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Offenses struggle in sloppy Spring contest

A halved USF football team didn’t put on much of a show as Green beat White 14-7 in USF’s Spring Football Game at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday.

Call it subtraction by division.

“When we put all our guys together that we have on one team, we have a chance,” coach Jim Leavitt said. “We really do.”

Fans hoping to catch a first glimpse of quarterback Courtney Denson were out of luck, as the Auburn transfer didn’t play due to an injured ankle.

Returning starter Pat Julmiste threw for 40 yards and walk-on Anthony Severino completed 11-of-34 passes and threw three late interceptions that cost White the game.

Bothered by a sore shoulder, Julmiste completed 5-of-18 passes and ran for 32 yards.

“We know we have to be great at that position,” Leavitt said. “It’s going to be pretty competitive to find out what’s going to happen at that position.”

Julmiste and Severino will compete with Denson and recruit Carlton Hill for the starting job.

“We have a few coming in that we’re going to look at real hard,” Leavitt said. “We’re going to give those guys a lot of reps.”

After an Andre Hall two-yard touchdown run on White’s opening drive, the announced crowd of 3,800 had to wait until the game’s final minutes to see another point scored.

Down 7-0 with five minutes left in the game, Green’s Danny Verpaele returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown.

On White’s next possession, Severino threw another interception, this time to Drametrice Smith, that led to an Ed Louis go-ahead one-yard touchdown run with 1:58 to go.

On White’s next possession, Verpaele picked off Severino again to seal the victory for Green.

Andre Hall, who broke the single-season rushing record last season, carried only six times for 22 yards and one score.

Potential backup freshman Ricky Ponton rushed 17 times for 65 yards, but also lost two fumbles.

Leavitt, who now must prepare for the 2005 season-opener at Penn State on Sept. 3, was optimistic following the sluggish game.

“What I loved about this was I saw some emotion, some enthusiasm there, and all the guys played hard,” Leavitt said. “I think we can go out there and compete. I think this group can be really good.”