Benzer working to end kicking woes

There are a handful of Bulls players who stay late after practice. Linebacker Stephen Nicholas is known to be the last one to leave the field. Receiver Amarri Jackson takes 15-20 extra catches before he jogs back to the athletic facility. Even quarterback Matt Grothe has thrown extra routes to receivers Ean Randolph and Taurus Johnson.

But this week there is another trio of players staying the latest.Kicker Mike Benzer has stayed much later in practice this week, working on his field goals of 30 yards or more with holder Anthony Severino and long snapper Ryan Bordeau. The sophomore is 1-for-7 in field-goal attempts in his short career at USF, and according to coach Jim Leavitt, Benzer has to get better to help his team.

“He looked good (at the end of practice),” said Leavitt, who is also the special teams coach. “He doesn’t want to miss; unfortunately he has. Having a good kicking game is important. It makes a difference. It was the difference in the Rutgers game, even if we had blocked their 53-yarder.”

Leavitt added he hasn’t changed his coaching technique even though Benzer struggles.

“I don’t do anything different. I just go out there and look at (what he does), keep him working hard,” Leavitt said.

“Everyone’s personality is different, and I don’t want to do anything different. Mike is a good kicker – has a strong leg, but he has to get better.”

Ready to play: Connecticut linebacker Donta Moore, who broke his right arm against Navy, is listed as a starter for Saturday’s game. Leavitt said he was not surprised Moore would play because it’s a crucial conference game.