Notes: Defense impresses in first scrimmage
USF's defense made an impression on coach Willie Taggart in Saturday's first spring scrimmage, while the offense was inconsistent and had problems with fumbles, the coach said before Monday's practice.
"I thought our defense played with a lot of enthusiasm. I thought they were running around and making plays," Taggart said. "That was really impressive to see. Offensively, we just didn't play consistently. We'd do some good things, drive the ball down and then have a false start or a fumbled snap. The ball was on the ground too much. The good thing about it is we have a while before we play our first game, and it's all things we can get better at."
Taggart had specific praise for senior CB Josh Brown, who had a fumble recovery and several tackles, competing for a starting job with sophomore Kenneth Durden and junior Torrel Saffold.
"I thought Josh Brown played one heck of a scrimmage," Taggart sad. "He came out with the mentality that 'I'm going to have one of the better scrimmages I've had here,' and it was really impressive."
SIDELINED: RB Marcus Shaw and WR D'Vario Montgomery were held out of Monday's practice with undisclosed injuries, but neither appeared to be out for any extended period of time. Two key defensive players, LB DeDe Lattimore and CB Kenneth Durden, were not seen in the opening half-hour of Monday's practice, but it's unknown if their absence was injury-related.
USF keeps its injured players busy during practice -- offensive lineman Max Lang, who has a cast on his left hand, pulled a sled of weights around the three practice fields, while punter Chris Veron, wearing a boot on his left foot due to a lingering injury, was tasked with pushing a huge stone ball around the same fields.
THIS AND THAT: Former walk-on Marvin Kloss, who has handled USF's kickoff duties the last two seasons, is working as the team's primary place-kicker for field goals and extra points after the graduation of Maikon Bonani. Taggart said he gave Kloss a pressure kick, with conditioning for the entire team on the line, and he made good on a field goal from about 34 yards ... Taggart said he liked what he's seen from junior Deonte Welch at receiver, as well as junior Andre Davis, who he called a "special talent."