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Bulls have spirited return
Posted Nov 8, 2010 by Adam Adkins
Updated Nov 8, 2010 at 01:39 AM
The University of South Florida returned to the field Sunday after having the weekend off, and Bulls coach Skip Holtz was pleased with the effort on the first day of preparation for this week’s game against Louisville.
“Very spirited practice tonight. They’ve come back from a couple days off, which I think we badly needed, and they’ve come back with a lot spirit and energy and seemed to get their legs back up underneath them,” Holtz said. “I was really pleased with the focus and the way they came back here tonight.”
The two days off proved beneficial for a few offensive starters who sustained minor injuries in the win over Rutgers. QB B.J. Daniels (toe), RB Demetris Murray (knee) and RB Mo Plancher (knee) were able to return to practice in full.
Two other starters, OL Jamar Bass (ankle) and FS Jerrell Young (ankle), were held out Sunday. Holtz said they would be re-evaluated as the week went to determine their availability against the Cardinals.
PROVIDING STABILITY: Maikon Bonani hoped to bring some stability when coaches called his number to be the starting place kicker, if for nothing else than one simple reason.
“I was hoping so because if not we didn’t have anyone behind me,” Bonani said with a slight chuckle. “When coach called my number, I even made a joke that the worst that could happen was that I miss.”
Bonani has answered the call, making good on eight of his nine field goal attempts this season, including his last five. He was 2-for-2 in Wednesday’s win over Rutgers, and his 47-yarder just before halftime tied for the longest made kick for the Bulls this season. Bonani also had a 47-yarder against West Virginia.
Bonani’s 88.9 percent success rate on field goal attempts ranks second among all Big East Conference kickers.
“I feel good to be honest,” he said. “I feel like every time I go out there it’s my job to help the team, and I use that to motivate me. The fact that I’ve made a couple kicks here and there really helps a lot, too.”
SHAW SIDELINED: True freshman RB Marcus Shaw, who hasn’t played since a loss at West Virginia, has been sidelined while struggling with his academics. Shaw currently is not practicing with the team and is instead attending a study hall, Holtz said.
“I’m not going to turn with a freshman that age and turn and make the priority being on the field if you’re not getting it done in the classroom. I think he’s a very talented young man, I think he’s a guy that can help this football team, but at the same point and time three years from now I don’t want to be in the same situation again with him,” the coach said. “I think he’s had a great attitude with it all. He’s working extremely hard and we’re seeing some progress in the classroom.
“As I told him, when his grades get back to a certain level then we’ll start to talk about you getting on the field again. But until then I’m not going to take the long-term risk pf playing him right now.”