Football practice report (Nov. 19)
TAMPA -- USF senior TE Lawrence Martin said he takes full responsibility for a fumble at the goal line in the second quarter of Saturday's 23-10 loss to Memphis.
Martin, who moved from offensive line to tight end -- among other positions -- earlier this season, lined up at fullback on second-and-goal from the 1 with 8:22 to play in the first half.
Martin said it was a play that successfully had been run multiple times in practice during the two weeks leading to the game. But when the time came to run the play for real, Martin said he didn’t have a firm grip on the ball.
"I had a lot of butterflies," Martin said Tuesday. "I was actually thinking about what my celebration was going to be, because I got it every day in practice. I was like, I've got this down pat. I'm going to walk in the end zone.' And it never happened."
If things would have gone as planned, Martin said he was going to celebrate the TD by saluting the troops in attendance for Military Appreciation Night.
SENIOR SENDOFF: USF will honor its 17 seniors and their families with a ceremony during Saturday's home finale against SMU.
LB DeDe Lattimore said it will be emotional playing at Raymond James Stadium for the last time, but he wants to help lay the foundation for the program's future starting with a victory over the Mustangs.
"I don't really know how to take it," Lattimore said. "I've been at South Florida going on five years, playing at Raymond James. Only thing I can say is it's a great opportunity and I'm just trying to get this win to go out even sweeter."
Coach Willie Taggart, acknowledging that some seniors are on their third Bulls coach, said the season's final three games won't be used as preparation for 2014.
"This year's not over, that wouldn't be fair to this football team," Taggart said. "These guys have worked really hard and they've done everything we've asked of them. It's only fair that we all work our tails off to make it right for them."
SPITGATE: Senior RB Marcus Shaw confirmed a Memphis player spit in his face on the play in which Martin fumbled, but said he regrets his actions -- which he didn't reveal -- following the incident.
Shaw drew a personal-foul whistle and was benched the remainder of the first half.
"(Under previous coaches) I probably wouldn't have gotten back in the game," Shaw said. "I would have been out this game, too. ... In the football game, you've got to keep your cool. I just lost it. I should have done something else differently than what I did."
AUDIBLE: "Every year is their year, apparently. But they haven't figured it out yet." -- senior QB and Jesuit High alumnus Bobby Eveld, on the Tigers' Nov. 8 victory against Tampa Catholic. It was Jesuit's 14th consecutive triumph in the series.