Here it is: Matt Floyd is USF's starting QB
USF football coach Willie Taggart has made his decision: Sophomore Matt Floyd has won a close competition and will be the Bulls' starting quarterback for next week's season opener against McNeese State.
Floyd, who started USF's final two games last year after senior B.J. Daniels was lost to injury, has edged out senior Bobby Eveld and two newcomers in a battle that has persisted from spring ball into the final week of preseason drills. In addition to the starting nod, Floyd has been selected as a team captain for the season, along with senior linebacker DeDe Lattimore and kicker Marvin Kloss, a former walk-on who won the place-kicking job over freshman Emilio Nadelman.
Floyd threw two touchdown passes to receiver Andre Davis in USF's spring game, but also had problems with fumbled snaps, something that he struggled with last season as well. The Bulls will run a version of the West Coast offense this fall, with complex play calls, elaborate pre-snap shifting and motion and important reads and changes made at the line of scrimmage.
Floyd, from Milton in the Panhandle, struggled in his two starts as a redshirt freshman last year, throwing for 466 yards in three games but having no touchdowns against five interceptions. He beat out not only Eveld for the job, but two newcomers this fall in Penn State transfer Steven Bench and true freshman Mike White.
Taggart has said that Floyd was making more plays than Eveld, but needed him to limit his mistakes, something he's clearly shown the ability to do in recent days.
Here's how Taggart addressed Floyd one week ago today as the Bulls wrapped up drills in Vero Beach: "Matt has made some really great plays this training camp, but he's also made some really bad plays. We're trying to get him to be consistent. Bobby, you can tell he really understands the offense. He probably hasn't made as many plays as Matt, but he hasn't made as many bad plays as Matt."
In other lineup news, sophomore Kenneth Durden and senior Brandon Salinas will open the season as USF's starting cornerbacks -- Salinas is a walk-on who was placed on scholarship on Saturday night. Sophomore Zack Bullock has edged fellow sophomore Tashon Whitehurst for the starting nod at strongside linebacker.
USF's opener at McNeese is a game the Bulls should win -- they're 16-0 in home openers -- but a major challenges awaits on Sept. 7, when USF plays at Michigan State.