Reserve DE Davis racks up 3 sacks in limited action
Here are Tuesday's practice notes from Times correspondent Ian Lanphier:
TAMPA -- No. 20 USF's defense has gotten a spark from an unlikely source early this season.
Senior DE Claude Davis has impressed coaches with his playmaking ability through two games.
After picking up a sack against Notre Dame in the season opener, Davis followed up that effort with two more sacks Saturday against Ball State, including one where he forced and recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter of the Bulls' 37-7 win.
Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said Tuesday that he doesn't think any defensive player in the country has produced more than Davis in such limited snaps, which he estimated at about 20.
Davis didn't receive as much buzz as redshirt sophomore DE Julius Forte and true freshman DT Elkino Watson in fall camp, but now he's making life miserable for opposing offenses.
"Claude's always had it. I mean, he's a freak," Snyder said. "He's got a tremendous first step, he's long, he's got all the attributes. It's a matter of him buying into what we're doing and running to the ball and all the things that are asked, and he's doing that right now."
Davis said he's trying to fill whatever role best helps the team, including getting special teams reps.
"(The spring game) built my confidence a lot because I was down because of not playing, but everything happens for a reason, so I'm just playing my purpose," he said.
THIS AND THAT: Coach Skip Holtz said Tuesday that Florida A&M poses a challenge for the Bulls because of its blitz-heavy defensive schemes. "They are not a sit-back-and-let-it-come-to-them football team.They turn and they press the issue, and they come after you, and they are very aggressive," said Holtz, who said the matchup presents an opportunity for USF to see how it handles pressure. ... Holtz said freshman OL Darrell Williams will see action this season, passing on the chance to redshirt him because he has the potential to make an impact for the Bulls at offensive tackle.