USF prepares for Green Machine game

It wont even be close, USF assistant head coach Ron Cooper said.

White team is going to take it, he said.

USF defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan agreed.

It really is going to be fun, especially when you get to whoop-up on an old man like this, Bresnahan said jokingly.

This is just some of the playful trash talk the coaches exchanged earlier this week as they prepare to divide the team into white and green uniforms for Saturdays spring game at Raymond James Stadium at 5 p.m.

USF will play its first spring game under Coach Willie Taggart, but this isnt going to be the typical Green and Gold game.

For one, its being dubbed USFs Green Machine spring game, a new name to match Taggarts new take on spring ball.

Last week, Taggart divided his coaching staff into two teams, the Green team and the White team. Each team was given the chance to draft from USFs roster and Taggart played the role of commissioner.

Cooper, the White teams coach, said he has been impressed with Tagarts ideas and more impressed with Taggarts effect on the team.

Coach T has an unbelievable way of getting the team to focus and compete in everything that we do, he said.

The draft also gave the coaches an opportunity to understand each other.

It was fun just to see how coaches from both sides of the ball were thinking, Cooper said.

Leading the White team Saturday, Cooper will be joined on the sideline by offensive coordinator Walt Wells and linebackers coach Raymond Woodie.

Being assisted by defensive line coach Eric Mathies and quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan, is the head coach of the Green team defensive coordinator Bresnahan.

Though the draft made it easy to divide the roster for the team game, Bresnahan said he looks at the draft as a great way to get players involved with Taggarts new program.

One of the big things is that we talked about our guys buying into the plan, he said. Well, when you do something like this, its thinking outside the box and it fits Taggarts vision for where we want to go. Its getting the players involved, getting them to buy into our program and into everything we do and what better way than to have a draft.

With defense having been the standout aspect for USF in its spring practices and scrimmages, having the defensive coordinator leading the Green team, fans can expect some hard-nosed football coming from the green jerseys especially since Bresnahan said he has been more than pleased with the draft results.

Were very happy with what we got, he said. We feel like we have perfect athletes for what we want to do offensively and defensively.

While two different philosophies of football are likely to take place Saturday with the coaching split, Cooper said he likes his team, but understands that a win will not come easy for the Green or White side.

We got who we wanted, Cooper said. Both teams, I think, are evenly divided its going to be a good game.

Taking snaps for Cooper and the White team will be junior Matt Floyd. For the Green team, as expected, will be junior Bobby Eveld.

As for the rest of the roster, it seems that for every standout that one team has, the other team has someone just as notable.

Lining up in the backfield at runningback for the Green team is sophomore Willie Davis, who at 5-foot-9 and 213 pounds, has been showing his size during hitting drills this season, making a name for himself.

For the White team, senior Marcus Shaw will be in the backfield. Shaw from Taggarts first day as head coach has been praised for his work ethic off and on the field.

Along with Shaws praise, leading the defensive line will be senior Luke Sager, who coaches have nicknamed Mr. Consistent.

Sager was an early favorite of Bresnahan with his leadership ability that should be brought to the Green teams defense.

Another early coach favorite for his leadership is senior Devekeyan DeDe Lattimore, who will be playing for the White team.

While the coaches understand how to balance playful trash talk with the most important day of spring football, for Bresnahan the goal is simple.

Its going to be fun, he said. But at the end of the day, its all about how the guys work together and take what weve done in the previous 14 practices and finish with spring ball.