Thursday, April 26, 2018
Colleges

USF football preview, odds and ends

Barring injury or a sudden desire to throw in another direction, senior WR Andre Davis (above) will own every major Bulls receiving record by the end of the season — or even the end of nonconference play.

The former Jefferson High star enters 2014 needing 107 receiving yards, 15 catches and five TD receptions to become the Bulls' career leader in each category. He had 49 catches for a USF season-record 735 yards last fall.

"Andre's having a really good camp," coach Willie Taggart said last week. "The kid has unbelievable ball skills and always talks to the quarterbacks about getting the ball near him, he's going to give you a chance. Some of the catches he's making are unbelievable. It's great coverage, he's just making unbelievable catches."

Remaining nameless

Now that USF has entered the nameless-jersey era (after a thwarted attempt to have "THE TEAM" in place of last names on the backs), it should be noted 13 numbers are shared by two Bulls.

In each case, the number is worn by one offensive and one defensive player, so confusion on game nights should be minimal. Example: S Jamie Byrd and QB Steven Bench both wear No. 2.

"At the spring we came to the conclusion that we don't want to be individuals out there," fifth-year senior DT Todd Chandler said. "We want to be a team."

A hot start

For the first time in USF's 18-year football history, the Bulls will have two afternoon home kickoffs (Maryland, N.C. State) in September. In their previous 17 seasons, only two September home games — Miami (2013) and North Carolina ('07) — had afternoon starts. Both of those contests kicked off shortly after noon.

By the numbers

1 Opener won by coach Willie Taggart, entering his fifth year as a head coach.

4 Returning offensive linemen — C Austin Reiter, LT Darrell Williams, RT Brynjar Gudmundsson and RG Quinterrius Eatmon — who started at least 11 games last season (Gudmundsson and Eatmon have switched spots this year).

29.8 Percent of players in the 2012 preseason camp who hailed from the greater Tampa Bay area (Polk, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Sarasota or Manatee counties).

38.9 Percent of Bulls players in preseason camp this year who hail from the same area.

90 Approximate weight lost (in pounds) in the offseason by defensive line coach Eric Mathies, according to Taggart.

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

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