Willie Taggart came to the South Florida Bulls with plenty of energy and optimism to turn around the program. But instead of quick results, he suffered through a demoralizing 2-10 season and faced a lot of questions this offseason. One of the biggest was at quarterback, where the Bulls had shuffled through four different starters in 2013. Taggart has named sophomore Mike White as the starter for 2014 but will need to see major improvement from the young signal caller if the Bulls hope to find success this fall.
As a freshman in 2013, White emerged as the best of a pretty terrible group of quarterbacks for USF. He started the final five games of the season and had some impressive moments, despite the team finishing the year with six straight losses. His best game came against the Houston Cougars in his first start where he threw for 311 yards, completed 63.4 percent of his passes and had two touchdowns and an interception. He finished the year with a team-high 1,083 yards and a completion rate of 53.1 percent.
But things started to fall apart for the young quarterback after his sensational start against Houston. In the final four games, White failed to throw for more than 220 yards in a single game, completed less than 56 percent of his throws in each game and threw just one touchdown in that final month against eight interceptions. Taggart needs White to consistently play like he did against the Cougars or the Bulls’ offense will once again spiral to the bottom of the AAC.
Mike White has the potential to be a very solid quarterback for South Florida in 2014. He showed that he’s capable of leading a strong passing attack once last year. But for the Bulls to turn things around this season, he needs to find a way to bring that kind of production every week. Does he have what it takes to get the job done?