would Selvie like to see the option at USF? "I'd love to bring it here," he said. "I love option, Wing-T, all that stuff. Going downhill, fullback bruising, pitching the option. I just love stuff like that. It's exciting to me."
Wofford ran the ball on 82 percent of its offensive plays last season and as a result, gave up only five sacks all year, matching the lowest in all of Division I football.
"Real hard to get sacks against it," Selvie said. "But you can get some tackles for loss, so that's what we're hoping for."
Go ahead and break it: Former USF quarterback Marquel Blackwell, back on Leavitt's staff as an offensive program coordinator, has USF's career record for total offense, but senior Matt Grothe needs just 102 yards to break Blackwell's mark of 10,343 yards. His school records for career passing yards, attempts, completions and touchdowns are all within Grothe's reach this season.
"Let's hope he shatters them, because if he's doing that, we're doing well," Blackwell said. "He's done an awesome job in the three years he's played. I'm excited to see him doing the things he's doing. He's a senior, so he knows what to do and what to expect. I hope he crushes them."