TAMPA — After weeks of watching his quarterbacks battle in practice, USF coach Willie Taggart was confident he had found his starter in Matt Floyd.
Saturday's results, however, might cause Taggart to rethink things.
Floyd, a sophomore and team captain, struggled during the 53-21 loss against Division I-AA McNeese State. He completed just 9 of 20 passes for 72 yards and two interceptions, including one that was returned 78 yards for a touchdown before halftime. He was pulled after one play in the third quarter, an interception that led to a McNeese State touchdown. In Floyd's place stepped senior Bobby Eveld, who was 10-for-20 for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite the differences in the quarterbacks' performances, Taggart said he has not made a final decision on who will be the starter moving forward.
"We're going to evaluate that film and see going into next week," Taggart said. "Bobby came in and did a good job for us."
Compared to the first half, good was an understatement.
USF's offense limped through the first 30 minutes, gaining 171 yards, with 142 of those coming courtesy of running back Marcus Shaw.
From Eveld's first drive in the third quarter, it was nearly a complete turnaround. The Jesuit High product led a four-play, 68-yard drive that was capped by a 59-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Bravo-Brown. Eveld added one more in the fourth quarter, a 7-yard strike to former Jefferson standout Andre Davis.
"I felt pretty good," Eveld said. "I felt like I was seeing it. My (offensive) line was giving me pretty good protection, guys were getting up, and so that makes my job a lot easier."
Eveld said Floyd, who was not available for comment after the game, was "a little down," but he didn't feel like his confidence was gone.
"Matt's one of my best friends on the team," Eveld said. "We have a really close relationship and whatever I could do to help him out, I was there for him."
Eveld stopped short of saying the starting job was open again, though, leaving that decision in the hands of Taggart.
"That's not up to me," Eveld said. "We'll see what Coach Taggart has to say. If he wants me to play, I'll be ready."