Sims at right guard; battle at kicker
With starting right guard Zach Hermann expected to miss at least a month with a broken foot, sophomore Jake Sims worked with the first-team offensive line in Wednesday's practice.
Sims, a former walk-on who entered fall drills as the starting right tackle, is listed on the official depth chart as the top backup at center, but his versatility allows him to be the top backup at all five spots. Sims would be making his first career start, though he played extensively in both of USF's games this season.
USF issued a release on Hermann, saying he had underwent surgery Wednesday on his broken foot but reiterating that the injury should not be season-ending.
-- The number of tickets sold or distributed for Friday night's game against No. 13 Kansas is now over 52,000 as of Wednesday morning. With good weather for game-day walk-ups, it's reasonable to think the crowd could pass last year's Louisville and Cincinnati games (both just over 57,000) and be the third-largest ever for a USF home game.
-- USF opened practice Wednesday with a head-to-head battle between starting place-kicker Delbert Alvarado and true freshman Maikon Bonani. The two kickers combined to attempt 15 field goals, starting with 20-yarders and backing up beyond the 50. Alvarado has made only one of four attempts this season, including a 42-yard miss with 11 seconds left in regulation in Saturday's overtime win at Central Florida.
It's worth noting that at each distance, Bonani got the first kick. He made two from 20 yards, then was good from the left and right hash at 27 yards, with Alvarado hitting both attempt from 27 as well. Both were good from 37 yards, then Bonani missed wide left from the right hash at 37 yards, then was good on a second attempt; Alvarado was also good from 37.
From 47, Bonani was just wide right, then Alvarado missed wide left. Bonani just went right from the right hash at 47 yards, then was short and right on a 52-yard attempt. So unofficially, I have Bonani going 6-for-10 and Alvarado going 4-for-5. It does not appear that former walk-on Justin Teachey is in the mix for the place-kicking job, though he continues to handle kickoffs for the Bulls.
Other notes: Former USF linebacker Ben Moffitt, cut by the Texans two weeks ago, was a visitor at practice ... Redshirt freshman cornerback Tyson Butler still has a boot on his injured ankle, while receiver Marcus Edwards looks fine after being held out of practice Monday. Edwards made a great play on special teams on an Alvarado punt from the 40-yard line, catching it in the air on the 1-yard line.
-- Programming note: Starting Sept. 17, Catch 47, the official cable channel of USF athletics will be rebranded as Bright House Sports Network and will be available in the Orlando market as well.