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What will USF’s spring game look like? Alex Golesh still deciding

But the new Bulls coach says not to expect a conventional split-squad contest.
 
New USF football coach Alex Golesh leads his team during its inaugural spring practice on March 6. The Bulls' annual spring game, open to the public, will be held on campus April 14.
New USF football coach Alex Golesh leads his team during its inaugural spring practice on March 6. The Bulls' annual spring game, open to the public, will be held on campus April 14. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published April 5, 2023

TAMPA — All the trimmings for USF’s on-campus spring game next week are mostly in place. The April 14 contest at Corbett Stadium will include food and beverage stations, a beer garden, kids’ events and cornhole.

As for the main offering? That remains in flux.

What appears fairly certain is that Bulls fans hoping for their first glimpse of the sleek, heralded offensive system installed by new coach Alex Golesh won’t see a conventional four-quarter intrasquad contest.

“I don’t think numbers-wise we’ll be able to do that in certain spots like wideout ... (offensive) line-wise — it would be unhealthy to do that,” said Golesh, coordinator of the nation’s top scoring offense (47.3 points per game) at Tennessee last season.

“So, as of last week, my thought was to go (offense vs. defense), do some situational football, do some drives, and then do something fun competition-wise, whether it’s one-on-ones or ... something fun that’s uniquely different.”

Related: A USF football assistant almost laughed at this Golesh offense detail

The game — free and open to the public — begins at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 5. Parking (in Lot 18/Sycamore Drive and Yuengling Center Lots 6 and 22) also is free. Fans are asked to register in advance to receive a free mobile ticket.

The contest also will be streamed live on ESPN+ and can be heard on 102.5-HD2 and via Bulls Unlimited on TuneIn.

The Bulls held their most extensive scrimmage to date with a 102-play session Saturday that was closed to the public but featured roughly 300 recruits. Golesh, who also put his team through its entire pregame routine before the scrimmage, called it “really, really a good day” but acknowledged the Bulls are “beat up a little bit at certain spots.”

They entered spring drills with a handful of offensive skill players already limited due to prior injuries, including quarterbacks Gerry Bohanon and Katravis Marsh, receiver Khafre Brown and left tackle Donovan Jennings.

“Anybody that’s, like, dinged up, I’m being really, really cautious to put somebody out there (in the spring game) knowing that now we’re four months out of the season,” Golesh said. “Trying to protect our guys a little bit.”

Those who do participate were afforded some additional incentive Tuesday by junior defensive end Tramel Logan, whose unit is trying to atone for a 2022 season in which it was one of the worst statistically in major college football.

“I just know defense is going to win the day,” Logan said. “If you’re hoping to come see the offense do this and that, you’re going to be disappointed. ... Just expect the defense to cause havoc and be dominant out there.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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