By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - An intense quarterback battle that goes down the wire can sometimes tear a team apart, but it's done the exact opposite for the Bulls.
Matt Floyd and Bobby Eveld continue to compete for the starting spot in practice just days before USF takes on Miami and the situation is all good with both of them.
"It's all good competition and it's fun competition," Eveld said.
"I think it's great because neither one of us has been named," Floyd said. "We're both going to compete like we're fighting for it and I think that's what is really good. When everyone is competing, we'll step up our game."
One thing that has been crystal clear is USF's ability to rally around both quarterbacks that are both well liked in the locker room. Each snap is under the microscope and players at other positions know they need to excel at what they're doing to give the Bulls the best chance to win Saturday and beyond.
"I have to step up, get more vocal and lead by example as well," senior running back Demetris Murray said.
Holtz has sported a solid poker face the entire way through the competition but has been very vocal about how things have unfolded from a team standpoint with USF having to win out to become bowl eligible.
"I think if they were different personality-wise and they were at each other's throats, didn't get along and didn't talk to each other, then you'd watch a team divide behind them," Holtz said. "Everybody would start to pick sides. Right now I don't think our players are in a tizzy about, 'Oh, no who is going to be the quarterback?'
"I think they understand whichever one is the quarterback, we can't ask that one player to pick up the whole of 10,000 yards (Daniels amassed)," Holtz added. "Everybody is saying, 'What can I do to help pick up my weight?'"
Bivins Tears His ACL Again
The mounting injury toll for the Bulls includes defensive back Chris Bivins, who tore the ACL in his right knee last week during non-contact action in practice.
The freshman is scheduled to have surgery Thursday and he's well prepared for the rehabilitation process after suffering the same injury in his last prep game at Gainesville High School. Bivins saw action in four games this season and Holtz is hopeful that the athletic cornerback has many more games in his future.
"I know that he was really down for the first couple of days, but his spirits are probably as high as they could be with somebody going through his second ACL. We're hopeful for a full recovery," Holtz said. "Because it's his second one it should not diminish his opportunity of coming back, it just might take him a little bit longer to get the confidence back in it mentally once it's repaired."
Popek, Estenor Should Be Back Saturday
Mark Popek and Danous Estenor made huge strides in attempt to come back from injuries on Tuesday and Holtz is now hopeful to have both offensive linemen back for Miami.
"Yesterday both of them really surprised me with how far along they were. I did not expect them to be as good as they were yesterday," Holtz said. "I would expect both of them to play."
Popek, a senior, has been working primarily at the tackle position.