Irish fans know all too well what preseason hamstring injuries can do to a football team. (See Rudolph, Kyle for proof.) As the Irish prep for their opening game against South Florida, Skip Holtz’s Bulls need to get their starting quarterback healthy.
According to a report from Greg Auman’s USF Sports Bulletin, B.J. Daniels was helped off the field after an injury to his left hamstring. Daniels is an important cog in the USF offense, with a glaring lack of depth behind him at the quarterback position.
More from Auman:
USF has its first major injury concern of the preseason, with starting quarterback B.J. Daniels injuring his left hamstring as he went down awkwardly at the end of a scramble during Tuesday morning’s practice in Vero Beach.
Daniels was on his back as trainers attended to his left leg, then watched the remainder of practice from the sidelines, at one point sitting down to test his left leg. He walked gingerly to the team huddle at the end of practice, his leg iced, and was slow again leaving the field when practice ended.
USF head coach Skip Holtz (by coincidence) was not scheduled to speak with the media on Tuesday, though he may be available before or after the team’s second practice tonight. It’s reasonable to think Daniels would be held out tonight simply as a precaution -- the Bulls still have 25 days before they open their 2011 season at Notre Dame on Sept. 3. Daniels, as a third-year starter, is the team’s best-known star and a reason the Bulls have been picked as one of the top challengers to West Virginia for the Big East title this fall.
Should the injury linger, USF doesn’t have backup quarterbacks with extensive college experience -- sophomore Bobby Eveld led the Bulls to victory in the second half at Miami last season and made one start in the regular-season finale against Connecticut. The only other quarterback on scholarship is true freshman Matt Floyd, who enrolled in January.
While the digging is done, I haven’t unveiled my opponent overviews yet. That said, you don’t need an entire article on USF to understand that the Bulls offense goes as Daniels does, and this is certainly an issue worth monitoring.