On the final practice day of the University of South Florida football team's bye week, the Bulls ran about 160 plays of 11-on-11 work, focusing on improving the things that went wrong in their game a week ago.
"We went 170 plays on Tuesday," coach Skip Holtz said. "We went about 130 plays on Wednesday and got about 160 plays again (Thursday). A lot of team work (in) the last three days. Just looking at the way we played at Pittsburgh, there was just a lot of things that we didn't fit together … the (defensive) line, the linebackers and the secondary weren't all fitting together. I felt like it was really important we got a lot of team work and we've got to keep getting better."
While the Bulls spent training camp and the early part of the season working on individual pieces of the offensive and defensive systems, Holtz thinks practice time during this part of the season is better spent in game simulations.
"You've got to learn to play football," Holtz said. "You only learn to play football (by) reading play-action runs, looking at the chains, understanding how to play the game."
The Bulls have today and Saturday off before returning to the normal game-week schedule beginning with a Sunday evening practice.
Sophomore WR/PR Terrence Mitchell is away from the practice field as he recovers from a concussion sustained against Texas El-Paso on Sept. 24. Mitchell was injured while making a tackle on a fake punt near the Bulls' sideline early in the fourth quarter and was taken off the field on a stretcher.
"(Mitchell) is checking in with the trainers daily," Holtz said. "We're monitoring him, and they're going through all of the testing procedures. We're going to go slow with this because of his background and the seriousness of the concussion. We just want to make sure that he's back to healthy before we get him back to any football activities."
At the time, Mitchell's injury appeared to be worse than a concussion, but he was released from the hospital the night he was admitted. He had sustained a concussion in October 2008 while playing for Hillsborough High.
Seniors CB Quenton Washington (knee) and WR A.J. Love (ankle) sat out practice Thursday with minor injuries. Both are expected to be available when the Bulls resume practice Sunday. … Redshirt sophomore WR Derrick Hopkins was in a walking boot on the sideline after spraining his ankle Wednesday. There is no timetable for Hopkins' return.