Since the start of spring camp, several players have had to switch positions to compensate for a lack of depth at wide receiver.
Evan Landi switched from quarterback and sophomores Lindsey Lamar and Joel Miller from running back, to name a few.
Coach Skip Holtz said Wednesday there are no more pieces to move.
“The ones that are there are the ones we have to play at this point,” Holtz said. “We don’t have any other options. There’s no more putting a guy at another position. We just have to get as good as we can get between now and next Saturday.”
Aside from a few positions, Holtz said the current makeup of the team seems a little short in numbers, as depth has been hurt with injuries at key positions such as receiver and offensive line. Offensive lineman Mark Popek and wide receivers Sterling Griffin and A.J. Love – all potential starters – will miss the team’s first few games.
“We just have to continue to develop the depth on this team. That’s what I worry about,” Holtz said. “The ones have to become better. The twos have to become ones, and the three have to become twos. That’s the push we have every day. That’s the struggle you have all year long because you never know when injuries are going to come up.”
One of the better battles in fall camp has been over one of the least heralded positions on the field.
Holtz said redshirt sophomore Maikon Bonani and senior Eric Schwartz are in a camp-long battle for field goal kicking duties this season.
“We have two guys who are kicking pretty well,” Holtz said. “It’s gone back and forth. This week, this guy’s outkicked him by two kicks and then the next week this guy has outkicked the other by two.”
Schwartz, a former walk-on, had field goal kicking duties for most of last season, and was listed first on the most recent depth chart, which was released Wednesday. Holtz said Sunday that Bonani had the slight edge.
But after practice Wednesday, Holtz said Bonani and Schwartz are essentially even right now.
“It’s going to go probably right into the middle of next week when we decide on who’s going to be a starter.”
Holtz updated the status of a few key players Wednesday. Love, who tore his ACL in the spring game, is expected to be back in mid-to-late October, while Griffin, who suffered a broken and dislocated ankle during voluntary offseason workouts in late June, is expected back in early October, Holtz said after practice … “Don’t believe we’ve had any setbacks,” he said. … Senior LB Sabbath Joseph (concussion) returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out a few days … “You are always careful with a concussion because they can be so dangerous … Freshman OL Jake Kaufman was wearing a protective boot and didn’t practice Wednesday, nursing a right ankle injury.