Center Nick Capogna will not play in USF’s game against Auburn Saturday. The senior injured his left leg in the Bulls’ season
opener against Elon and was on crutches at USF’s practice Tuesday. It is unknown when he will return.
According to coach Jim Leavitt, junior Jake Griffin will handle the center duties until Capogna returns, and freshman Sampson Genus will get more reps at the position during practice this week.
Denson staying put
Saturday’s game will be a homecoming for senior Courtney Denson, who
transferred to USF from Auburn after the 2003
After changing positions numerous times in his career at USF, Leavitt has confirmed that Denson will remain at receiver for his final year with the Bulls.
“It’s his last season,” Leavitt said. “We can’t bounce him (around anymore). If we bounce him around, his career is over. So, yes, he’s staying at receiver.”
Denson, who has played quarterback, defensive back and receiver in his time at USF, had five catches for 59 yards in the 2007 spring game and caught two passes for 35 yards against Elon.
“I’m getting more
comfortable,” Denson said. “I’m feeling more like a
wide-out every day.”
Running back still
Despite a solid performance by freshman running back Mike Ford in the Bulls’ season opener, USF will continue to use several players in the running game.
“We’re playing four or five guys right now,” Leavitt said. “And it will stay that way for a little while as we keep going and finding out more.”
Six players had carries for the Bulls against Elon, totaling 135 yards. Running backs who saw action against the Phoenix included Ford, senior Benjamin Williams and freshmen Jamar Taylor and Aston Samuels. Receivers Taurus Johnson and Carlton Mitchell each had one carry.
Unlike many schools around the country, USF will not be using speakers to simulate the excessive crowd noise that is expected from the at-capacity crowd of 87,451 at Jordan-Hare stadium this weekend.
According to Leavitt, the
distraction caused by simulating a crowded stadium on the practice field outweighs any potential benefits.
“We’ve brought in the noise before and it just manages to hurt my ears,” Leavitt said. “I can’t enjoy practice and I lose my focus on practice. Then we can’t get ready.”
One school that employed the technique this season was Eastern Carolina, which used loudspeakers to simulate crowd noise at practice in the week before its season opener against Virginia Tech. The Hokies d
efeated the Pirates 17-7 at Lane Stadium last weekend.