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Green vs White: USF Spring Football Game Recap

Fans packed the USF on campus soccer stadium, Corbett Stadium, to watch the 2017 USF Spring Football game on Saturday April 15. Estimates placed the crowd size around 4,700 and many fans were left to sit or stand in the grassy areas around the field. Coming off an 11 win season and increased expectations for the upcoming season, many Bulls fans were excited for an exhibition in April.
The team was split into green and white squads and the outcome wasn’t decided until the final play with the Green squad prevailing 15-14. The White squad drove down the field but a last second field goal that would have won the game was called off by USF Football Head Coach Charlie Strong. After the game, Strong stated that kicker Emilio Nadelman was coming off an injury plus going against the wind and didn’t want to push him. It was quite a comeback for the Green squad as they trailed most of the game and took the lead with 3:45 remaining with a 51 yard hookup from backup quarterback Brett Kean to playmaker WR Marquez Valdez-Scantling. The 6 foot 5 inch physical wide receiver was the unofficial game MVP as he snagged 7 catches for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Star quarterback Quinton Flowers played a series each for both teams and had mixed results. His drive with the white squad resulted in a 24 yard td pass to Deangelo Antione while his drive with the green squad ended with an interception. From that point on, Kean and rising Sophomore Chris Oladokun quarterbacked the white and green squads respectively while Flowers helped out the coaching staff. This battle while continue on in the fall training camp as the backup to Flowers has yet to be determined. Each had their moments as Oladokun threw a beautiful 76 yard td in the third quarter and Kean had 2 td’s to Valdez Scantling but also one pick. Leading the ground were Daruis Tice and Elijah Mack both with around 60 yards rushing for the day. Potential starting running back D’Ernest Johnson and star linebacker Auggie Sanchez both sat out for the day.
One thing Bulls watching probably noticed is the shift to the power running game instead of the spread. All quarterbacks wore red non-contact jerseys, so rarely were any runs designed for the qb. This will be a big transformation as Flowers has excelled in running the ball the last few years. When approached on the subject of having the qb run the ball less Valdez Scantling stated that “we have playmakers all over the place…running backs that can run the ball and receivers that can catch and make plays.”
The defense combined for 7 sacks and 2 picks and looked improved during most of the day. However, once again it was plagued by several big passing plays near the end of the game. Strong, who made his name on the defensive side of the ball, was encouraged by the play of the defense and stated the unit improved over the spring.
Bulls fans will now have to wait a few months before the start of what could be the biggest and best season in USF history.
-Story by Yousaf Khan

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