The last time USF played Florida State, a freshman Tallahassee-native BJ Daniels lead the Bulls over the Seminoles in a pretty shocking upset.
Fast forward to this year and Daniels is now a senior, hosting a revenge-minded Florida State team that is looking to even the overall series at one between the two schools.
The narrative around Daniels is that he wanted to come to FSU, took it personally when he wasn't offered and played with a chip on his shoulder as a freshman. The truth is that USF team came in with a bunch of NFL players on its defense and handled a Florida State program that was down and reeling in the final year of the Bowden era. The Bulls were the more talented team last time around.
This year things are a lot different.
The Seminoles are back to their old ways, boasting a top five team and a potent defense while the Bulls are fresh off consecutive losses to Rutgers and Ball State. Moreover, Daniels isn't going to be catching anyone on the Florida State defense by surprise this time around.
Daniels is talented, but the book on him is well-established by now and the 'Noles just finished handling Tajh Boyd, a very similiar quarterback in terms of skill-set.
"He's a tremendous challenge, he can run, he can throw, he's strong, he's competitive," said Jimbo Fisher. "I mean he can throw the ball long, long distances. No play is ever dead.
"His arm in my opinion is probably livelier more than Tajh's is, he can throw it farther, he can rip it. He's a dynamic player."
Regardless of Daniels athleticism and arm strength, the Seminole defense is confident that facing Tajh Boyd just a week earlier should have them in the right mindset to stop the scrambling senior. It's going to be able maintaining discipline and never giving up on a play.
"Just knowing that Tajh was a quarterback that could move, he was hard to tackle, preparing for that now that I know going against Tajh I know what we can expect from BJ," said senior DE Tank Carradine. "I need to be able to get off [the line] so I can be able to catch him, be able to take a great angle on him so that we can be able to contain him as a D-Line, and get him down."
That technique worked for Carradine against Clemson, Tank notched two sacks and got after Tajh Boyd for most of the evening.
One thing Daniels does that Boyd wasn't as apt to do though is make risky decisions. Given the right set of circumstances, the secondary could have more than a few chances to make a play on an errant pass.
"He extends the play, but I know for sure he throws that thing downfield, from film you can see [when] he throws it downfield a lot of them he just throws up a prayer," said sophomore corner Nick Waisome. "So I want to be able to stay in my coverage and get one of those picked off."
"He'll just throw it up, so that's something we'r trying to execute on... we're just going to try and play the ball."
That last part is actually a bit more like Jacorry Harris than Tajh Boyd, the physical skillsets of Boyd and Daniels may be similar, but Boyd is more judicious with the ball whereas Daniels will take risks. Daniels happens to have a good crew of receivers to risk it with, that's something Florida State will have to pay attention to, but against USF's receivers are no Clemson.
If FSU doesn't play down to the competition, they should have little issue handling USF and BJ Daniels, it's if the Seminoles start to free lance and go looking for big plays that Daniels could start to take apart the Florida State secondary and put points up.
Either way though, this year BJ Daniels isn't sneaking up on anyone.