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Bulls defense bringing competitive edge to upcoming spring game

USF coach Alex Golesh said he coached against defensive coordinator Todd Orlando before and his defensive play calling stood out to him. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

While the spring game on April 14 will be USF fans’ first look into Bulls coach Alex Golesh’s team, he said he is not going to call any “crazy” plays.

Along with protecting the athletes’ health, Golesh said he is going to coach conservatively since the scrimmage will be broadcast on ESPN+ and he doesn’t want anything to be recorded and rewatched that could reveal his game plan.

“I just want to see guys compete and play hard… and not do anything crazy. I want to see a packed Corbett [stadium] and a bunch of people having fun,” Golesh said. “I think it’ll be the first time I’ll get to meet face-to-face with some fans. I think it should just be a fun night of us celebrating the end of spring ball.”

Despite playing it safe, the athletes are still expected to perform with intensity and to approach next Friday like a real football game. 

Junior defensive end Tramel Logan said there is a contest between the offense and the defense to win the spring game. He said that same competition translates to practice, pushing the players to work harder. 

“I just know defense is going to win the [spring game]. So if you’re hoping to come see the offense do this and that, you’re going to be disappointed. Just expect the defense to cause havoc and be dominant out there in the spring game, that’s for sure,” Logan said.

The idea of USF providing commanding defense is welcomed considering its underperformance last season. The Bulls ranked last in the NCAA College Football FBS standings in total defense. However, Golesh said the two things he looks for in a quality defense is variety and creating havoc plays, which defensive coordinator Todd Orlando does well in coaching. 

Golesh said Orlando is bringing versatile play calling to USF, which makes for an unpredictable defense. 

“Using tempo to our advantage, you want to force offense to either be stagnant or leave people unblocked,” Golesh said. “The second thing is a third down package where you can get the defense off the field. You’ve got to create sacks and you’ve got to create turnovers. You’ve got to get the ball back.”

A defensive-minded team cannot be built without a strong culture. Golesh said he believes his job is to relieve stress off of his players so they can perform their best as student athletes. 

In Golesh’s eyes, being a high-level football player also means being a good person. Being honest and treating people the right way are traits Golesh believes players should exemplify at all times

“If you’re telling people the truth, there’s genuine respect. We’re going to treat kids the right way, we’re gonna demand a lot of them and we’re going to work extremely hard. We’re going to outwork everybody in college football, both as a team and as a staff,” Golesh said. 

“Be who you say you are. That is our culture.”