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South Florida QB situation unclear for WVU

With South Florida starter B.J. Daniels' status for this week's game uncertain, WVU is preparing to face Daniels and his backup, Bobby Eveld.

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By Josh Sickles
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011
 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Preparing for one quarterback is hard enough, but this week, West Virginia must prepare for two.

And to make matters worse, the two quarterbacks are completely different.

With South Florida starter B.J. Daniels' status for Thursday's game uncertain, WVU is preparing to face Daniels and his backup, Bobby Eveld.

"That's one of those things that you've got to be careful how you prepare for it," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. "You don't know who you're going to see. When guys are injured, you don't know if they're truly out or if they're going to play."

Daniels, a redshirt junior, injured his throwing shoulder two weeks ago on a run in the third quarter of a loss to Miami. South Florida coach Skip Holtz called the injury an AC joint bruise.

Daniels was unable to play last week against Louisville, and Eveld got his first start of the season, completing 20 of 35 passes for 210 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The vast difference between Daniels and Eveld makes preparation difficult.

Daniels is more athletic and is more of a scrambler. He's rushed for 578 yards and five touchdowns this season.

He's also experienced, starting 32 games over the past three years.

And he has developed into a better pure passer. In 10 starts this season, he has completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 2,359 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

"It's completely different when you have a junior quarterback with B.J.'s ability and the things he can do athletically," Holtz said. "The way he's developed this year — and I'm talking about athletically and with the accuracy of his arm — made us a pretty productive offensive football team throughout the year."

Eveld is more of a pure drop-back, pocket passer, and as a sophomore, he doesn't have nearly the experience of Daniels.

"We have to do a little more back there to protect Bobby," Holtz said. "When you have a young quarterback along with young wide receivers, you lack the consistency you're looking for to be an explosive type of offense. It makes a huge difference in the offense."

After Daniels left the Miami game, South Florida's offense gained only 65 yards and didn't score again in the 6-3 loss. The Bulls improved under Eveld last week, scoring 24 points and gaining 311 yards.

Daniels is iffy for Thursday. Holtz said he was able to throw Sunday night, but the velocity on his throws and his ability to protect himself is uncertain.

"We're preparing for both, one or the other, everything," WVU defensive tackle Julian Miller said. "We just want to go into this game being fully prepared for anything."

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