“Who?” became a popular question Saturday night, as USF dominated the first two quarters, and put in players who had never played a single down. After the Bulls went up 28-0, USF coach Jim Leavitt reached far down into the bench and gave playing time to his second and third teamers, who haven’t been heard from.
Saturday’s game gave new insight to the depth of the Bulls’ bench, and allowed players who had never been given a chance before to prove themselves and get a little hands-on training. If there was anything to be gleaned from the Bulls’ 56-6 victory against Charleston Southern, every single player saw time on the field.
“We got about everybody in the football game,” Leavitt said.
One player who garnered the most attention was redshirt freshman wide receiver Cedric King.
King caught a pass for a 22-yard gain, his first career reception, and then got his hands on the ball again as he rushed for 16 yards on a reverse. King who never touched the ball this season had touchdown hopes.
“Every time I touch the ball, I think all the way, that’s me,” King said.
A combined 38 yards in two plays gave the second-team offense a good reputation, and perhaps even supplied Leavitt with some more confidence in his depth.
“We feel that whoever gets out there can produce, and that’s what it takes to win,” said King.
King was not the only player to make a mark in Saturday’s game Billy Henderson, another redshirt freshman, carried the ball 11 times for 51 yards, surpassing his season total by 20 yards.
Even the defense had some players with career firsts. Freshman Jon Simmons, originally a tight end, had his first career sack Saturday.
In all, the Bulls played 74 players in Saturday’s game, a rare occasion in college football, giving second and third string players a chance to play some football. This course of action was not by design though. The team treated this game as any other, and they came out to win.
“We wanted our first team to get out there and play good, if they went up by enough points for us to get in, that was a bonus,” King said.