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USF's quarterback derby in home stretch

“We’re gonna rely heavily on our coaches, all of ’em,” coach Willie Taggart says of deciding on USF’s starting quarterback.
“We’re gonna rely heavily on our coaches, all of ’em,” coach Willie Taggart says of deciding on USF’s starting quarterback.
Published Aug. 23, 2015

TAMPA — For all practical intents, USF's preseason camp has concluded. The ongoing two-player quarterback derby hasn't.

After Saturday morning's closed scrimmage, coach Willie Taggart said the duel between sophomore Quinton Flowers and senior Steven Bench will end "when our coaches tell me, 'Coach, this is the guy we think should be our quarterback.'

"We're gonna rely heavily on our coaches, all of 'em," added Taggart, whose team opens Sept. 5 at home against Florida A&M. "They've all seen 'em throughout this training camp, and we'll rely heavily on the film that we've seen."

Taggart said Saturday's workout, which preceded Fan Fest at the Sun Dome, was devoid of turnovers. Flowers accounted for the lone touchdown, checking down and finding walk-on Chase Whitehead on a zone-read play for a 25-yard scoring pass.

Taggart said the QB decision will be based primarily on who makes the fewest mistakes.

"Oh, no doubt, by (all) means," he said. "If we take care of the football, like I said, I think they're all good enough athletically to play the position. Just got to be smart and take care of the ball."

Dawn patrol: Starting next week, the Bulls will practice almost exclusively in the mornings, a modification from previous years. Taggart said several colleagues — and the area weather pattern — were influential in the decision.

FSU: Receiving Fisher's message

TALLAHASSEE — A day after saying his receivers "stunk," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher wasn't that much more impressed with the unit in Saturday's scrimmage at Doak Campbell Stadium.

"They made some plays, but still they got holding calls on running plays," Fisher said of his receivers Saturday. "You've got to play intelligently."

As for the quarterbacks, Fisher said: "Their numbers will come out really good, there was a lot of things, game management, that I want to get cleaned up."

Fisher said after practice Friday that the receivers need "to grow up and be more consistent. They've had some good (practices), but right now, today, they stunk today.

"They ain't getting open, can't catch the ball, can't count on them right now … as a group."

UF: McElwain rotates QBs, for now

GAINESVILLE — Until Florida coach Jim McElwain decides on Will Grier or Treon Harris as the starter, he could use both in a rotation for a while.

"Those two guys are progressing," McElwain said after Friday's scrimmage. "No clear separation yet. And that's okay."

Media members were not allowed to watch the scrimmage. McElwain said the quarterbacks combined for three touchdown passes and three interceptions.


Tennessee: Defensive back Rashaan Gaulden (broken foot) will miss the season. Coach Butch Jones said the sophomore got "tripped up" on a punt return drill.

TCU: Receiver and kick returner Cameron Echols-Luper, a junior, has left the school.

Soccer: Host USF beat Tampa 2-1 in an exhibition to reclaim the Rowdies Cup. Defender Gabriel Pfeffer scored the winner in the 36th minute. Nazeem Bartman also scored for the Bulls; Keith Francisco gave the Spartans a 1-0 lead in the second minute.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.