USF punt returner Victor Marc knows he made a couple of gaffes in Saturday's overtime loss at Rutgers, including trying to scoop a ball off the ground deep in Bulls territory that led to a fumble and a Scarlet Knights field goal, but he said he's using it as a learning experience and vowed never to repeat the blunders.
"I know I made a mistake, and it won't happen again. I just tried to make a play out of a play and it just ended up bad for my team, so I'll take (responsibility for) that," said Marc, who also fielded a punt inside his 5-yard line.
Prior to this season Marc never had any experience returning punts, so "he's kind of learning as he goes," special teams coach Vernon Hargreaves said. Marc was thrust into the role after starter Terrence Mitchell (concussion) was injured and coaches wanted someone more capable of providing returns than tight end Evan Landi, who handled the job for two games because of his ability to field the ball.
Hargreaves said he will continue to emphasize field awareness with Marc, and will do all he can to put Marc in the best situation to succeed.
"He had a couple bad decisions," Hargreaves said. "We try to certainly make them aware of things that need to happen in certain situations. Certainly, fielding the football we talk a lot about not letting the ball hit the ground, and then also making good and smart decisions, and I think Saturday unfortunately was a bad learning situation for him."
Another physical defense awaits
Syracuse ranks last in the Big East Conference in total defense (382.9 yards per game) and next to last in scoring defense (26.9 points per game), but what doesn't show up in those statistics is just how physical the Orange are, Bulls offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said.
"Coach (Doug) Marrone's done a very good job of turning that program around with toughness, and you can see that. They're very good tacklers, very aggressive," Fitch said. "Fortunately for us offensively, we've played two really physical defenses our last time out. Cincinnati is a very physical unit up front, the best run-stopping defense in our league. Rutgers had probably the best overall defense in our league from front end to back end and has a very aggressive nature. … It will be very similar to those styles in terms of defensive pressure."
Hine named finalist for Wuerffel Trophy
Chaz Hine on Tuesday was named a finalist for a third national award, with the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach announcing the Bulls senior center as one of 13 finalists for the 2011 Wuerffel Trophy.
The award, named for the former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.
Hine also is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy after being named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, and the ARA Sportsmanship Award.
Running back Darrell Scott (concussion, left wrist) didn't practice again Tuesday, leaving him questionable for Friday. … USF coach Skip Holtz said there is "a strong possibility" punters Justin Brockhaus-Kann and Chris Veron both play Friday.