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USF journal: Scrimmage reveals tackling still an issue

5

August

USF’s​ ​first​ ​full​ preseason ​scrimmage​ ​Saturday​ ​provided​ ​a​ ​solid​ ​initial​ ​glimpse​ ​of​ ​what​ ​Coach​ ​Charlie Strong​ ​hopes​ ​will​ ​be​ ​an​ ​improved​ ​defense​ ​across​ ​the​ ​board.
 
While​ ​the​ ​group​ ​certainly​ ​passed​ ​the​ ​eye​ ​test​ ​on​ ​a​ ​sweltering​ ​morning -- with​ ​​freshman​ CB ​Bentlee Sanders​ ​providing​ ​arguably​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​highlight​ ​with​ ​a​ ​would-be​ ​pick-six​ ​of​ ​Brett​ ​Kean​ ​from​ ​the goal​ ​line​ ​-- that​ ​doesn’t​ ​mean​ ​Strong​ ​was​ ​content.
 
“You​ ​can’t​ ​give​ ​up​ ​the​ ​big​ ​plays;​ ​you’ve​ ​got​ ​to​ ​tackle​ ​well,”​ ​he​ ​said.​ ​“We’ve​ ​got​ ​to​ ​do​ ​a​ ​better​ ​job of​ ​tackling.​ ​But​ ​just​ ​overall,​ ​we​ ​know​ ​the​ ​mistakes​ ​and​ ​they​ ​can​ ​be​ ​very​ ​correctable.”
 
Miscues​ ​aside,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​a​ ​productive​ ​step​ ​for​ ​a​ ​unit​ ​that​ ​ranked​ ​120th​ ​nationally​ ​(482​ ​ypg)​ ​in total defense in '16.​ ​It​ ​kept​ ​up​ ​a​ ​constant​ ​pressure​ ​at​ ​the​ ​line​ ​throughout​ ​much​ ​of​ ​the half-hour​ ​period​ ​open​ ​to​ ​reporters​, ​before​ ​the​ ​offense​ ​broke​ ​through​ ​with​ ​a​ ​couple​ of ​late​ ​scores during​ ​red-zone​ ​drills. 
 
Aiding​ ​in​ ​that​ ​success​ ​was​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​the​ ​offense​ ​was​ ​without​ ​receivers ​Marquez​ ​Valdes-Scantling, Darnell​ ​Salomon​ ​and​ ​Stanley​ ​Clerveaux,​ ​who​ ​were​ ​not​ ​dressed​ ​out.​ ​Their​ ​absences​ ​allowed some​ ​younger​ ​players​ such as freshman Kevaughn Dingle ​to​ ​get​ ​additional​ ​work​ ​with​ ​Quinton​ ​Flowers​ ​and​ ​the​ ​first-teamers.
 
“We​ ​still​ ​have​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​work​ ​to​ ​do,”​ ​Strong​ ​said.​ ​“Just​ ​too​ ​many​ ​penalties​ ​with​ ​false​ ​starts (and) defense​ ​lining​ ​(up)​ ​offsides.​ ​

"The​ ​thing​ ​we​ ​have​ ​to​ ​do​ ​is​ ​get​ ​a​ ​rhythm​ ​on​ ​offense,​ ​and​ ​then defensively,​ ​we​ ​just​ ​have​ ​to​ ​disrupt​ ​that​ ​rhythm.”
 
FULLWOOD​ ​SIDELINED​:​ ​Senior​ ​S ​Tajee​ ​Fullwood​ ​was​ ​walking​ ​with​ ​the​ ​aid​ ​of​ ​crutches​ ​toward​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​the​ ​scrimmage. Strong​ ​​indicated​ ​the​ ​former​ ​Tampa​ ​Bay​ ​Tech​ ​standout​ ​sustained​ ​“maybe​ ​an​ ​ankle​ ​sprain​ ​or something”​ ​after​ ​getting​ ​dinged​ ​up​ ​earlier​ ​in​ ​the​ ​day,​ ​but​ ​did​ ​not​ ​seem​ ​overly​ ​concerned.
 
“I​ ​think​ ​he’ll​ ​be​ ​okay,”​ ​Strong​ ​said.
 
FEELING GOOD:​ ​​The​ ​scrimmage​ ​provided​ ​senior​ ​MLB​ ​Auggie​ ​Sanchez​ ​the​ ​first test​ ​of​ ​his​ ​surgically-repaired​ ​right​ ​labrum​ ​in​ ​game-like​ ​conditions,​ ​which​ ​he​ ​said​ ​“feels​ ​good​ ​to go.”
 
“My​ ​shoulder​ ​held​ ​up,”​ ​Sanchez​ ​said.​ ​“I’m​ ​a​ ​little​ ​sore​ ​because​ ​we’ve​ ​been​ ​hitting​ ​for​ ​the​ ​past week​ ​or​ ​so,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​felt​ ​good.”
 
ODDS​ ​AND​ ​ENDS​:​ ​When​ ​asked​ ​about​ ​the​ ​potential​ ​development​ ​of​ ​an​ ​indoor​ ​practice​ ​facility, Strong​ ​said​ ​he​ ​did​ ​not​ ​have​ ​any​ ​updates​ ​but​ ​thinks​ ​“it’s​ ​out​ ​there​ ​in​ ​the​ ​future.”​ ​... ​Freshman​ ​RB (and​ ​Hillsborough​ ​High​ ​alumnus)​ ​Duran​ ​Bell​ ​turned​ ​heads​ ​with​ ​a​ ​long​ ​dash​ ​early,​ ​earning compliments​ ​from​ ​both​ ​Strong​ ​and​ ​Flowers​ ​about​ ​his​ ​speed​ ​in​ ​the​ ​open​ ​field.​ ​“I​ ​heard​ ​that​ ​he was​ ​fast​ ​on​ ​the​ ​track,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​see​ ​he​ ​comes​ ​out​ ​on​ ​the​ ​field​ ​and​ ​does​ ​the​ ​same​ ​thing,”​ ​Flowers said.
 
AUDIBLE​:​ ​“They​ ​do​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​things​ ​that​ ​I​ ​haven’t​ ​seen​ ​before.​ ... ​Sometimes​ ​they​ ​stand​ ​up​ ​and they​ ​don’t​ ​give​ ​their​ ​defense​ ​away.​ ​They​ ​show​ ​that​ ​they​ ​can​ ​do​ ​all​ ​types​ ​of​ ​things​ ​on​ ​defense and​ ​that’s​ ​what​ ​you​ ​like​ ​to​ ​see.”​ ​--​ ​Flowers​ ​on​ ​the​ ​progress​ ​he​ ​has​ ​seen​ while ​facing​ ​the​ ​defense. ​

[Last modified: Saturday, August 5, 2017 5:19pm]

    

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