Gameday: Who will lead Bulls against WVU?
USF's kickoff against No. 22 West Virginia is less than four hours, and the big question -- besides "Will the Bulls get that sixth win and play in a bowl?" at least -- is which quarterback will get the starting nod tonight against the Mountaineers.
Junior B.J. Daniels had made what sounded like promising progress this week in recovering from the shoulder injury that sidelined him from Friday's loss to Louisville, and even at less than 100 percent, his dual-threat ability to run and throw might give USF the best chance to win tonight. Sophomore Bobby Eveld made his second career start last week and threw for 210 yards, but Louisville was able to stack up against the run and hold the Bulls to a season-low 64 rushing yards.
We've now had reports in both directions -- CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy has reported within the hour that Daniels has been cleared and will start, this after a confusing report that suggested the opposite.
Collegefootballtalk.com reported that Ch. 28 in Tampa had reported Wednesday night that Daniels was out and Eveld starting, though there was little other evidence of Ch. 28's report. The station had nothing on Twitter or on its official site, and when reached by the Times, the station said the script from Wednesday night's news only mentioned that Daniels was "likely" out and if so, that Eveld would start. The national blog post on the supposed report, howver, was enough to shift the betting line in West Virginia's favor, with bettors jumping on the visiting Mountaineers.
As we've said, if Daniels can throw without pain, it makes sense to give him the first shot, knowing that if he can't continue, you have Eveld ready and waiting in relief; by comparison, if Eveld is ineffective, USF won't know what it's turning to if they bring Daniels in off the bench.
A Bulls victory will need much more than just the quarterback tonight -- USF has held West Virginia to 20 points or less in each of the last five meetings, though the Bulls will be hard-pressed to do that again tonight against the Big East's highest-scoring offense. We'll be live-blogging during the game, so stop back by if you can ...