As has been the case in the two previous seasons under coach Willie Taggart, the Bulls find themselves in the midst of an offseason without a starting quarterback named for the upcoming fall.
The three quarterbacks with a real shot at the starting job — senior Steven Bench, junior Mike White and sophomore Quinton Flowers — all took the majority of snaps under center during USF’s spring game Saturday.
But after watching the three quarterbacks combine for three interceptions and only one touchdown, Taggart said he still has more to evaluate before settling on a starter.
“We’re not going to make a decision on who the quarterback will be based on one game, a scrimmage where they’re all mixed up,” Taggart said. “But we are going to evaluate them on technique, fundamentals and execution of the play. I always tell them we need a guy that can consistently run our offense and not turn the football over.”
Flowers was the only quarterback to not turn the ball over Saturday, but the sophomore was 6-of-17 on passes and couldn’t complete a single touchdown-producing drive.
In comparison, White completed 11-of-17 passes for 83 yards and threw one interception while Bench completed 5-of-11 passes for 48 yards and threw two interceptions.
Though Flowers didn’t score Saturday, the dual-threat quarterback’s game was limited by a two-hand touch rule that was in place for the quarterbacks to avoid injury.
The 6-foot, 217-pound sophomore was visibly frustrated to be whistled down several times as he tried to extend plays with his legs.
“I’m not that type of guy, that tip-tap touch guy,” Flowers said. “You have to make a sure tackle on me. I’m not going to let just one guy tackle me.”
Flowers could use his speed to open up the offense when he actually has to be brought down to the turf this fall. In limited action last year, he rushed for 73 yards on 13 attempts.
Evidence of this play-making ability came with just over four minutes left in the first quarter. Flowers faked out the defense on a run to the right and then pitched the ball to the left to running back Darius Tice, who picked up 17 yards and converted the third down.
“You could say Quinton opens up the game more because he’s more athletic,” running back Marlon Mack said. “They’re trying to watch the read-option more with him so he opens up the game more than the other quarterbacks.”
USF players of the week
USF softball pitcher Karla Claudio was named the American Player of the Week after the Bulls won two of three against Tulsa this weekend.
Claudio did all of her damage during the Bulls’ doubleheader Saturday. The senior pitcher hit three home runs and had nine RBIs, which included a grand slam in Game 1 of the series.
She is the only player in the AAC this season to have been named both the conference player of the week and pitcher of the week.
Collegiate Baseball named senior Buddy Putnam, who also hit a grand slam over the weekend, as the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week.
Over his past four games, Putnam has hit .438 with eight runs and 10 RBIs. With this award, he has become the first player in program history to win a national player of the week award.
Women’s golf player fourth in Web.com Intercollegiate
Following the first two rounds of play in the Web.com Intercollegiate at the par-72 Marsh Landing Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USF women’s golfer Ashley Burke sits tied for fourth place.
Burke birdied six holes over the first two rounds and is currently at 3-under par.
As a team, the Bulls are in 12th place out of 17 teams heading into the final round today in the last match of the regular season.