USF Head Coach Skip Holtz was a guest on the latest edition of The Mandel Initiative, one of my favorite podcasts, It's hosted by Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated and producer Mallory Rubin, and they talked about a wide variety of topics. Before getting into the interview, a couple of notes from the first few minutes on the podcast:
- Sophomore DE Ryne Giddins was named as a breakout player by Mandel, while Rubin named junior RB Darrell Scott as one of her breakout players.
- Rubin named USF as her flop team of the conference.
- Most importantly, Mandel has USF winning the conference. There's a reason we like Stewart.
Some quotes from Holtz' interview after the jump.
On Mandel picking USF to win the conference:
"We are honored, honored that you would feel we are worthy of that. That's what the objective is, that's the goal and that's where we want to go and build the program."
What changed during the Bulls' 2nd half success last year:
"It was as much as anything, it's just growth. It's the growth of the young men being in the system. I'll just use the analogy of a guy like B.J. Daniels, where the mental side of the picture is so important playing the quarterback position. I look at the growth and development of B.J. Daniels who being in the same system now going in to the second year in a row. But I just watch how he matured through the course of the season and some of the decisions that he made. He's going to be a junior now. He made some mistakes maybe as a sophomore. But I give him a lot of credit for his growth and his development and the attitude that he had. I just use B.J. Daniels as a small picture of what the team went through. I think as a football team, you learn how to win. And I think that's what this football team started to learn as the season went along. And I think that has really, we've been able to use it as a springboard going into the offseason."
On Skip's expectations of Darrell Scott this season:
"The thing that excited me about Darrell, is not just his talent level. Darrell's a 235-240 pound tailback, which is not something we've had around here with Mo Plancher being a smaller back and Demetris Murray being a smaller back. Darrell Scott having the size and the power that he does brings a whole other dimension to this football team."
Who are some guys who need to step up on defense:
"When I look at guys like Ryne Giddins, who is just going to be a sophomore, again a lot like Darrell Scott and a highly touted recruit and the way he's grown into the position. Patrick Hampton, played an awful lot for us. Julius Forte, who played a lot. We have a lot of guys who maybe aren't returning starters, but they all played an awful lot."
If Lou Holtz might be conflicted as his son goes against his former coaching stop:
"Well, I mean hopefully not too conflicted. This is one where you hope blood is thicker than water."
Some other tidbits from the interview:
- Coach Holtz said with an experienced backup in Bobby Eveld behind Daniels, expect to see more running from B.J. this year. I can already see the modified Wing-T triple option attack already.
- Holtz is expecting that the linebackers and defensive backs will be better than last year. Holtz reminded everyone that seven of the top eight defensive backs return this season and was excited about the depth at linebacker.
- Having a Top 25 defense is the minimum requirement this season.
What did you guys think? Also we found our Holtzism for the week during the interview. If you can't find it, check back on Friday afternoon and we'll tell you.