Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls' offensive line has ever-changing cast early in season

TAMPA — Coach Skip Holtz said Tuesday that he wants more consistency in all phases of the game. But it's hard to be consistent while shuffling personnel every week — specifically on the offensive line. Through five games USF has seen four combinations of starting linemen.

Offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler said he thinks the trial and error has paid off.

"We've got the best five playing," he said. "It took a little while to get that going, but this is the best five we've got right now."

Those five are LT Damien Edwards, LG Mark Popek, C Austin Reiter, RG Danous Estenor and RT Quinterrius Eatmon. But even this group has seen slight tweaks, with Edwards and Popek swapping positions twice this season.

UP IN THE AIR: After muffing punts in back-to-back games, WR Terrence Mitchell was relieved of his duties against Ball State by Evan Landi. Mitchell, from Hillsborough High, got his job back against Rutgers, but fumbled a punt return, and against Florida State he muffed another that was recovered by USF. The Seminoles' final punt was fair caught by WR Andre Davis. Holtz said Landi, Davis, and DB Kenneth Durden are possible replacements. The Bulls want a pair of sure hands against Temple P Brandon MacManus, who is fourth in the nation, averaging 47.1 yards per punt.

Joe Polito, Times correspondent

UF: Facing tough D

GAINESVILLE — The Gators are preparing to face one of their toughest challenges in No. 4 LSU. The Tigers are No. 4 nationally in total defense (217.8 yards per game), No. 6 in pass defense (134.8) and No. 9 in scoring defense (12.6 points).

"As you can tell, they're a pretty good defense, pretty stout on the defensive line and have some high motor guys that don't give up," TB Hunter Joyer said. "It's going to be a challenge blocking and moving the ball, but I think we can do it."

Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said it's imperative that the Gators figure out how to handle the Tigers' stellar four-man front.

"You can't let the good players beat you," Pease said. "They've got a lot of good players, so we've got to kind of pick our poison. … They roll with two different groups, so they're rolling seven, eight or nine guys at times, but their four-man rush really gets to you, so they don't have to do a lot of blitzing and scheme-wise, try to mix it up on you."

CORRECTING MISTAKES: One of LSU's major concerns is eliminating mistakes and penalties. LSU leads the SEC with 42 penalties. In Saturday's win over Towson, the Tigers had 10 penalties, five fumbles, four sacks and three turnovers. "Offensively, the uncharacteristic turnovers, I'm glad they are getting them out of the way early as much as I hate to see them, because we can't afford that as we go forward," coach Les Miles said. "On a team that we coach ball security aggressively, it will continue again (Monday), and Tuesday and Wednesday and right through (the week). I can't imagine that won't get addressed well and fixed."

Antonya English, Times staff writer

UCF: Murray healthy

ORLANDO — UCF senior RB Latavius Murray is slated to return Thursday against East Carolina. He missed three games with a shoulder injury; he was cleared to play last week against Missouri but wasn't inserted into the rotation.

Orlando Sentinel

UM: DT doutful

CORAL GABLES — Miami DT Olsen Pierre is doubtful for Saturday's game against Notre Dame in Chicago, coach Al Golden said. Pierre has missed two days of practice with an injury. Golden said LB Denzel Perryman looked good in practice after missing two games with a leg injury.

Sun Sentinel

This week's games

UCF: vs. East Carolina, 8 p.m. Thursday. TV: CBSSN

USF: at Temple, noon Saturday. TV: Ch. 28

UF: vs. LSU, 3:30 p.m. Saturday. TV: Ch. 10

UM: vs. Notre Dame at Chicago, 7:30 p.m. Saturday. TV: Ch. 8

FSU: at North Carolina State, 8 p.m. Saturday. TV: ESPN2

USF Bulls' offensive line has ever-changing cast early in season 10/02/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.