Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

DC's view still in question for USF

TAMPA — The forthcoming defensive changes to which USF coach Willie Taggart has vaguely alluded could involve the game-night vantage point of Raymond Woodie.

The beleaguered Bulls first-year coordinator, who has spent the first eight games in the coaches box, said it remains a "game-time decision" as to where he will spend Friday night's contest against No. 22 Navy.

"Right now I think we've got a good plan, but if I need to come down (on the sideline), I'll come down," said Woodie, whose team will try to rally from last Friday's 46-30 loss at Temple.

"But I think the kids so far, they're excited for this challenge, so we're gonna make some adjustments where needed and whatever it takes. We're gonna do whatever it takes to go out here and perform well."

Immediately after that loss, in which Temple totaled 528 yards and possessed the ball more than 39 minutes, Taggart harped on the failure of his staff to "put guys in the position to make the plays." He later pointed to the Bulls' collective lack of energy, failure to fill gaps and improper tackling angles.

On Wednesday, Woodie said those shortcomings fall on him: "I'm the DC, and we've got to have guys make plays, and once we put 'em in position, we've got to have everybody running and … making plays to fit what we do. And that's what we're gonna do."

HEALTHY GATORS: Florida's defense should be closer to full strength against Georgia on Saturday. Defensive tackle Joey Ivie (Pasco High) is expected to return after missing two games with a thumb injury, coach Jim McElwain said. Defensive end Jordan Sherit (Hillsborough) should be back but limited as he recovers from knee surgery. Defensive lineman Bryan Cox (thumb) likely will be available, and linebacker Jarrad Davis (ankle) will be a game-time decision.

FAME: Gary "Big Hands" Johnson of Grambling State, Harold Jackson of Jackson State and longtime coach Billy Joe, who won the Black College national championship with Florida A&M in 1998, are among the latest class selected for induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Joe won 243 games, second only to Eddie Robinson among coaches at black colleges. Also joining them is Parnell "Paydirt" Dickinson of Mississippi Valley State, who played his one and only seasons in the NFL with the expansion Buccaneers in 1976.

Staff writers Joey Knight and Matt Baker contributed to this report.

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