USF names Mike White starting quarterback

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Mike White started five games for USF in 2013. (USATSI)
Mike White started five games for USF in 2013. (USATSI)

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Willie Taggart has ended -- for now -- the battle to be USF's starting quarterback.

The Bulls' official Twitter feed confirmed Sunday night that sophomore Mike White will be under center when USF opens its 2014 season Aug. 30 against FCS Western Carolina. White got the nod over junior Steven Bench, the former Penn State transfer.

Bench appeared in seven games a year ago, with the then-true-freshman three-star recruit White seeing action in six; he would start the final five after seeing his redshirt burned midseason. White finished the season completing 53 percent of his 175 passes for 6.2 yards an attempt, with an unsightly 3-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Bench and White battled for the starting job throughout the spring and early part of fall camp, with White considered the narrow favorite.

Even with White officially getting the nod, however, don't necessarily expect the Bulls to remain a one-quarterback team. Taggart played four quarterbacks in 2013 as the USF offense struggled mightily in his debut season, and if White hits a lull, it's not difficult to see Bench coming off the (ahem) bench to provide a spark, or Taggart offering exciting freshman dual-threat prospect Quinton Flowers a baptism by fire.

But for now, the job is White's, and it's hard to imagine it could possibly any tougher than it was during the Bulls' lost 2013 season.

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