If Saturday’s spring game at Raymond James Stadium gave any indication of the Bulls’ defensive line for this fall, things should be just fine in the trenches.
Even without defensive end George Selvie, who sat out as a precaution against injury, the defense managed six sacks and four tackles for a loss.
“It was effort getting off the ball,” said defensive tackle Aaron Harris. “The offensive line might have messed up on the blocking scheme, but it was just effort.”
Harris made three sacks for 18 yards and had one tackle for loss. Defensive end David Bedford added two sacks for 23 yards.
“A lot of people made a lot of good plays,” Harris said. “(Linebacker) Chris Robinson, (defensive end) Craig Marshall and everybody made some good plays.”
The defensive line helped force three interceptions. Robinson and cornerbacks Tyson Butler and Quenton Washington all had picks.
“I think our defense can get out front and throw things down,” Harris said. “That’s the biggest thing for the game. On the other side everybody made good plays — especially the defensive line.”
Defensive end Patrick Hampton added to the performance with a sack and tackle for a loss.
“Hampton always seems to make plays on the defensive line,” said defensive line coach Kevin Patrick. “I saw Craig Marshall running down the quarterback one time and I said, ‘Yeah, he’s going to catch him.’ You can’t outrun Craig.”
Offensive line coach Mike Simmonds said the Bulls’ front seven forced his unit into a lot of problems.
“We’ve got some guys who’ve played a lot of football on the defensive line and linebackers,” he said. “Anytime you’re going up against a veteran group they’ve got a heads-up on us in that regard. I think the guys went out and fought hard and did some good things.”
Patrick said the spring game was a good start for the defensive line in approaching next year.
“Being able to suck it up a little bit when you’re tired, you only get in that shape when playing in these types of situations,” he said. “I think we got a lot of good experience with that (Saturday). I think it’s going to help us going into next season.”