TAMPA — With a short week to prepare for Thursday's game at Cincinnati, USF held a rare Sunday night practice, and if the Bulls want to be at full strength for the Bearcats, they have a lot of healing to do.
Most notable is senior RT Marc Dile, who watched practice with a boot on his injured right foot, making it unlikely he can play. Coach Jim Leavitt and his staff are not commenting on injuries. Freshman Danous Estenor, who played three quarters of Saturday's loss at Louisville in relief of Dile, worked with the first-team line at right tackle.
USF rushed for a record-low 8 yards in Saturday's loss at Louisville, with injuries limiting the carries for top backs Mike Ford and Jamar Taylor. Neither participated in drills Sunday, limping with undisclosed injuries. Taylor had his left ankle wrapped.
TE Trent Pupello (concussion), S Carlton Williams (knee), LB Brouce Mompremier (head/neck) and WR Dontavia Bogan (unknown) also did not practice but could be fine by Thursday.
POLLS: Saturday's loss wasn't enough to knock USF out of the national polls, but the Bulls fell 10 spots to No. 24 in the Associated Press media poll and nine spots to No. 23 in the coaches' poll. USF is the only Big East team ranked in either poll.
FLAG DAY: Watching tape of Saturday's loss didn't make Leavitt any happier about the officiating, questioning several of the Bulls' 14 penalties. He expects to hear from the Big East's director of officiating today about several disputed calls.
"That's something the league office will look at," Leavitt said. "But none of that matters. We didn't play good enough to win. Our offensive line got crushed, we didn't have enough protection on Matt (Grothe) and our defense didn't stop them with nine minutes to go. … Our defense or offense didn't respond in the two losses we've had, but we have responded (against) Central Florida and Kansas. It's been inconsistent."
TIME OFF: Leavitt said freshman LB Quavon Taylor, who is redshirting, has not been allowed to practice or be a part of the team because of problems with missing classes and other obligations.
"When he first came here, he missed all kinds of classes, missed treatments, missed weight room," Leavitt said. "I gave him two or three chances, and he kept missing. So I took football away from him, until he understood what it was to go to class, go to weight room, go to treatment. We're still working on that. Discipline. … I told him, 'I can't take class away, but I can take football away from you.' "
UP FOR GRABS: Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said he likely will decide Tuesday or Wednesday whether to start senior CB Tyller Roberts, who was beaten for a long touchdown pass Saturday, or redshirt freshman Quenton Washington, who replaced him during the game. He said the two will share equal repetitions in practice until a decision is made.
Greg Auman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf.