Starting center practices despite leaving game early

Junior center Nick Capogna, who has started every football game this season, was taken out of the game during the first half of USF’s 22-20 loss to No. 24 Rutgers on Friday night. Capogna wore a cast on his left hand last week in practice.

Sophomore Ryan Schmidt replaced Capogna against the Scarlet Knights. Coach Jim Leavitt said he thought Schmidt “did OK” and that Capogna wasn’t limited at practice Monday night, but he didn’t say who would start Saturday against the University of Connecticut.

“He could’ve went (back) in and played (in) the last game, but we were a little concerned about the snapping,” Leavitt said about Capogna. “I don’t know who’s going to start this week; it depends on how they practice.”

Failure to split the uprights: Sophomore kicker Mike Benzer’s struggles continued in Friday’s loss. After missing a 40-yard attempt in the second quarter, Benzer is 1-for-4 this season and 1-for-7 during his career at USF.

However, despite another missed field goal, Leavitt said Benzer will start Saturday against the Huskies.

“We’re going with Benzer this week,” Leavitt said.

Tackle still out: Junior defensive tackle Richard Clebert, who started against Florida International University and the University of Central Florida, is still out with a torn groin and may not return this season.

“I’m not planning on him playing anytime this year at all,” Leavitt said. “He says he’s taking it day by day, but we’re not planning on playing him.”

Bulls on TV: USF’s football game at the University of North Carolina on Oct. 14 will be played at noon and can be seen on ESPNU. The Bulls’ last ACC match-up was at the Meineke Car Care Bowl last season in Charlotte where they lost 14-0 to North Carolina State.

Several broadcasts for the men’s basketball team were announced Monday. The Bulls will have their Dec. 29 game against Wake Forest at the St. Pete Times Forum shown on ESPN2. It was also announced that USF’s Jan. 7 game against Pittsburgh will be the Big East game of the week, while the Bulls’ match-ups with Cincinnati and Providence will be aired on ESPNU and ESPN 360, respectively.

Atop the leader board: Golfer junior Tyler Hitchcock is leading the Memphis Intercollegiate Tournament by three strokes after shooting a career-low 65 in the first round Monday. Hitchcock was also the leader after one round last week when he shot a 68 on the first day of the Adams Cup of Newport.