Bulls won't scale back offense for Daniels
Here are Monday's practice notes from Times correspondent Kerry Klecic ...
TAMPA — USF offensive coordinator Mike Canales said the Bulls won’t scale back their offense Saturday against Florida State despite the loss of senior quarterback Matt Grothe to injury.
Redshirt freshman B.J. Daniels will make his first career start, but Canales said the Tallahassee native, who has only 20 career passing attempts in five games, can handle the entire offense.
“We expect no dropoff. We won't accept any of that," Canales said. "We expect him to play at a high level, at the level Matt plays at. The only difference is Matt has three years of experience, which is invaluable and we can't get that, but he's going to have to learn fast and play fast. I think he's ready for the opportunity and excited about getting on the field and taking the reins."
Daniels stepped in for Grothe, who tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season, during the second quarter of the Bulls’ 59-0 win over Charleston Southern Saturday, throwing for 149 yards and adding 105 on the ground for three touchdowns.
USF coach Jim Leavitt said he has confidence in Daniels to lead the offense.
“When we started the year, I said I had confidence in Matt Grothe, B.J. Daniels and Evan Landi,” he said. “We had three quarterbacks who were all capable of playing at a very high level, and now we have two.”
Daniels may receive some extra coaching this week from Grothe, who watched film with the quarterbacks and attended Monday’s practice. He was walking without crutches, and Leavitt said he’ll remain a captain.
“He’s doing fine. He’s not going to worry about what he can’t control,” Leavitt said. “He can’t control the injury that happened. He’s focused out there, and he’s helping quite a bit.”
Washington practices: : Leavitt said sophomore cornerback Quenton Washington, who missed the Charleston Southern game with an ankle injury, practiced Monday and did OK.
However, Leavitt didn’t say whether senior wide receiver Jessie Hester, out with a hamstring injury, would play at FSU. Hester’s father, Jessie Sr., played for the Seminoles from 1981-84.
“If Jessie can play, Jessie will play,” Leavitt said. “We need him. It’s just whenever he will play.”
Sophomore starting safety Jerrell Young, who broke his right arm in the season opener, was at practice wearing a hard cast on his right arm but did not practice.
Schwartz still favorite at kicker: Leavitt said he’ll probably stay with junior Eric Schwartz on kicking duties, while senior Delbert Alvarado will continue to work at punter.