Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls try to decide on next quarterback

TAMPA — The ongoing battle for USF's quarterback nod Saturday at Miami could be simple coaching gamesmanship as much as anything. The uncertainty keeps pressure and attention off the eventual starter and forces the Hurricanes to prepare for both possibilities this week.

It's likely that coach Skip Holtz will announce his starter Saturday — maybe minutes before kickoff. That's what Holtz did before USF's bowl win against Clemson in 2010, and against Louisville last season, going so far as to have both quarterbacks in the huddle on the sideline before sending out the starter.

Whether it's 6-foot-1 redshirt freshman Matt Floyd stepping in for injured senior B.J. Daniels, or 6-5 junior Bobby Eveld, the Bulls will be taking their first steps toward finding a starter for next season. Floyd won the backup job in preseason but has played sparingly; Eveld has two career starts and has played against Miami in each of the past two seasons but is on course to redshirt, so playing him gives up a future year of eligibility. That's something he and Holtz are willing to do if it's in the team's best interests.

"Right now, we have two young players that each have strengths," Holtz said Tuesday with an elusiveness normally reserved for Daniels. "We're going to let it roll … until a clear-cut starter is defined. Right now, that really hasn't been the case. They're both doing an excellent job. They're both completing about 63 percent of their passes. You're waiting for, statistically, one of them to just take it, but right now, it's a great, competitive battle."

Holtz has portrayed the competition as Eveld's "leadership and command of the huddle" vs. Floyd's "feet and the elusiveness that he brings to the quarterback position," two assets prevalent in Daniels, whose season ended in the win against Connecticut when he broke a bone at the base of his left leg.

"That, probably, ultimately, is the decision we're going to have to make," said Holtz, whose official depth chart lists the QBs as Eveld "or" Floyd, the edge there perhaps as simple as an alphabetical one.

Neither has had many positive statistics over the past two seasons; Eveld had one touchdown against four interceptions last season, while Floyd has passed for 22 yards on 10 attempts this season. Coming in for one play against Florida State in late September when Daniels needed a quick breather after a hard hit, Floyd was sacked and his fumble was recovered and returned for a crucial touchdown; in his first play stepping in for Daniels against UConn, Floyd fumbled the snap, though tight end Jeff Hawkins recovered for USF. The QB-center exchange was precarious enough that USF ran out its "victory" formation with Floyd in shotgun.

"That's something you have to put into the equation," Holtz said Sunday. "(Eveld) definitely has more game experience in his hip pocket than Matt does, and it's something you're a little bit concerned about, when you watch Matt go in last week and the very first play he's under center, we fumble the ball. … That will definitely be something you have to lean towards Bobby on, with game experience."

Asked for what edges Floyd would bring to the position, offensive coordinator Todd Fitch pointed to the repetitions he has gotten as the top backup and some of his mechanics as a passer.

"(Floyd) has gotten a little more reps this fall … he's a little bit more mobile, gets the ball out a little quicker," Fitch said. "He's a little more athletic, has a very good knack of getting the ball out on time, bang-bang-bang. I think the mobility and the ability to get the ball out a hair quicker is where I see his edge. He can probably improvise, make some plays on his own more so than Bobby can, athletically."

There's a history of USF redshirt freshman quarterbacks inheriting the starting job from an injured senior. Daniels stepped in when Matt Grothe injured his knee in 2009, just as Grothe took over for Pat Julmiste in 2006 and never gave the job up.

Coaches and players have generally addressed the position as up for grabs in interviews this week, though there was one glaring exception. Asked about USF football without Daniels, senior linebacker Sam Barrington had this to say: "It's very different. I try to get in Matt Floyd's ear, just tell him he's ready, he's going to do a great job. It's his time now."

USF Bulls try to decide on next quarterback 11/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games


    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.