With over a month of practices in the books, USF football will end their slate of spring activities with the annual Spring Game on Saturday at 4 p.m. For the second year in a row, the game will be held at Corbett Stadium, the on-campus home of South Florida’s men and women’s soccer teams. The teams for the game was determined by draft, with notable players such as Steven Bench, Mike White, Marlon Mack, and Jamie Byrd representing the green team and standouts Quinton Flowers, Rodney Adams, Darius Tice, and Nigel Harris representing the white. With a slew of personnel and scheme changes being made in the offseason and spring, here’s what fans should look for during the game:
1. Pace of offense. Much has been made over the spring of the switch to an up-tempo, read option based style of offense. While showing glimpses of success through several weeks of practice, it remains to be seen if the new system can be executed when the lights are on in a full game time situation. Look for both offenses to get their plays off within fifteen seconds of the play clock beginning.
2. 4-2-5 defense. The implementation of the 4-2-5 defense with the arrival of new defensive coordinator Tom Allen has brought hope that the entire defensive unit can close in space and create more turnovers than in year’s past. The system is designed to thwart opposing spread offenses, which are prevalent in the AAC. Watch for Byrd and Harris to be all over the field and leading the charge for both defenses.
3. New Playmakers. The USF offense will certainly miss the playmaking ability of all-time leading receiver Andre Davis in 2015. But the absence of Davis has left the door open for new comers to come in and fill that void. WR’s Rodney Adams and Ryshene Bronson have shined at various moments throughout practice, while transfer A.J. Legree looks to make a full impact in his first year of being eligible to play. RB Darius Tice has been labeled as the MVP of the spring by Coach Taggart as he’s put together an impressive spring campaign within the running back committee. Then, there’s second year QB Quinton Flowers, who will be fighting for a starting spot in a system that he thrived in in high school.
The gates will open for fans at 2:30. Over 3,000 people were in attendance in last year’s contest and it remains to be seen if even more of the Bulls faithful will arrive and show their support.