Nineteen practices into the University of South Florida football team's training camp, coach Skip Holtz said the team is finally starting to feel the fatigue and look forward to entering the regular-season schedule.
The Bulls have two major hurdles left before switching to the normal game-week schedule, two practices today and a final fall scrimmage Friday.
"We're definitely on the back end of (training camp)," Holtz said. "Right now we've got a lot of bumps and bruises, a lot of guys that are fighting through a lot of things as we were out there in full pads today. … The biggest thing right now is that we've just got to push through these next couple of days."
Holtz said after this week, the Bulls will have an easier schedule as they get ready to play Tennessee-Chattanooga in the season opener Sept. 1, but that the work the team is putting in now will benefit it in the long run.
"We have a tired football team right now, but that's how you want it to be," Holtz said. "We could be fresh as daisies and have practiced in shorts every day, but that doesn't mean we'd have gotten better.
"Right now, I want them to be tired."
BANGED UP: Nine players of the 44 on the two-deep depth chart were held out of practice Tuesday, though none of the injuries are expected to carry over to the season opener.
"There are nine guys in the two-deep right now that didn't practice today," Holtz said. "I expect every one of them to be back, but it's kind of hard to put it all together when you're missing so many pieces."
The positive aspect of the injuries has been the chance for guys outside the two-deep trying to work their way in.
"It's really given the threes a lot of opportunities to step up and take a lot of the twos' reps," Holtz said. "It's what a lot of those guys need."
Holtz said DL James Hamilton and OLs Max Lang and Brynjar Gudmundsson were among the players who have taken advantage of the increased opportunity.