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B.J. Daniels Shows Why He's the USF Franchise Player


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B.J. Daniels Shows Why He's the USF Franchise Player

by Tom Edrington

It may be tougher than ever to stop "The Franchise" for the University of South Florida's football team this fall.

B.J. Daniels left little doubt after Saturday night's spring game for the Bulls. He simply dominated all evening, passing the way coach Skip Holtz wants him to.

His red jersey put tacklers on notice that hitting Daniels was strictly forbidden.

Didn't matter.

Daniels showed that he is learning his new role in the Holtz offense. He'll pass first and run only when necessary. Daniels was on target to the tune of 23 completions in 31 attempts, good enough for 381 yards and five touchdowns, four of those to his target of choice, Dontavia Bogan.

"Really impressed," said Holtz, which put him in agreement with the 6,000 plus on hand in the stands at Raymond-James Stadium.

Bogan was impressive as well. "Obviously he had a huge game," Holtz added.

Team "South Florida" owned and operated by Daniels, won out 49-31 over team "Bulls." The outcome really didn't matter, since Holtz perhaps had a few more answers and a few more pieces to the puzzle he needs to put together and display come September.

The defense was limited to base sets, a true vanilla flavor if you wish. It was easy for Daniels to operate but his accuracy and velocity was impressive as he continues his recovery from offseason surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.

"It was a blessing to have him in spring practice," Holtz said often during April.

It will also be a blessing to have him up and ready for the fall.

Amidst the Daniels display came these additional observations:

Evan Landi, one of the team's most versatile athletes, is still Holtz' man to back up Daniels if the season started next week.

Landi caught passes, ran the football and worked at quarterback. He had an incredibly productive night, including a 57-yard catch on the game's first play.

Mistral Raymond had a great spring and it carried over into the game. He made some huge hits from his safety position early in the game that you could hear 60 yards away.

A.J. Love was injured in the fourth quarter and it looked to possibly be serious. He flung his helmet in frustration when he was hit. He knows the pain of a severe knee injury. He has recovered from a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in the 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl.

The defense had its moments but showed no blitzes or stunts. Still, Holtz believes it's an area that will require more work. The defense has depth but it is youthful.

Mo Plancher did most of the heavy lifting when it came to the running game. Plancher had 10 carries for 54 yards. Demetrius Murray added 38 yards on eight carries.

Lindsey Lamar, who has been moved from running back to wide receiver, made five catches for 40 yards. They'll need him to make some big plays in the fall.

Holtz overall was excited by the spring body of work.

"I'm encouraged," he said before the game. "We formulated our two-deep depth chart. The offensive line has done a great job picking up the new system, in fact everyone has. Our defense has done a great job. We have depth on the defensive line and linebackers."

Holtz and his staff will now have another three months to keep the momentum.

In the meantime, if you ask random USF players, things are so very different now than they were a year ago.

"Football is fun again," one player said after the spring game.

And the difference from the old regime?

"I can tell you that morale took a huge jump the first day we met with him (Holtz)," the player said.

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usf is in trouble if he is their franchise player

one qb cant do it alone

seems i was right about leavitt all along

i hate these games because of injury factor

that is why we play stoney brook---to get warmed up for season

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Well done BJ Daniels, I think we will have a lot of offensive weapons this season.  Running backs have yet to show themselves.  I hope we get Taylor back,he is a beast.

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we'd just better pull him after we have a sizeable lead against the non-BCS schools.

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He can be a great qb. Needs to take the check downs and he'll be unstoppabull.

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...   Running backs have yet to show themselves.  I hope we get Taylor back,he is a beast.

... he's taking the Spring off to get his grades straight.

Hoping also !

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No blitzs, but 5 TFL and 5 sacks on the first team O line. O NO.

I would imagine that at least 2-3 were due to the quick whistle because of BJ's injury.

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No blitzs, but 5 TFL and 5 sacks on the first team O line. O NO.

I would imagine that at least 2-3 were due to the quick whistle because of bj daniels injury.

I would hazard to say that all of them was that way, with only a fingertip of the defensive player on him and no hope of actually sacking him.  There was at least twice where he was in the motion of stepping up to throw ball that they called the play dead cause of a fingertip on him.

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In a real game I think only one of those would have been a sack.

On the other hand, you have to take all those passing yards with the same grain of salt. By the second half Fitch was calling plays based on the rules the defense had to follow (no blitzing and stunting, no nickel or dime package, no double coverage, no press coverage). It was really token resistance.

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In a real game I think only one of those would have been a sack.

On the other hand, you have to take all those passing yards with the same grain of salt. By the second half Fitch was calling plays based on the rules the defense had to follow (no blitzing and stunting, no nickel or dime package, no double coverage, no press coverage). It was really token resistance.

It really was. If the defense was going to be handicapped so badly I don't want to see the offense be able to run amuck and dominate simply because of that. Limit the offense too.

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