USF eager to get into “game week” groove
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 12:08
A grueling eight-month period of hard hitting and intensity has made way for what the USF football team had been preparing for. The first game week of the season has arrived, and the team is ready to get into gameplay mode.
“It’s game week,” coach Skip Holtz said. “We use the terminology that we’re in phase five of the season for this program. We have a different mindset now, camp is done, now it’s on to game-playing weeks.”
Holtz and his players have set their eyes on the regular season and the opportunity to remove the bitter taste from their mouths after a frustrating 2011 campaign.
“Of course we’re excited,” se- nior running back Demetris Murray said. “We finally get to see somebody else on the other side, instead of Sam Barrington or DeDe (Lattimore) or Mike Lanaris across the ball from us.”
Holtz said the team has done what they were looking to do on the physical aspect of the game, and are now in the process of preparing themselves mentally.
“I think they’re ready to start playing somebody other than themselves; I think they’re tired of hitting each other,” Holtz said. “Most of the hard work is done. We may have another day in pads, but now it’s mostly just a lot of mental work.”
Redshirt freshman Max Lang said he believes camp is a necessary part of the team’s preparation, but is happy to be on the other side.
“Camp was, well, camp is camp,” he said. “We wouldn’t have it any other way. There was a lot of hitting, very intense. You don’t necessarily enjoy it, but it’s something you need.”
The Bulls have moved to mental preparation, a process that, Murray said, is as important for game week as physical preparation.
“We just came off of camp, so now we’ll be in shorts for a couple of practices,” he said. “We have to be mentally sharp.
Holtz said the first game week brings with it a change to the team’s approach.
“Now is when we get into playing with wins and losses,” he said. “We’re getting into the season; the mindset is now a 1-0 mentality.”
Though each individual has their own interpretation of the impor- tance and value of summer and fall camps, the team as a whole is ready to begin the season.
“It’s good to be back to campus and game week,” redshirt freshman backup quarterback Matt Floyd said. “We’ve been hitting each other for the past few months, so it’ll be nice to play against someone with a different-colored jersey.”