Practice report: Bresnahan believes
An extended report from Wednesday's USF football practice:
As much as anyone within USF's program, veteran defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan knows about life on the wrong side of the proverbial hump.
And his experience tells him the Bulls are on the brink of clearing it. "I think it's a lot closer than (the players) even think," he said Wednesday.
Bresnahan was an assistant on Bobby Ross' staff at Georgia Tech, when Ross orchestrated one of the most staggering turnarounds in Division I history. The Yellow Jackets, winners of five total games in 1987-88, won the national title in '90.
"It can be done," said Bresnahan, who coached tight ends ('88) and inside linebackers ('89-91) at Georgia Tech.
"It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of determination and not blinking an eye, staying in what you believe in. And Coach (Willie) Taggart's set the vision and he's held true to it and the guys are buying into it, that's the biggest key."
BEARCAT BALANCE: Cincinnati's loss of senior QB Munchie Legaux to a gruesome knee injury in a Week Two loss to Illinois hasn't affected its run-pass ratio.
The Bearcats (3-1), who face USF in Saturday night's American Athletic Conference opener for both teams, rank second in the conference in rushing offense (222.8 yards per game) and fifth in passing (257.0).
Sixth-year senior Brendon Kay has replaced Legaux, with former Plant City High star Bennie Coney the backup.
"They may not run as much zone-read option as they did before," Bresnahan said, "but they may throw a little bit more of the intermediate routes than they did, because Kay's doing a great job getting the ball out and making good, quick decisions."
JOHNSON OUT: The anticipated homecoming for a trio of bay area Bearcats has been reduced by one-third. Freshman TE Travis Johnson (Jesuit) revealed via Twitter that he underwent surgery Wednesday for a partially torn labrum.
Still, WR Chris Moore (Jefferson) is expected to start and QB Bennie Coney (Plant City) will be one injury from taking significant snaps under center at Raymond James Stadium.
BULL BITS: Speaking of oh-so-close, Bresnahan said on two of Miami's touchdown passes last week, the Bulls hit the quarterback just as he released the ball. "The thing that we got caught off-guard was by the speed of their team (on the receiving end)," he said. ... With 525 rushing yards in four games, Bulls TB Marcus Shaw is well on pace to break the program's single-season record (1,374) set by Andre Hall in 2005.