Practice Report: QB's Take a Step Back

Today was marked the halfway point in this year's spring practice. Get all the details on the QB battle, injuries and much more. Only on USFNation.com - Get it First, Get it Fast!!

Maybe it's the fact that today marked the mid-point of spring practice and the guy's are fatigued, or maybe it was the unusual scorching heat, but today the quarterbacks were sloppy. Actually, the whole team looked like they were going through the motions.

Not only were guys sluggish, but it seemed that certain things that were once second nature, were really hard today. Things as easy as calling a play in the huddle were major tasks, sometimes taking three attempts to get right. Snaps were low, tosses were dropped, everything was just a few steps off today.

Here is the full report:

General Notes
Jackie Chambers was not at practice after injuring his knee on Saturday.

Jesse Hester was at practice, but not in pads after dislocating his shoulder. He did not have a sling on, but he was in visible pain.

Marquel Blackwell was out on the field once again today helping the QB's.

Today's starting offensive line; Danny Tolley, Matt Huners, Jake Griffin, Walter Walker and Marc Dile.

Today's starting defensive line; George Selvie, Woody George, Richard Clebert, Josh Julmiste.

Tavarious Robinson got in Coach Leavitt's doghouse early in practice when he did not participate in board drills.

Jason Fox lined up at fullback a few times today.

Darren Haliburton had ice on his ankle and said that he only rolled it.

Courtney Denson sat out of a few plays with a quad injury.

Carlton Williams returned to action after missing nearly every practice with a quad strain.

Running Drill
Something carried over from board drill between Cedric Hill and Stephen Nicholas. On the first play Nicholas took a shot at Hill who did not retaliate, but did have words for "Snake". A few plays later Coach Leavitt ripped into Hill for not wanting to hit Nicholas, calling him soft for backing down after their near-fight.

Patrick St. Louis was flying all over the field as usual, but when he took a break, his replacement picked up the slack. Sam Miller made three of the next five tackles, including one big hit in the backfield on Ricky Ponton.

Jarriett Buie also made a couple plays, but the highlight of the drill came on a Walt Smith run up the middle. He hit the line with nowhere to go, stuck his foot in the ground and cut it outside, giving a nasty hip shake to Selvie before getting to the edge.

7-on-7's
Pat Julmiste- 8 for 12. His first series was his best. PJ showed nice touch on a 15 yard fade route to the sideline.

Matt Grothe- 9 for 13, TD, 2 INT. Looked good early throwing a touchdown to Amp Hill, but he was then picked off by Danny Verpaele and Jerome Murphy who had a spectacular one-handed grab while falling to the ground.
Carlton Hill- 4 for 9. Did not look sharp at all. Came out throwing behind guys and just looked out of it in this drill.

Scrimmage
To start the scrimmage Coach Leavitt called the second team defense on the field. That is probably why the coaches were so infuriated with the offense when they began to struggle.

PJ was the first quarterback, he moved the ball about 25 yards including a 12 yard run, but then the drove ended when Ricky Ponton could not handle a pitch. Then on Matt Grothe's first play from scrimmage he had his pass tipped and it went into the hands of Trae Williams who returned it 50 yards for a touchdown. Grothe only threw two more passes and completed neither.

Carlton Hill showed more of his speed on a run that began as a draw and ended in a 42 yard touchdown. Once Hill got outside it was a foot-race between him Burnett and Carlton Williams. Hill beat them both and scored easily. However, on the next series a low snap that Hill couldn't handle resulted in another turnover for the offense.

The lone bright spots on the offense were the running backs. Ponton rushed 5 times for 46 yards and Ben Williams had a nice 17 yard run breaking several tackles.

Josh Julmiste said it best when he told Jarriett Buie, "Ricky looks like he's skating on ice out there!"

Amarri Jackson had 3 catches for 25 yards.

After a couple low snaps Ben Busbee was replaced by Eric Setser.

Carlton Hill welcomed Carlton Williams back to practice when he put his shoulder into Williams, knocking him down before stepping out of bounds on a QB scramble.

Josh Julmiste continues to make plays in the passing game by batting balls at the line of scrimmage.

Kicking
The kickers were not as impressive today as they were last Thursday.

Mike Benzer hit once from 42 yards and once from 47. He missed once from 42 and twice from 47.

Justin Teachey hit one from 42 and one from 47. He missed one from 47.


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