White edges Green for 6-3 spring win
Here are the notes for Sunday's paper ... more thoughts to come in a bit ...
THE OUTCOME: Last year, the Green and White squads grinded out a 7-6 game, and Saturday trumped that with a 6-3 slugfest, with Justin Teachey going 2-for-2 on short field goals and Delbert Alvarado missing a 48-yard attempt short in the fourth quarter after hitting from 48 yards on the opening drive.
The two offenses only got inside the opposing 20-yard line twice, but offensive coordinator Greg Gregory wasn’t concerned.
“I don’t worry about it. We didn’t run any goal line, didn’t run the quarterbacks,” Gregory said. “Last spring, it was 7-6 and we turned out to be pretty good on offense.”
GOOD CROWD: The game drew an announced crowd of 4,607, which resets the all-time spring high for USF, up from 4,310 last season. USF coach Jim Leavitt, who watched one half from each sideline, said he was pleased by the turnout. "Like all South Florida crowds, they're passionate," Leavitt said.
WHISTLE MANIA: Starting quarterbacks Matt Grothe and Grant Gregory weren’t live, so plays were whistled dead on the first contact from a defensive player. Defensive end Jarriett Buie piled up four sacks, some on one-hand tags.
“He can play when he wants to,” defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said. “He’s got the ability to be a player for us. He’s got to be disciplined, consistent, all the things he has a hard time doing.”
George Selvie had three sacks for the Green team, and redshirt freshman Patrick Hampton had three in an impressive debut.
“All spring, Kevin Patrick kept telling me, ‘Watch him, watch him,’’ Leavitt said of Hampton. “I’ve been watching him close. He plays with great leverage, he makes a lot of plays. It’s hard to block him. I don’t know if he’ll be ready this fall … This summer could be huge for him."
DONE EARLY: Grothe threw a 47-yard pass to tight end Andrew Ketchel on the first play of the game and finished 5-for-5 for 70, but was whistled down for sacks six times and earned a spot from the sidelines midway through the second quarter.
“None of them like the sound of the whistle. They hate playing like that,” Greg Gregory said. “Neither one of those guys will be hit until the Tennessee-Martin game.”
Grothe was relieved by freshman quarterback Alton Voss, who scrambled for 15 yards on his first play, and finished 2-for-3 for 29 yards. Quarterback Grant Gregory, who took all the snaps for the winning White team, finished 14 of 22 for 190 yards, with six of his passes going to receiver Taurus Johnson for 68 yards. Mike Ford led all running backs with 56 yards on 14 carries.
SETBACK: Junior offensive lineman Danny Tolley, who had made a healthy recovery after missing last season with an abdominal injury, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the final spring practice Wednesday.
Tolley, a Wesley Chapel graduate who watched the game in streetclothes, will undergo surgery on the knee, and Leavitt said he was still optimistic he could return in time to play this season. "He's got a shot," said Leavitt, who had no injuries to report Saturday.
T-MAC IN THE MIDDLE: One of USF’s biggest priorities was replacing senior Ben Moffitt at middle linebacker, and Burnham said he’ll go into the fall with senior Tyrone McKenzie, last year’s leading tackler at strongside linebacker, starting in the middle. Senior Brouce Mompremier returns at weakside, and junior Chris Robinson will have the first shot at the strongside job.