Bulls, Tigers preparing to see two USF QBs
CHARLOTTE -- Bulls fans will have to wait until Friday morning to find out who will start at quarterback for USF against Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Sophomore B.J. Daniels and true freshman Bobby Eveld might have to wait almost as long to find out themselves.
USF coach Skip Holtz reiterated Thursday that both his quarterbacks will play at some point against Clemson, and said there's a strategic and psychological benefit in waiting to tell even the passers themselves which one will take the field first.
"Especially Bobby, yes, as a young guy, you tell Bobby he's starting now, and he'll be a basket case. He won't be able to walk by the time he gets to the game," Holtz said. "As a freshman, he gets overly excited. (Against) Pittsburgh, we were going to play Bobby, with B.J. being out. We went through Thursday's practice, and I don't think Bobby completed a pass. He was just nervous, holding onto everything, wouldn't throw it. That's part of the maturing process. B.J. has been there a little bit more, has been in that experience. Bobby, when he does get in, whether it's the first play or the last, it's going to be 'All right, you're in, get your helmet.' You're not going to give him a lot of time to think."
Eveld played USF's final six quarters of the regular season, rallying the Bulls to a win at Miami, then falling just short in a 19-16 home loss to Connectict on a last-minute field goal. But both those times, Daniels wasn't at full strength, limited by a bruised quad, and he's now healthy again, battling in an open competition over the last three weeks of practice.
Holtz said the two players have handled the close competition ideally, with the right attitudes and making each other better. The competition will likely continue into this spring, if not the 2011 season.
"The reason it's worked is because neither quarterback has made an issue of it. They've both bought in," Holtz said. "They've both been very loose and laidback. They're encouraging each other. It's a very healthy relationship right now. I don't think it matters who goes in right now. I don't think we'll have anybody pouting on the sideline."
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the uncertainty at USF's quarterback spot hasn't changed how his defense has prepared.
"We've just prepared for South Florida, what they do," he said. "They're not going to drastically change play calls. They're going to be who they are. One definitely runs better than the other. We'll be prepared. I'm not sure maybe they even know."