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August 17, 2012Here are a few storylines to look out for on Saturday as the team looks to polish up on a few things before it heads back to Tampa for the remainder of fall camp.
Will the receivers bounce back?
It was the first live action in about four months, but one of the negatives on Monday during the team's first scrimmage was the receiving game, or lack thereof, as coach Skip Holtz pointed out several drops from the wide receiver position, a position expected to be a strong suit for the Bulls this season. This past week, wide receivers coach Jerome Pathon has stressed one simple thing: catch the ball. All indications were that the receiving group has a solid week of practice, but will all the hype surrounding the talent and depth at the position translate into the games?
Who will get reps at defensive end?
The Bulls defensive line, especially the pass rushers out on the edge, has been the position most hit by injury during camp, though most seem to be of the day-to-day variety. Nonetheless, the uncertainty of some key players - in particular defensive ends Julius Forte (ankle) and Aaron Lynch (concussion) - has given young players extended reps. True freshman Daniel Perry and redshirt freshman Edsel Caprice, who moved from outside linebacker, all of a sudden finds themselves squarely in the mix to be in the rotation this season.
Even a healthy Lynch is a question mark as USF still waits to hear back from the NCAA on a hardship waiver that would allow the Notre Dame transfer to play this season, leaving the Bulls no choice but to prepare as if he won't be available. Assuming he's healthy, Forte would join Ryne Giddins as a starter, while true freshman Eric Lee and junior college transfer Tevin Mims have turned heads in camp and appear to be solidly entrenched as top backups. The ideal number is to have five in the rotation heading into the season, leaving the fifth spot a battle between Perry and Caprice.
Is Floyd ready to take control?
Redshirt freshman Matt Floyd's performance in the first scrimmage gave him a leg up on junior Bobby Eveld for the top backup quarterback position, though the competition is far from over. It's still a very close race, and if Eveld out-performs Floyd on Saturday, Holtz and the coaching staff will have a very tough decision to make. Floyd has shown his potential in past scrimmages, though Eveld is more experienced and has actual game experience, which could be the deciding factor if the two are too close to call. Remember Floyd redshirted last season, so he hasn't taken a single college snap in a game.