Taggart on QB job: 'We're going to get behind Matt'
TAMPA -- USF coach Willie Taggart said Monday that his decision to name sophomore Matt Floyd as his starting quarterback wasn't an easy on, but he doesn't want him looking over his shoulder every week.
"Matt understands we're not going to go in game by game, him worrying about his position being taken," Taggart said on the American Athletic Conference coaches teleconference. "We're going to get behind Matt and support him. He also knows we need production from that position. He has to do something, too, like the rest of our guys. We expect him to do something."
Taggart named Floyd as starter on Saturday night, choosing him over senior Bobby Eveld and Penn State transfer Steven Bench in a close competition. Taggart said the battle for the QB job was a close one, and he likes the depth he has at the position.
"It was very close, probably one of the hardest decisions I've made when it comes to picking position guys in my head coaching experience," Taggart said. "I've never had three guys competing for a job. Really four guys (with freshman Mike White), but it came down to those three, Matt, Bobby and Steven Bench. It was tough. It was close."
Taggart said he saw significant improvement in Floyd since the spring, when he threw two touchdown's in USF's spring game but also lost four fumbles on problems taking snaps under center.
"He's gotten a lot better than where he was in spring ball. When he came to training camp, he was night and day better than he was then," Taggart said. "Even from the leadership part of it, you see him starting to be a little more vocal. It seems like he's realyl focused. He doesn't get rattled. He's made a lot of plays for us, throwing the ball and also running around. I think whenever you have a guy who can get you at least two first downs with his feet and can throw the football, you have a really good chance to have some success on offense. He was able to do that and do it consistently, to get us into the right plays."
Floyd will start in Saturday's opener against I-AA McNeese State, and the question now is how many of Taggart's backups he intends to play this season. Eveld has said this will be his last season, but Bench and White both have redshirts available if they choose to use one.