White to start for UCF game

ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

Rather than having another weeklong competition for the quarterback position, coach Willie Taggart announced Monday afternoon in his weekly teleconference that sophomore quarterback Mike White will start for the Bulls this week. 

“Last week, Mike White did a good job of coming back and getting his confidence back,” Taggart said.

Taggart said the weekly competition has been good for the players involved, but the coaching staff is still waiting for one quarterback to stand out.

“It gives you some competition and it will give you the guy that really wants the job,” Taggart said. “I think that’s something that we’ve all been waiting for: someone to take the job and run with it.”

White appeared to be injured when he got hit hard and had to be removed from the game in the fourth quarter against Memphis, but the sophomore said he felt ready to go immediately after the game. 

With White already penciled in as the starting quarterback, Taggart said it’s possible one of White’s top receivers, sophomore receiver Rodney Adams, may be back in action against UCF.

“I’m very hopeful,” Taggart said. “He practiced (Sunday) and that was a great relief having him out there.”

 

Players’ thoughts on UCF

 

Senior center Austin Reiter will have his last opportunity to play UCF on Friday and he’s relishing the opportunity. 

“It’s going to be a lot of fun, I’m really glad we have this scheduled for the last game,” Reiter said. “It’s going to be a pretty big show out.”

Reiter said it’s clear how the players feel about the Knights, especially with both teams now playing in the same conference.

“When I think of UCF, I think of the past history with Jim Leavitt,” Reiter said. “When I think of UCF, I think 86 miles is what it is. If you don’t have a hate for a school that’s in the same conference as you that’s 86 miles away, I don’t know what a rivalry is.”

Senior lineman Quinterrius Eatmon said it’s clear how the two schools feel about each other, despite only playing each other once in the past five years. 

 

“I think it’s pretty well known how USF feels about UCF and I’m pretty sure it’s vice versa,” Eatmon said. “The fans don’t like them, we don’t like them, they don’t like us and their fans don’t like us.”

 

No bowl for the seniors

 

With USF’s 31-20 loss against Memphis on Saturday, the Bulls fell out of bowl contention for the fourth straight year, which means the seniors weren’t able to play a postseason game as Bulls.

“That’s the goal: to win championships,” Eatmon said. “To not do that one time, I think there’s a void there, but I wouldn’t change anything.”

Reiter also said he wouldn’t trade his time at USF for anything, but he wasn’t bothered by the lack of a bowl game. 

“I don’t really look at it that way,” Reiter said. “The memories that I’ve made here surpass going to a bowl game in my mind because of the guys I’ve been with for the past five years.”

Because the seniors’ collegiate careers will be over after final snap Friday, the team is treating Friday’s game like a bowl game. 

“It’s really special because that’s my last time in Raymond James,” Reiter said. “It’ll be my last game and it’s against a rival. I don’t think I could picture a better way to end my senior year.”

USF will host UCF on Friday at noon at Raymond James Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. 

 

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