- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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There really is nothing unusual about USF lining up its backup quarterback against Miami.
This will be the third straight season the Bulls have relied on their second-stringer in this game.
With starter B.J. Daniels out for the season, USF will start either Matt Floyd or Bobby Eveld on Saturday. Coach Skip Holtz has not announced a starter yet, hoping to keep the competition between his two quarterbacks going as long as possible. Floyd has been the backup all season; but Eveld has more game experience -- including the only win in program history over the Hurricanes back in 2010.
"We've got an obligation to put the best quarterback on the field, the one that gives us the best opportunity to win," Holtz said. "As much as it's the opponent, it's the game experience. Being able to go on the road and lead a team in overtime to victory and make some of the plays [Eveld] did, that sits in the back. It's still about who gives you the best chance to win by protecting the ball, but that's one of those intangible things that has to lean in Bobby's favor with his game experience."
The plan going into the season was to redshirt Eveld and go with Floyd as the backup. But after Daniels broke his leg nearly two weeks ago against UConn, the plan changed. Eveld called the last two weeks a "roller coaster" but said he would do whatever it takes to help the team out, even if it means burning his redshirt with three weeks left in the season.
The two have essentially split all the reps last week during the bye and this week as well in order to get themselves prepared for the game. As mentioned earlier, playing Miami is nothing new for Eveld. He has come on in relief of Daniels the past two seasons. During the upset in 2010, he took over at halftime and engineered a fourth-quarter comeback. His 1-yard touchdown run sent the game into overtime, and USF won 23-20 after Demetris Murray scored in the extra period.
Miami coach Randy Shannon was fired hours after the game. But for USF, it was one of the biggest wins in school history. Eveld will never forget the celebration in the locker room.
"I still get way too much credit for that game," Eveld told ESPN.com during a phone interview Wednesday. "I think I was just able to play within the system and I stuck to my reads. The coaches really made it simple as far as terminology. They tried to keep it basic and everybody executed their job."
Miami coach Al Golden said he was not too concerned over who his team would have to face at quarterback, first praising Daniels for his terrific career before saying, "We're ready for either one of them. I see that more as an offensive system as opposed to just a quarterback."
Floyd has gotten the game experience this year, coming on in relief of Daniels briefly against Florida State, and then in the fourth quarter against UConn. He had fumbles in both of those games, perhaps due to nerves. But Floyd is ready for the challenge ahead of him, should his number get called to start. And a big reason why -- the competition has made him better.
"You can’t slack off," Floyd said in an interview with ESPN.com. "You’re never supposed to slack off, but when you’ve got somebody right on your back fighting for your position, it makes you fight that much harder. Me and Bobby are doing a great job pushing each other. Either decision the coaches make is what’s best for the team."
2dAndrea Adelson and Matt Fortuna