Monday, April 23, 2018
Colleges

Dropped passes draw ire of USF Bulls coach Skip Holtz

PHILADELPHIA — There were issues all over the field in USF's 37-28 loss to Temple on Saturday, but coach Skip Holtz was especially disappointed by receivers consistently dropping passes, stifling an offense struggling to move the ball early.

"The glaring, glaring things offensively were the inconsistency in catching the ball at the wide receiver position," Holtz said. "It made it very hard to get any consistency or anything moving. It seemed like as soon as you start to get some momentum rolling, you drop a couple passes, and then it was 'Punt.' "

USF's drops were worst on its final drive of the first half, when the Bulls led 7-6 and were trying to add to that lead. USF had three clear drops within six plays — by Evan Landi, Andre Davis and Terrence Mitchell, arguably three of the Bulls' best targets. Mitchell dropped another pass on USF's potential go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter, setting up a fourth down. QB B.J. Daniels went 18-for-31 passing Saturday, and Holtz said half of his incompletions could be credited to his receivers.

"I don't know how many drops (Daniels) had, but I bet he had seven," Holtz said. "We're not talking about hard catches. We're talking about balls that were hitting people in the sternum."

RECORD TIED: When Daniels scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, it was the 24th of his USF career, matching Andre Hall (2004-05) for the most in Bulls history.

Daniels' second-quarter fumble came on a play in which his helmet was ripped off his head — no facemask call was made — and Daniels said he didn't know what happened on the play.

"One thing I didn't understand was it happened on the right hash, and my helmet ended up on the left hash," Daniels said. "I couldn't explain that at all."

FIRST START: DE Julius Forte, a Boca Ciega graduate, made his first career start, moving ahead of Armwood's Ryne Giddins. USF didn't get much pressure on Temple QB Chris Coyer, with the defensive line totaling 1.5 tackles for loss. Forte finished with one tackle, while Giddins had two; the other starting end, Tevin Mims, had the Bulls' only sack.

LAST ONE: Wisconsin got an interception against Illinois on Saturday, leaving USF as the only team in Division I-A without one this season. The Bulls have forced zero takeaways in their four-game losing streak.

"I certainly don't want to blame it on luck," Holtz said. "I'm one of those believers who believe if you pressure the quarterback and force him to put the ball up under pressure, you're going to get some opportunities to go get some balls in the air. We have not created turnovers, and that has definitely been a downfall in what we've been doing defensively."

THIS AND THAT: Walk-on WR David Aristil, a first-year football player who was an All-American hurdler in track, made his Bulls debut on the kickoff coverage unit. … P Justin Brockhaus-Kann had a strong game, averaging 43 yards with a long of 60, and only 14 yards in punt returns. … A website called www.skipholtzmustgo.com is calling for Holtz's ouster.

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