Holtz: Daniels injury prompted QB change
MIAMI -- USF coach Skip Holtz said his decision to use true freshman walk-on Bobby Eveld after halftime in Saturday's overtime win at Miami was prompted by B.J. Daniels aggravating his injured quad, and said he'll wait to evaluate Daniels' health before naming a starter for next week's regular-season finale against Connecticut.
Holtz said that Daniels and trainer Steve Walz came to him at halftime and Daniels said he "felt something pop" in his injured leg on an 11-yard run to the 4-yard line just before halftime.
"He wouldn't tell me he couldn't go. He kept saying 'Coach, I'm hurting. I can't run. If you need me to go, I'll go,' " Holtz said. "I said, 'I'm not going to put you out there on one leg.' I turned and looked at Bobby and said 'Let's go. You're up. It's your turn. Somebody has to step up.'"
Daniels stayed on USF's sidelines in the second half and overtime, talking to Eveld and coaches and cheering for his teammates as the Bulls rallied to force overtime, then prevail 23-20. Daniels' numbers weren't good -- 4-for-12 for 39 yards, with 2 rushing yards -- and he was nearly intercepted on an ill-advised lob pass at the end of the first half. Eveld, who had seen only mop-up duty before Saturday, went 8-for-15 for 120 yards in the second half, leading the Bulls on two touchdown drives and scoring on a 1-yard keeper to tie the game with 2 minutes remaining.
"Right now, I don't know," Holtz said about making a decision at quarterback for next week. "Right now, I've got nine guys on this injury report. Let's just see where we are, get back home, get him some treatment and we'll make an evaluation from there with where we are. I don't know whether he'll be able to go yet or not."
STEPPING UP: Among the backups stepping up after injuries was former walk-on receiver Joel Miller, who filled in for an injured Lindsey Lamar and finished with team highs of four catches for 60 yards, the biggest a 9-yard catch to the 1-yard line in overtime to set up Demetris Murray's winning touchdown.
"I knew it was coming, so I just made three steps, turned and there it was," he said, estimating that the ball was "an inch" off the ground when he made the diving grab from Eveld.
Miller came into the game with four catches on the season, but none in the last six games; he matched that total Saturday.
BIG GAME: Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy, a Clearwater Central Catholic graduate, had a huge game for the Hurricanes, finishing with a game-high 10 tackles, as well as a forced fumble.
"Forty-four (McCarthy)'s a great football player -- their Mike linebacker is a tremendous football player," USF offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said.
THIS AND THAT: Redshirt freshman Ryne Giddins (Armwood) made his first career start and had the Bulls' only sack, another tackle for loss and tied for second on the defense with six total tackles. ... Punter Justin Brockhaus-Kann, who had struggled in recent weeks, stepped up with an average of 41.0 yards on his 10 punts, with no touchbacks and two kicks inside the Miami 20. ...