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USF Football Spring Game 2018 Recap

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Just 140 days until September 1 vs. Elon.

Nathan Bond/The Daily Stampede

The weather couldn’t have been any better today for USF football’s spring game at Corbett Stadium.

Sunny skies and nary a cloud to be seen in a modified scrimmage where the “White Team” consisting of the offense came back to defeat the “Green Team” made up of the defense, 56-55 in front of a few thousand fans.

The scoring system was a bit tricky to figure out but who cares? It’s the spring game.

Top Performers:

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Randall St. Felix may have had the best spring of anyone not named Elijah Mack.

WR coach Charlie Williams raved about St. Felix’s propensity to come down with most “50-50” balls earlier in spring and while he didn’t have any of those chances, he did lead the team with 65 yards on four receptions, including a 31-yard touchdown from quarterback Chris Oladokun.

“We’ve done that a thousand times in practice so it just felt like practice,” Oladokun said. “Before the game I told him ‘I’m gonna get you one’, so it was good to see him make that play.”

Early enrollee Zion Roland also had four catches for 41 yards. He made a couple of guys miss on a screen pass as well. With how deep this unit is, I’m not sure if he sees the field much, but I’ve been very wrong before...

Hello Elijah Mack.

Mack earned the start alongside quarterback Brett Kean and showed quickness and power on a 15-yard run up the middle in the first quarter. He registered two more carries, gaining zero yards on each.

It’s difficult to judge the rushing attack and conversely the pass rush because only seven offensive linemen suited up today and some will not see action at all in the fall.

UF transfer Jordan Cronkrite looked extremely explosive in his limited touches today.

He had two carries for 25-yards, including a 21-yard burst up the middle to set up a Trent Schneider 47-yard field goal that he pushed wide right just before halftime. Cronkrite also burned much-maligned linebacker Jimmy Bayes on a seam route for a touchdown, one of Cronk’s two catches on the day.

So that’s your starting left tackle (Eric Mayes), starting right tackle (Marcus Norman) and backup tackle Grant Polk all sitting out today. It was truly a makeshift unit.

Only Atterbury started in 2017 and he did so at right guard.

Tight end Mitchell Wilcox was active in the passing game, garnishing a few targets and hauling in two passes. He lined up as a true tight end as well as split out wide, much like he was during the 2016 season.

“They’re giving me more responsibility...more seam routes. Getting the ball in my hands and it’s been showing this camp,” Wilcox said.

Defensive ends Josh Black and Vincent Jackson, Jr. sure did take advantage today with Black totaling four tackles and 2 12 sacks while Jackson had a sack of his own on third down in the first quarter.

With the graduation of Mike Love at defensive end and returner Greg Reaves out due to an injury, Kirk Livingstone chipped in 1 12 sacks on Saturday.

DB and special teams ace Nate Ferguson led the defense with nine tackles and converted linebacker Khalid McGee finished with seven.

QB Competition

Kean: 10/17, 127 yards, two TD; Oladokun: 13/23, 127 yards, two TD

In a battle that will likely last for the next 140 days, Oladokun and Kean did nothing today to take themselves out of the competition.

Kean hooked up with junior wide receiver Darnell Salomon down the left sideline for a 43-yard touchdown:

“Coach [Sterlin] Gilbert wanted me to make a play and [the offense] was in a slump and I executed on it. Just helping the team out,” Salomon said.

The catch was Salomon’s only one of the day, but the coaches know what he can do.

Oladokun did what most young, inexperienced quarterbacks will do: felt pressure and threw it up for grabs. Only, senior safety Jaymon Thomas came down with the interception.

These are the kind of mistakes former quarterback Quinton Flowers tended to avoid during his career. It will be imperative for each quarterback to limit “freshman mistakes” like the one Oladokun had. He also pitched the ball behind Cronkrite on a speed option which almost resulted in a fumble.

The very next play was the touchdown pass to Cronkrite.

I’ll stick with my prediction of Oladokun winning the job in the fall, but by God Kean is going to make him work for it.

Notables:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander was in attendance for the spring game.
  • Large. Adult. Punter., Quinton Flowers, Cam Ruff, Bruce Hector, Darius Tice, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, D’Ernest Johnson, and Auggie Sanchez were also there.
  • Linebacker Keirston Johnson totaled six tackles and two TFL.