CHARLOTTE, N.C. — USF fans will have to wait until this morning to find out who will start at quarterback against Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Sophomore B.J. Daniels and freshman Bobby Eveld might have to wait almost as long.
USF coach Skip Holtz reiterated Thursday that both will play and said there's a strategic and psychological benefit in waiting to tell even the passers themselves who will take the field first.
"Especially Bobby as a young guy. You tell Bobby he's starting now, and he'll be a basket case. He won't be able to walk by the time he gets to the game," Holtz said of the former Jesuit High standout. "As a freshman, he gets overly excited. (Against) Pittsburgh (on Nov. 20), we were going to play Bobby with B.J. being out. We went through Thursday's practice, and I don't think Bobby completed a pass. He was just nervous, holding onto everything, wouldn't throw it. That's part of the maturing process.
"B.J. has been there a little bit more, has been in that experience. Bobby, when he does get in, whether it's the first play or the last, it's going to be, 'All right, you're in. Get your helmet.' You're not going to give him a lot of time to think."
Eveld has played the past six quarters, rallying the Bulls to a win at Miami then falling 19-16 at home to Connecticut on a last-minute field goal. Both times, Daniels was limited by a bruised quad. Now he's healthy, battling Eveld in an open competition during practices over the past three weeks.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the uncertainty hasn't changed how his defense has prepared.
"We've just prepared for South Florida, what they do," he said. "They're not going to drastically change play calls. They're going to be who they are. (Daniels) definitely runs better than (Eveld). We'll be prepared."
TELLING? Holtz's father, Lou, an analyst for ESPN, spoke only of Daniels when asked about USF on a teleconference Thursday. That could point to him knowing something or just be a smokescreen.
"Their quarterback is going to have to have a great game. I think B.J. Daniels is going to have to play a prominent role in this game," he said. "He's going to have to make some plays."
Tickets: USF used only about 4,000 of its allotted 12,500 tickets. Clemson sold all 12,500 of its tickets but didn't request more, despite its campus being about two hours away from Charlotte. Total attendance is expected to be about 40,000. The smallest crowd in the bowl game's eight seasons is 50,389 last year for Pittsburgh-North Carolina.
THIS AND THAT: DT Terrell McClain accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game, a showcase for seniors, Jan. 22 in Orlando. … Sophomore WR Daniel Bryant, who had just one catch this season, is no longer with the team after failing to improve his grades.