Offense shines during Green and Gold Bowl

Coach Skip Holtz, who was discouraged by his team’s inability to move the ball during last week’s Spring Game, commended his offense for a productive outing in Saturday’s Green and Gold Bowl at the USF Soccer/Track Stadium.

The team totaled 43 points in the final spring scrimmage, in contrast to the disappointing 17 put up last week in Raymond James Stadium.

“Our quarterbacks actually gave them a chance to catch it, where a week ago we threw it 20 yards over everybody’s heads,” Holtz said.

“It was good to see them be efficient,” offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said.

Quarterback B.J. Daniels led his first-team offense to four scores on seven drives. With a more balanced attack of run and pass plays, USF quarterbacks were much more accurate. Running backs Darrell Scott and Demetris Murray rushed for a combined 136 yards and two touchdowns.

“It helps a lot, especially with play-action pass, getting us out of bad situations,” Daniels said. “They can really help out and make my job a little bit easier – being able to turn my back on the defense and suck guys in because they’re worried about the threat of the run.”

The offense wasn’t the only group making plays. Mark Snyder’s defense forced four turnovers, including a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by junior cornerback Kayvon Webster. The defensive coordinator has been encouraged by his group’s playmaking this spring after recording very few takeaways last season.

“I liked what I saw today,” Snyder said. “We didn’t have to create things with a whole bunch of calls, came away with a few turnovers.”

In addition, the defense recorded four sacks – two by defensive end Claude Davis. The senior credited his fellow defensive linemen, whose pressure allowed him enough space to rush off the edge and get into the backfield. Snyder was also pleased with consistent tackling and pass deflections that saved big plays.

Heavy hitters

Sophomore quarterback Bobby Eveld said he felt much better Saturday after taking a shot to the jaw on the first play of last week’s Spring Game. Still, the Bulls’ defense showed no mercy, with collisions that both looked and sounded painful.

“That’s part of the game – they’re just going hard,” Eveld said. “I can’t blame them.”

Holtz loved the hard hits his team doled out, but was most happy to end the spring without devastating injuries.

“The biggest positive: I think we came out of this one very healthy,” Holtz said. “We weren’t able to say that a year ago this time.”

Dropping the ball

While the offense had a better game overall, Holtz pointed to the receivers as the group that needed the most work. USF wideouts dropped a number of catchable balls – a problem Holtz said can be fixed by making it a point to attack the ball.

“We had two or three interceptions with opportunities to compete for it at receiver,” Holtz said.