USF Still in Wait and See Mode With Daniels
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Quarterback B.J. Daniels' status for Thursday is up in the air, while USF's veteran wide receivers on the mend could be back in the mix at Raymond James Stadium.
Daniels sat out of Friday's loss to Louisville after injuring his shoulder the week before against Miami. USF coaches didn't count him out for Thursday's home finale against West Virginia, but they aren't ready to declare the redshirt junior ready to go either.
"I don't know exactly where he's going to be," head coach Skip Holtz said Monday. "He went out yesterday and threw the ball around a little bit. It doesn't have the velocity on it yet, certainly not 100 percent, but he was able to go out and throw."
That was a very positive sign for Daniels, who needs just 141 passing yards to reach 2,500 in a season for the first time in his USF career.
"He did more the first day of practice yesterday than he did all last week," offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said. "There is progress. It's just going to be how much it continues on a day-to-day basis."
If Daniels can't go, the ball will stay in the hands of sophomore Bobby Eveld, who earned solid reviews from his coaches after going 20-for-35 for 210 yards (1 TD, 1 INT) in his second-career start against Louisville.
"For the most part I was really pleased with the way Bobby played," Holtz said. "I thought he threw it pretty accurately. It's just the mental aspect, having it happen at game speed and making decisions a little bit quicker are things we need to continue to work on with him."
Whether it's Daniels or Eveld, USF could get a huge boost if receivers Sterling Griffin and A.J. Love return to the field Thursday night. Both have been sidelined with leg injuries and have been making progress.
"It looks like both of those guys have a chance to be back, which would be a welcome addition to our receiving corps," Holtz said.
Regardless of who plays and who sits, the Bulls (5-6) have one goal in mind in the final regular season game of 2011 - becoming bowl eligible for the seventh straight year.
"The benefits of going to a bowl game are going to be long felt on this football team," Holtz said. "We talked about the number of youth and guys returning, having an extra spring practice and bowl practice to get ready for (the future)."
A bowl game also would be important for the present Bulls. A total of 17 seniors will be playing their final home game Thursday. This group has helped USF win 29 games the past four years, including three straight bowl victories.
"Their contribution is not just measured in terms of what they've done this year, but what they've done in their four, five years here to help build this program," Holtz said.
LAMAR BACK TO BEING LAMAR
Special teams have been a continuous project for USF this season. That's why Holtz spoke with great joy Monday when he looked back at Lindsey Lamar's performance against Louisville.
The 2010 Big East Special Teams Player of the Year had five kick returns for 144 yards with a long of 62 yards in his best game of 2011.
"It was nice to see Lindsey Lamar get going a little bit on the kickoff return team," Holtz said. "That is coming along and getting better."