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Sunday, Dec 21, 2014
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Fennelly: No clear winner at QB yet for Bulls

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TAMPA -

One started with a bang, one ended with a bang.

And we still don’t know who South Florida’s No. 1 quarterback is — or if there even is one.

What’s the old line: If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have any?

“We don’t have one, not yet,” Willie Taggart said after his first spring game as Bulls coach. “But we’ll get there. They’ll get there.”

For starters at the Green and White game, sophomore Matt Floyd dropped back for the White on his first snap and threw deep for Andre Davis, who finished it off, 85 yards for a touchdown, nothing to it.

On the last play of the game, on his last snap, senior Bobby Eveld bulled his way into the end zone for a White touchdown to cap a textbook two-minute drill that saw Eveld hit two big passes, one for 31 yards, one for 22.

I know the world isn’t holding its breath, not even the American Athletic Conference is, but we still don’t have a winner, no clue as to who will start next September in the 2013 opener right back here in Raymond James Stadium against McNeese State.

I’d have to give Eveld the edge because he’s a senior, but what does that mean? We’re not even sure there is a true No. 1, not like B.J. Daniels was, anyway. A good deal of Taggart’s rookie season at USF could be riding on that.

Floyd and Eveld have heard some of that, the doubters on the outside.

“That’s what the quarterback position brings — we have to have that chip on our shoulder,” Floyd said.

“It’s definitely something you use for motivation, when people doubt you,” said Eveld, who has been there before, having walked on at USF.

Eveld didn’t sparkle after stepping in when Daniels went down with a career-ending ankle injury against Connecticut.

And Floyd didn’t exactly electrify the program after taking over after Eveld went down with a season-ending shoulder injury at Miami.

Then again, who on USF did in a miserable 3-9 season that led to Saturday, with Taggart standing where Skip Holtz once did?

Where do the Bulls stand at quarterback?

They’re a long way from the start line.

Saturday, Floyd’s team beat Eveld’s team, 14-11. Floyd completed nine of 16 passes for 208 yards and threw two touchdowns to Davis. But Floyd also fumbled two snaps, and his offense lost one of those. Eveld went 14-for-24 for 143 yards, but he also threw an interception. For both of them, it was a mixed bag, and the new coach doesn’t like those.

It sounded like he expected more from both quarterbacks.

“Nobody’s ahead,” Taggart said.

But you had to like that swagger on Floyd’s first throw of the game. And you had to like the fight in Eveld’s final drive, plus that he tried two QB sneaks and both times he was hit on his non-throwing shoulder, the one he injured last year at Miami.

“It didn’t hurt too bad, but I felt it,” Eveld said.

If you’re feeling any animosity between these dueling QBs, they’re here to set you straight.

“I would say Bobby is one of my best friends,” Floyd said.

“Between meetings, practice and film, we probably spend more time with each other than we do with our families,” Eveld said.

There’s a lot riding on how these two ride through the summer and into the season.

Do the Bulls have two No. 1s? Do they have none?

“B.J. was a fantastic quarterback,” Matt Floyd said. “He had an amazing run. It’s the unknown now, for the outside, it’s the unknown, who’s going to step up and do the job.

“For us, we know what we’re capable of.”

It’s a doubters’ paradise at the moment.

Two quarterbacks, two shoulders, with chips on both.

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