USF's Williams battling for starting left tackle job
TAMPA -- Sophomore Darrell Williams has a chance to return to the starting lineup Saturday against Syracuse and has been working with the first-team offensive line at left tackle, ahead of senior Damien Edwards.
"He's graded better than Edwards, (but) I don't think either one is playing at the level we need them to play at to be the type of team we want to be," coach Skip Holtz said. "You go back and look at some of the sacks and the pressures, the left tackle position has been involved. We let them compete every week. It's close going back and forth. They're both competing extremely hard."
Williams was beaten for two key late-game sacks in losses to Florida State and Louisville, the first resulting in a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and the latter set the Bulls back Saturday as they tried to drive for a go-ahead field goal.
INJURY UPDATE: Redshirt freshman running back Willie Davis sprained his ankle in Tuesday's practice and wore a boot as he watched Wednesday, leaving the Bulls with one less running back for Saturday's game. It's unknown how long Davis will be out, but Holtz said he has his three primary backs (Demetris Murray, Lindsey Lamar, Marcus Shaw) as well as Bradley Battles. He said he would use senior Victor Marc at running back before he would pull junior Mike Pierre out of a redshirt with only five games left in the season.
WELCOME HOME: USF has its first home game since Sept. 29 against Florida State, and it's also the Bulls' homecoming game Saturday, so Holtz said there's more a buzz around campus generating excitement for the game.
"It's not so much that homecoming's different when they go out on these practice fields, but this week is different," he said. "When they go to class, everybody's coming back, your crowd is always that much more into it. You normally have a bigger crowd for homecoming. From that standpoint, homecoming does have a special feel to it."