Athletics events to attend during USF Week

This year’s USF spring game will see over 100 football players looking to solidify their roles on next season’s roster. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Several of USF’s athletic teams are in action during USF Week, starting with baseball on Tuesday, softball on the weekend and culminating in the annual football spring game on Saturday.

Here’s everything you need to know about each of the matchups this week.

Baseball vs. North Florida

On Tuesday night, USF baseball will play a one-off game against the North Florida Ospreys at the USF Baseball Stadium. The Bulls (18-10) are coming off a three-game weekend series against archrivals UCF in which they were swept.

Despite the disappointing weekend, coach Billy Mohl has led an impressive start to the season for USF compared to their streaky form at the beginning of 2021. Twenty-eight games into last season, the Bulls were four games under .500 at 12-16. 

The team is currently six games better with an offense that is scoring two runs more per game than last year’s unit.

Improvement at the plate has been led by sophomore outfielder Drew Brutcher who leads the team in batting average with a strong .333 mark that places him among the 10 best hitters in the AAC. Brutcher is joined in the .300 club by redshirt sophomore infielder/outfielder Carmine Lane (.316) and freshman outfielder Jackson Mayo (.310). 

The same trio also leads USF in home runs, coincidentally in the same order with nine, seven and five, respectively.

On the mound, the Bulls have enjoyed strong pitching from the duo of redshirt sophomores Orion Kerkering and Jack Jasiak. The former leads the team in innings pitched with 41 over eight appearances while the latter leads in ERA at 1.32.

The game against UNF will be streamed on ESPN+ and broadcast on iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited at 6 p.m.

Softball vs. Wichita State

There’s a compelling conference clash going down at the USF Softball Stadium over the weekend as the Bulls (31-10) meet the Shockers in a three-game series that starts Friday.

The appeal of seeing one of college softball’s best pitchers should be more than enough to draw one out, as senior Georgina Corrick will likely shoulder the load in the circle all weekend. She is currently leading the AAC in virtually all major pitching categories.

Corrick, USF’s all-time leader in strikeouts, already has a perfect game this season on March 5 against Florida A&M and threw a program-record-tying seventh no-hitter April 2 against ECU.

At the plate, junior outfielder Alexis Johns has been a standout. Her .365 batting average leads the team and she’s also one of the most disciplined Bulls in the box with just eight strikeouts this season.

Friday’s game against Wichita State begins at 6:30 p.m. while Saturday’s clash starts at 4:30 p.m. Both can be streamed on ESPN+.

Football spring game

USF Week will wrap up on Saturday with the annual football spring game at Raymond James Stadium, a chance for Bulls fans to get a look at the 100+ players in spring camp who hope to make the final roster come fall.

Under coach Jeff Scott, the Bulls are slowly transitioning into a new era with first-year coordinators on both sides of the ball. 

Travis Trickett arrives from West Virginia with an offensive style that relies on fast pace and a diverse passing game. Bob Shoop is at the helm of the defense, installing a scheme loaded with blitzes and aggressive play at the line of scrimmage. 

While the spring game will feature some key returners like sophomore quarterback Timmy McClain, senior running back Jaren Mangham and sophomore All-American kick returner Brian Battie, the real intrigue is catching a glimpse of the fresh faces that will likely make an impact this season.

Keep an eye on sophomore wide receiver Ajou Ajou on offense. The Clemson transfer has a unique physical skill set and could be a huge weapon for whoever’s starting under center in the fall. On defense, Scott has been impressed by the play of freshman defensive back Aamaris Brown and sophomore linebacker DJ Gordon IV.

The spring game will also feature a halftime alumni flag football game where several USF football greats will line up one more time for the fans at Raymond James. Former quarterback BJ Daniels headlines the player group, while current NFL players Marquez Valdes-Scantling, D’Ernest Johnson and Mitch Wilcox will be coaching on the sidelines.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Both 95.3/620 WDAE and iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited will provide radio coverage of the game.