USF Bulls Update And Big East Notes (April 23)


Starting defensive tackle Cory Grissom fractured his fibula in his right ankle early last week during a morning practice. He had surgery on Thursday. He will be out of action for about 3 months. Grissom started 12 games in 2011 collecting 38 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

USF played its Spring Game Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium, and Skip Holtz says his seniors want to turn the program around after last seasons disappointing 5-7 year, which included a 1-7 finish.

“The fire, the attitude, the energy and passion they’ve taken into every practice this spring, I think it’s been a great motivating factor,” Holtz said. “Not just the close losses or how close we were, but the result of the season. The seniors have really rallied behind it: This is not how we’re going to do it. That’s not how we’re going out as seniors.” Defensive end Ryne Giddins had 3 sacks and Josh brown made a nice interception in the end zone. “I was really pleased with the way the defense came out and the way they competed,” Holtz said. “There is some speed on this team. This team is physical and they can run.” JaQuez Jenkins made his return to the field and had a solid outing. Wide receiver Andre Davis, the sophomore, had 86 yards on 6 catches in limited action.

B.J. Daniels is taking his responsibility as a senior leader very seriously.

“You have to lead by example first before you can open your mouth, because you won’t be credible if you’re just out there talking,” Daniels said. “All of us have been a part of great things in the history of the program. It’s always been high on our list to win, but now, for the seniors, our backs are up against the wall. There is no next year. There’s no ‘We can rebuild.’ This is it.” In 2011 Daniels passed for 2,585 yards with 13 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He also rushed for 6 touchdowns and over 600 yards.

Backup defensive end Anthony Hill had surgery Friday to repair a torn ACL in his right knee and will miss the entire 2012 season. Hill has played sparingly in 3 seasons and has gathered 14 tackles and a sack. His sack came against Pittsburgh in 2011.

The Bulls are hoping to learn this week about the date of their September match up against Rutgers in Tampa. The game is scheduled for Saturday the 15th but ESPN is working to move it to Thursday night the 13th. The issue is the game before that when USF visits Nevada. They would prefer an early kickoff for that game so they could come back to Tampa and have more time to prepare for the Scarlet Knights.

After last Saturday’s scrimmage at Corbett Soccer Stadium Head coach Skip Holtz liked the work the Bulls did but he felt there were too many penalties. The offensive unit scored 10 touchdowns while only turning the ball over one time.


Pittsburgh held its annual Blue-Gold Game Saturday at Martorelli Stadium. The game went for about two hours with no score being kept. Sophomore running back collected 23 carries for 121 yards, including a 51 yard sprint early in the contest. Starting senior quarterback Tino Sunseri went 13-27 for 147 with a touchdown and an interception. Sophomore quarterback Mark Myers went 10-16 for 167 yards and a touchdown. Senior receiver Cameron Saddler had 4 catches for 69 yards. On the defensive side junior safety had a game high 10 tackles with two going for a loss. Head coach Paul Chryst is happy with the progress of his team so far. “I saw some good things,” Chyst said. “We also had some things we’ll need to clean up and some mistakes we’ll need to eliminate. I think we’re working hard. There are some areas where we are getting better. We just have to keep working hard and then have a great summer and an important fall camp. “We’re not where we want to be by any means but I think it was a productive spring.”

Rutgers will hold its annual Scarlet-White game Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium at 3pm.

3,716 fans showed up at the Carrier Dome Saturday to see Syracuse’s annual spring game. Team Anselmo topped Team Moore 9-0.

It was a good defensive showing for the Orange as they put all the points on the board. On the other hand, it wasn’t such a good showing for the offense. Defensive tackle Jay Bromley had a safety and defensive end Brandon Sharpe returned a fumble 17 yards for a score. QB Ryan Nassib went 11-18 for 163 yards while John Kinder completed 5 of 11 passes for 56 yards.

Jeremiah Kobena had 3 catches for 55 yards and Marcus Sales caught two balls for 68 yards. Head coach Doug Marrone sees his players continuing to improve.

“We had 13 outstanding days of practice” said Marrone. “The way I look at spring football, you don’t put it all in on one day. I look at it as the entire body of work. People are getting better, a lot of younger players from practices 11-13 made an outstanding  push, and we really saw a jump in their ability, and that’s exciting.”

The Cherry team beat the White team 17-10 in Temple’s annual spring game Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. Over 2,500 fans came out to see sophomore running back Kenny harper rush for two touchdowns and 48 yards on 8 carries. Senior kicker Brandon McManus kicked two field goals including a 53 yarder. Junior QB Chris Coyer completed 6 of 15 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown while junior Ryan Alderman led all receivers with 56 yards and a touchdown on 3 catches. Junioe quarterback Clinton “Juice” Granger went 14-20 for 125 yards. The Owls open the season on August 31st when they host cross town rival Villanova.

Uconn held its annual Blue vs. White Spring Football Game Saturday at Rentschler Field and the White beat the Blue 14-5. Senior Ryan Wirth was the star of the game collecting 4 and a half sacks, including a safety. Head coach Paul Pasqualoni liked the way Wirth stepped up.

“I thought Ryan Wirth on the defensive line kind of collapsed the pocket,” said Pasqauloni. “He played pretty solid against the run and pass. I think inside, we’ve got to replace Kendall Reyes who’s going on to the NFL and Twyon Martin, who were good players for us. I think one of the highlights of the day was how hard the inside guys competed.”

Ray Blanchette covers the USF Bulls and the Big East for the Saturday Blitz. . He also writes for Outside The Redzone. Follow along at Blanchette is the owner of Blanchette Sports Holdings. Follow along with them at or on Facebook at!/profile.php?id=100003521034703&sk=wall or on Twitter at!/BlanchettSports