VERO BEACH — It was a rough day for quarterback B.J. Daniels and most of USF's offense, with just one touchdown in about 150 snaps as the Bulls held their first scrimmage before about 400 fans at Vero Beach Sports Village on Saturday.
"Right now we're a long way from being productive as an offensive football team," coach Skip Holtz said. "With the penalties and dropped passes and missing open receivers and inconsistencies in the passing game, it's very difficult to get anything into rhythm. We've got a lot of work to do right now, but I think the attitude is good and they're willing."
Daniels, running the No. 1 offense and coming back from offseason surgery on his nonthrowing shoulder, was off early, hitting one of his first 12 passes for 13 yards. He finished 7-of-22 for 70 yards, with a 20-yard run on his first play of the scrimmage.
"A little rusty; there's a lot of things I can definitely improve on to help the team," said Daniels, who rushed for a team-high 40 yards, with plays whistled dead when he was touched by a defender. "Defense usually comes along a little faster than offense, but we're getting better."
In the battle for the No. 2 quarterback job, freshman Jamius Gunsby looked sharp, going 12-of-17 for 169 yards, including a 58-yard bomb to receiver Faron Hornes that set up the only touchdown, a 4-yard run by redshirt freshman Bradley Battles.
"(Gunsby) handled himself very well; he's athletic, did some good things with his feet, stood in the pocket and made some nice throws," Holtz said. "He's had some passion, some energy about him. I thought he did a good job running the football team. … He can keep some things alive with his running ability."
Aside from the long pass to Hornes, the defense didn't allow any other plays longer than 26 yards. The defense had three interceptions by safeties — senior Mistral Raymond, redshirt freshman JaQuez Jenkins and true freshman Reshard Cliett — all against walk-on freshman from Jesuit Bobby Eveld, who finished 2-of-15 for 21 yards.
"I'm very pleased with the way the defense played as a whole," Raymond said. "Any time you can come out here and go 150 snaps and give up one touchdown, you've got to love that ratio."
Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said he was pleased with the production of his defense but disappointed by the lack of fire he saw in the scrimmage.
"Defense is all about emotion and enthusiasm, and we were a little lacking (Saturday)," Snyder said.
In all, 16 players caught passes, with walk-on receiver Stephen Bravo-Brown leading with four catches (29 yards) and Hornes leading with 58 receiving yards. The running game wasn't a strong point, with six backs combining for 86 yards on 44 carries; true freshman Marcus Shaw had the best numbers with 38 yards on 11 carries, but overall, the backs had 23 carries that gained 1 yard or less.