There's no question that USF Head Coach Skip Holtz enjoys the Bulls annual fan fest and the opportunity to intermingle with the USF faithful.
"I love fan fest," said Holtz. "It gives the players a chance to intermingle with fans, and get up close and personal. All the players were excited to run out of the tunnel, and it gives us a chance to put faces with those bodies that are in the stands. It's a fun day for us."
As the USF football team gets ready to open their season in less than two weeks, Holtz is shifting to game mode.
"It's that time of the year that says the season is upon us and that everything is coming to an end as we get into game week mode." Right now we're starting to get more and more into the season and that's what we're excited about and what the fans are excited about."
After a day of signing autographs and taking pictures Holtz commented on what where those photos might end up during the season.
"It' will be on their mantle or their dartboards depending on which way the season goes," said Holtz. "There's an awful a lot of excitement and energy around this program and it showed after intermixing with the fans today."
After falling short last season, Holtz said that they don't feel pressure to win, but do have a different attitude and are using that heading into the season.
"I wouldn't necessarily say there's pressure, I would think if anything after last season's performance, there's a chip on our shoulder," said Holtz. "This is a proud group of guys, and a very proud group of seniors that are really making a strong commitment."
"They realize that we can't erase the feelings of last year in a day, in a summer, in a fall camp. The only way to erase that is to have 12 games under our belt and to make sure that this is a successful season and I think that's putting a chip on everybody's shoulder and putting an awful lot of determination in this senior class."
On the scrimmage
"There are a lot of guys playing really well," said Holtz. "Austin Reiter is getting better and better at center. I thought the running backs ran extremely hard, and thought that Murray and Shaw ran physical and hard and are really bringing something to the table. I thought the receivers didn't catch the ball as well as the rest of the camp, but I was pleased overall."
"Defensively, I really like our defensive front. With the way they can move with their athleticism, they can present one of the strength we have on defense," said Holtz. "Sam Barrington and Mike Lanaris are really playing well and Reshard Cliett is really growing up."
"Overall it was a good scrimmage," said Holtz. "But it was the sixteenth day of camp, and we're a little bit tired as a football team and that showed in the scrimmage."
Is Giddins ready to break out?
"I do. Ryne Giddins has always had incredible talent," said Holtz. "Right now he's playing with more energy than anybody on this football team. He's been great every rep at practice and is really playing this game hard and you can tell he wants it."
Cory Grissom is back, but is absence has helped get the d-line better.
"It's real nice to have him back and we missed that," said Holtz, but it also made us a better football team, because Elkino Watson, Luke Sager, Todd Chandler, and all those guys have all gotten that many more reps and have done a great job."