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Bulls defense preparing for two UTEP QBs

Posted Sep 21, 2011 by Adam Adkins

Updated Sep 21, 2011 at 08:20 PM

UTEP coach Mike Price is staying mum on his starting quarterback this week, which is complicating issues a bit for the USF defense.

The Bulls are preparing for both junior Nick Lamaison, who began the season as the starter but suffered a shoulder injury in a Week 2 loss, and freshman backup Jay Hall. The main problem, according to USF coach Skip Holtz, is that the UTEP offense has given different looks with each player under center, leaning more on a pass-heavy attack behind Lamaison, who returned to practice this week, and emphasizing the run more a bit more with Hall, who is also the more mobile option.

“We’ve got a great challenge this week. We’re not sure what we’re going to get from their offense,” Holtz said. “I think the one positive thing, having the opportunity to go against each other as much as we have in camp and so far early in the season, I think we’re probably prepared for both, kind of a running game and at the same time if they’re just going to turn and spread it out and throw the ball a little bit more.”

CONFIDENCE GROWING UP FRONT: One of the most impressive things to USF offensive coordinator Todd Fitch in last week’s win over Florida A&M was the play of the offensive line, which paved the way for a Big East-record 745 yards of offense, including a season-high 268 rushing yards, and yielded zero sacks in 90 snaps.

“It’s a great booster for the o-line’s confidence,” senior guard Jeremiah Warren said of the performance. “You want your o-line to have that confidence because when you play confident you play better, you make less mistakes, you think on your feet better.”

The offensive line was one of the biggest question marks entering the season with three new starters in the group, but Warren said the group is beginning to gel nicely and the results have been noticeable.

“Our front five has really done a great job,” junior quarterback B.J. Daniels said. “They’ve opened up some holes for (running backs) Darrell Scott, Demetris Murray and Marcus Shaw. They’re strong up front. They’ve been working all summer, they put it all together, and right now their showing the final product.”

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