After Wednesday’s practice, USF coach Jim Leavitt said the starting defensive end spot opposite George Selvie  remains a battle and the starter will likely be determined by today.

Leavitt said David Bedford and Jason Pierre-Paul are battling for the spot, with Craig Marshall a “possible” option

Bedford made his first career start against Western Kentucky and recorded his first career solo sack.  Marshall started at end in the opener against Wofford, but Leavitt said he’ll likely end up at tackle to make room for Pierre-Paul and Bedford.

“David Bedford is by far playing so much better than last year,” Leavitt said.  “Attitude is incredible.  Pierre-Paul has a lot of ability.   He’s 6-foot-6, 270 (pounds) and can run in the 4.7’s.”

Leavitt said he talked “at length” on Tuesday with defensive line coach Kevin Patrick and that Patrick will make the final decision.

Leavitt also said  Wednesday that sophomore defensive tackle Keith McCaskill “might start” at nose tackle or the three-technique against Charleston Southern after performing well in practice.

Other news and notes: Kickoff duties are “pretty wide open” between senior Delbert Alverado and junior Eric Schwartz, Leavitt said.  He said he’ll “possibly” let Schwartz handle kickoff duties to allow Alverado to concentrate on field goals.  Freshman defensive lineman Anthony Hill “may play” this year.

Injuries: Sophomore safety Jerrell Young (broken arm) is “probably” out for Saturday … Freshman receiver Evan Landi (shoulder) “could play if he had to” …  Quenton Washington (ankle) “practiced a little bit” on Wednesday …  Tight end Kenneth Luberice, who missed the first two games is “close” …  Senior receiver Jessie Hester pulled his hamstring.  Hester missed the first two games while still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the spring and Leavitt said he’ll “probably” be out for Saturday.

-Phil Neary