Coach Wally Burnham "We're right on schedule"

The Bulls held their first scrimmage Saturday and USF defensive coordinator Coach Wally Burnham tells USFNation his thoughts of the performance of the defense. Find out who stood out, where the depth chart stands, what freshmen are looking good, what position battles to pay attention to, and what area's need improvement. Only on -- Get it First, Get it Fast!

Defensive Coordinator Wally Burnham



What are you thought s on the defense's performance after the first scrimmage?

"I was impressed by the effort. I'm not saying we went the right way or anything, but we'll evaluate the tape and see. We had one interception, and I'm not sure who it was. (Micah Morgan). We also had two fumbles.

What was the starting defensive lineup for the scrimmage?

"Today we had T-Mac at strong linebacker, Ben (Moffitt) as the inside backer and Brouce (Mompremier).  On the line we had Buie at left end, Clebert at nose tackle, Selvie at right end, and Aaron Harris at the "three technique, Cray's been hurt with a hamstring injury. Our corners were Trae (Williams) & Jenk (Mike Jenkins). And our safeties were Williams (Carlton) & Nate (Allen). That's what it looks like its going to be going into the season opener against Elon."

Do you think you're pretty much set with the starting line-up?

"We're pretty close, pretty close. We still got things to clean up at wheel linebacker. Donte (Spires) is really pushing. It's just that he's so far behinds on the learning curve, so we'll see."

Are you happy with the defenses progress at this point?

 "Yeah, I'm not real disappointed. You know I think we could be a little bit further., but we really haven't scrimmaged enough to really determine how far along they've come, but we're right on schedule."

How is Chris Robinson's injury and we'll he be ready for the opener?

"That's a wait and see thing. He's going to try and come back next week and do some things. It's hard for him but we don't want to force him back too fast."

What has T-Mac shown you since he arrived on campus?

"He's a tough hard nosed kid. He really does a good job. He likes to play the game physical, that's how he plays. He's not a finesse guy. He's learned real fast, and he's still learning. You don't just come in here and learn this defense in six months. That's the thing were missing on this defense. The two outside linebackers that left last year gave me four years. It's hard to replace that experience. But T-Mac, Brouce, and Spires are giving a great effort and are learning.  Now we just have to put it all together."

What's going to happen when Chris Robinson returns?

"Well we'll use a rotation. Robinson also plays defensive end so much when we're in nickel. So it will be a rotation deal, which is a real good thing. This is the first time we've had a depth situation at SAM linebacker since I've been here. We've always had Snake who was so far ahead of everybody else."

Are you comfortable with the defensive line right now?

"Yeah I am, but we're light. Nothing has changed much from last year. Richard Clebert is the only guy over 300 pounds. We still got to work on getting knocked off the ball, and getting through double teams."

The last few years you've used a rotation on the D-line, are you looking at the same thing this year?

"Yeah, we're going to do that, we're going to rotate four guys again this year."

Have there been any surprises out there this summer?

"Up front not really, George Selvie has had a practice. He's the guy up there. Josh Smiley has done a pretty good job for us, and he's made some plays. Nobody has really just dominated and surprised us."

How about Aaron Harris, he looks bigger from last year?

"Yeah he's up to 265-268 pounds and has got some experience, and we're very proud of him, and what he's done."

Allen Cray looks noticeably lighter, is he trying to get his weight back up?

"He's a little lighter from last year around 255 pounds, but if he doesn't get back on the field and start practicing he'll probably gain a lot of weight.

With Cray being limited, who is next on the depth chart?

"It would be Brandon Peguese, He's done well and puts out a good effort. He's still has a lot to learn still and he's light too."

How is sophomore Nate Allen doing at safety?

"Nate's coming, yeah he's still a little shaky on some spots and checks, and getting us in the right coverage. That's a major part of his responsibility, to get us in the right coverage, align the linebackers, and he still a little shaky there, but he's progressing real well."

How about the freshmen, anybody ready for playing time?

"Right now we're letting them soak and learn for how ever long they need to soak. When they get ready to get in the fire we'll take them out of soak and put them in the fire."


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