USF has made its name in college football partly by pulling off surpri sing wins. I hate calling them upsets because when they keep happening over and over again, eventually they stop being upsets. That said, I would definitely put this win in the "upset" category.
Consider the huge talent advantage Miami has. Then remember that the advantage actually got bigger as the game went on. (Three of USF's best offensive players left -- B.J. Daniels, Mo Plancher, and Sampson Genus -- while Miami put Jacory Harris back out on the field once the Hurricanes fell behind 10-0.) Actually, just consider that B.J. Daniels left the game. I mean, what kind of odds could I have been given that Bobby Eveld, a walk-on true freshman quarterback with absolutely zero game experience outside of mop-up duty, would adequately move the ball against the Miami defense and direct a game-tying 80-yard touchdown drive in the last five minutes of regulation. Hey, no pressure kid, you have to get a touchdown, and oh yeah, this game only means the world for the program.
Other than the surprise of USF pulling out a win -- really, any win -- under those circumstances, there isn't as much to write about the actual game as I was expecting. The Bulls were clearly better coached, they were outstanding on defense, they didn't make any stupid mistakes, and they caught a couple of breaks (Daniels' horrible throw that Kevin Gidrey broke up to prevent a coast-to-coast INT*, Damien Berry's fumble out of the end zone, and Eveld's non-safety). This wasn't a theft. USF deserved to win the game. And it's totally understandable why Miami would freak out and fire everyone not long afterwards.
So the only remaining question is, who starts at quarterback this Saturday if Daniels and Eveld are both able to play? After the jump we'll try and figure out who would be the better fit.
* - This was the play of the season so far and I feel like it was immediately forgotten after it happened. I'm pretty sure that Ryan Hill has enough open field to take that one back for a score if Gidrey doesn't get his hand in there and rip the ball out. That was the difference between going into halftime down 7-0 with no momentum, and being up 3-0 and feeling like you can win.
(First of all, let's note that Daniels did not practice Sunday night, and according to Adam Adkins of the Tribune, he's going to undergo some more tests on Monday, including an MRI. This exercise assumes both players are healthy and is obviously null and void if Daniels is anything more than merely dinged up.)
Let's present the case for both Bobby Eveld and B.J. Daniels.
PROS: May be better suited to run a standard offense based on how we've seen Daniels handle the transition this season. Accurate on short passes and takes care of the ball. Gives the offense more options in the passing game.
CONS: Not very fast, which eliminates various zone reads and options since he's not a threat to run the ball. Unsure how well he throws down the field because we haven't seen him do it much. Had the element of surprise going for him in Miami, but UConn will have a little bit of film to work with.
PROS: More mobile, assuming he's healthy. Opens up the entire running playbook for a team that likes to rely on the running game. Still has a bazooka arm for play action and throwing deep. Has started every game this season.
CONS: Still struggling to make the right reads and accurate throws. Will make terrible decisions every now and again. Might be healthy enough to play, but not healthy enough to be fully effective.
Personally I would go with Daniels if he's healthy. I think for this particular game, his benefits are more useful than Eveld's. Remember last year, Daniels ran all over the place in the snow against the Huskies, and he would be at least as athletic as anyone on their defense. Even though he still has some issues when he drops back to throw, they've subsided noticeably since the start of conference play, and he's better suited to go after UConn's weak defensive backfield with his stronger arm. If I knew Eveld could get the ball 50 yards down the field, though, it might change my mind some.
What do you all think? Use this handy-dandy poll and the comments to state your case, or say anything else that comes to mind.