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Wednesday Morning Football Practice Report

The Bulls are looking to fix a porous run defense in time for their Friday night tilt vs #22 Navy.

South Florida v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The USF Bulls held a walkthrough practice today at the Morsani Football Complex, where the morning dew hadn’t quite evaporated from the grass under picturesque blue skies.

Defensive coordinator Raymond Woodie has certainly taken his fair share of flack this year for how poorly the defense has played against the run, and he knows whose shoulders the blame will be placed.

“It has to fall on the defense, you know, I’m the D.C.,” Woodie said. “We’ve got to have guys make plays and once we put them in position we got to have everybody running and make plays...If everybody does their job, we’ll be fine.”

CB Ronnie Hoggins (calf) will play on Friday, Woodie was very excited about having him back in practice.

“It’s huge (having Hoggins back). It’s exciting because he’s healthy,” Woodie said. “He brings a lot of energy to the group, he’s a guy that uplifts people and motivates them.”

The energy was nonexistent last Friday at Temple so having Hoggins back may help out, especially against the run where he has been very solid throughout his career. Poor Johnny Ward will be having nightmares about Owls FB Nick Sharga for weeks.

It appears like there have been internal discussion about Woodie going down to the field, but it looks like he will stay in the press box calling the plays for this week. If things go sideways early, that may change. We will be on the lookout for that on Friday night.

Woodie also said to expect even more 4-3 from the defense this week. Linebackers Cecil Cherry, Nico Sawtelle and Danny Thomas all saw action at Temple and their roles should expand because of Navy’s triple option. Look for Cherry to take some reps away from LB Auggie Sanchez as a change of pace.

Co-offensive coordinator T.J. Weist said every possession is going to be critical on offense, just as it was last week at Temple where the Bulls ran only 53 plays and had the ball for only 20 minutes and 53 seconds. It was the fewest plays USF has run all season, beating the 55 plays ran in the loss to FSU.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get some momentum going (with so few plays),” Weist said. “Last week, we just didn’t execute our offense from an alignment standpoint and from an assignment standpoint.”

The Midshipmen only average a little over 32 minutes of time of possession, which isn’t far off what the Bulls opponents have averaged this season (34:25).