Offensive flags spoil scrimmage for Taggart
TAMPA -- Tuesday night was USF's final full scrimmage of the preseason, and for coach Willie Taggart, the number of penalties trumped a handful of promising plays by his offense.
"I didn't like the false starts and penalties that hurt you," Taggart said. "I thought offensively when we did something well, we backed it up with something that was two times worse. The inconsistency on the offensive side of the ball I wasn't really happy with. ... We had some nice throws in there. Steven Bench hit Andre (Davis) on a nice deep ball, textbook. That was really nice to see, but then we followed it up with a false start."
Taggart continues to be impressed with true freshman running back Darius Tice of Miami, who is expected to play this fall and is making a case for a bigger role.
"Tice, the kid just keeps doing things for us at running back. He did a great job against our 1 defense," Taggart said. "He broke one for about 50-60 yards, was really impressive, really got our guys going offensively."
Taggart said the intensity on defense -- from starters to the No. 3 unit -- was impressive throughout the scrimmage.
"They came ready to play, had a lot of enthusiasm," he said. "It was good to see. Defensively, they played like it was a game. They really played well. I was very impressed. If we can play like we did then, we're going to have ourselves something special."
THIS AND THAT: USF got two players back after missing much of the past week with injuries -- defensive tackle Luke Sager (hip) was back with the No. 1 defense, and safety Jalen Spencer (shoulder) was back with the No. 2 defense. ... QB isn't the only close competition for USF -- Marvin Kloss and freshman Emilio Nadelman remain neck-and-neck for the kicking job. "Flip a coin," Taggart said. ... USF has three established receivers in Andre Davis, Derrick Hopkins and Deonte Welch. Receivers coach David Reaves named Ruben Gonzalez and Alex Mut, who redshirted last season, next, and said walk-on Jordan Duval (Hillsborough) has been a "big surprise."