USFs defensive line took a major hit Monday, as a presumed starter sustained an injury that will keep him sidelined for the near future.
Rising senior Cory Grissom fractured his right fibula near the ankle in a non-contact fumble drill Monday morning as the Bulls returned to the practice field for the first time since Saturdays Green and Gold Bowl. Grissom was carted off the field.
USF announced the injury a few hours later, saying that surgery has been scheduled for Thursday and the recovery time is unknown.
Elkino Watson joins Luke Sager in the starting positions on the depth chart.
Grissom served as one of two defensive captains in Saturdays public scrimmage and is the most experienced player in a position of little depth. He had 38 tackles last season, the most among USF defensive tackles, and 1.5 sacks. He also forced and recovered one fumble.
Grissoms injury is the second major injury the defense has suffered in the last week, with backup defensive end Anthony Hill tearing his ACL last Wednesday.
Grissoms injury, which occurred in a non-contact drill, is not the first strange injury of the spring for USF.
Tight end Andreas Shields left practice last week with a pancreas deformity that required medical attention, according to coach Skip Holtz. Its not expected to limit Shields career beyond this spring.
Defensive back JaQuez Jenkins returned to practice Monday, a week after sustaining a concussion in a non-contact drill by running into Todd Chandler while running onto the field.
Too many penalties
One of the biggest reasons the USF offense excelled in the Green and Gold Bowl was
second chances gifted by defensive penalties.
The things that I was really disappointed on was the penalties, defensive coordinator Chris Cosh said. We had 13 penalties on defense. We had two on one play twice. That really needs to be fixed and addressed and well do that. Its hard to stop people. You dont want to give them free yards.
Cosh, who previously held the defensive coordinator position at Kansas State, is new to USF this season, but excessive penalties for the Bulls are not.
In a 16-10 loss to Connecticut last season, USF committed nine penalties for 89 yards.
Against West Virginia in the season finale, a key personal foul on defensive end Ryne Giddins gave the Mountaineers a second-and-2, instead of third-and-17. West Virginia tied the game with a touchdown later on the drive, winning 30-27 with a last-second field goal.