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Jordan McCloud’s debut among best by a USF QB

The redshirt freshman’s five total touchdowns were the most by a Bulls first-time starter
USF redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud warms up before Saturday night's game against South Carolina State. McCloud totaled five touchdowns in the Bulls' 55-16 triumph. SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times] [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]
Published Sep. 15

From a scoring standpoint, redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud’s performance Saturday night against South Carolina State was the most prolific by a first-time starting quarterback in USF history.

The 19-year-old Plant High alumnus totaled five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing), eclipsing the school record for a first-time starter held by Blake Barnett (four vs. Elon in 2018).

Going by the numbers, McCloud’s performance is among the best of the 17 starting debuts in USF history. Granted, others were more significant (B.J. Daniels at FSU) or historic (Chad Barnhardt vs. Kentucky Wesleyan), but few have been more statistically prolific.

As proof, we offer the stat lines of all 17 of those debuts:

Chad Barnhardt, vs. Kentucky Wesleyan (Sept. 6, 1997)

USF quarterback Chad Barnhardt (10) threw for a pair of touchdowns in the program's first game, an 80-3 rout of Kentucky Wesleyan in 1997. [Photo provided by USF]. [CLIFF MCBRIDE | Tampa Bay Times]

Result: USF, 80-3

Barnhardt’s line: 14-for-28, 255 yards, two TDs

Glen Gauntt, vs. Cumberland (Nov. 7, 1998)

Result: USF, 69-3

Gauntt’s line: 13-for-19, 266 yards, three TDs

Marquel Blackwell, vs. Western Kentucky (Sept. 18, 1999)

USF quarterback Marquel Blackwell breaks out into the open field in his starting debut at Western Kentucky in 1999. The Bulls won, 21-6. [HAMILTON, CHRIS | Special to the Times]

Result: USF, 21-6

Blackwell’s line: 16-for-27, 169 yards, three TDs

Ronnie Banks, at Alabama (Aug. 30, 2003)

Result: Alabama, 40-17

Banks’ line: 17-for-33, 199 yards, one TD, one INT; three carries, minus-8 yards

Brian Fisher, vs. Charleston Southern (Oct. 18, 2003)

Result: USF, 55-7

Fisher’s line: 1-for-3, 7 yards; four carries, 6 yards, one TD*

Pat Julmiste, at East Carolina (Nov. 8, 2003)

Result: USF, 38-37 (2 OT)

Julmiste’s line: 4-for-6, 15 yards, one TD; 10 carries, 3 yards

Courtney Denson, at Penn State (Sept. 3, 2005)

Result: Penn State, 23-13

Denson’s line: 0-for-3; two carries, 2 yards^

Matt Grothe, vs. FIU (Sept. 9, 2006)

USF quarterback Matt Grothe runs against FIU during the second quarter of his starting debut in 2006. [Times files] [MCLAREN, TED | St. Petersburg Times]

Result: USF, 21-20

Grothe’s line: 15-for-28, 174 yards, one TD, two INT; 16 carries, 82 yards

B.J. Daniels, at FSU (Sept. 26, 2009)

Result: USF, 17-7

Daniels’ line: 8-for-21, 215 yards, two TDs, two INT; 23 carries, 126 yards

Bobby Eveld, vs. Connecticut (Dec. 4, 2010)

Result: UConn, 19-16

Eveld’s line: 22-for-41, 195 yards, one TD, three INT; five carries, 29 yards

Matt Floyd, at Cincinnati (Nov. 23, 2012)

Result: Cincinnati, 27-10

Floyd’s line: 21-for-39, 176 yards; eight carries, 21 yards

Steven Bench, vs. Cincinnati (Oct. 5, 2013)

Result: USF, 26-20

Bench’s line: 1-for-1, 7 yards, one carry, 1 yard#

Mike White, at Houston (Oct. 31, 2013)

Result: Houston, 35-23

White’s line: 26-for-41, 311 yards, two TDs, one INT

Quinton Flowers, at SMU (Nov. 15, 2014)

Result: USF, 14-13

Flowers’ line: 6-for-15, 105 yards; four carries, 33 yards+

Blake Barnett, vs. Elon (Sept. 1, 2018)

USF quarterback Blake Barnett (11) runs off the field with his team before the start of the 2018 season opener against Elon. Barnett scored four touchdowns in the 34-14 triumph. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] [JONES, OCTAVIO | Tampa Bay Times]

Result: USF, 34-14

Barnett’s line: 24-for-34, 305 yards, three TDs; eight carries, 31 yards, one TD

Chris Oladokun, at Cincinnati (Nov. 10, 2018)

Result: Cincinnati, 35-23

Oladokun’s line: 10-for-22, 165 yards, two TDs

Jordan McCloud, vs. South Carolina State (Sept. 14, 2019)

Result: USF, 55-16

McCloud’s line: 16-for-27, 217 yards, three TDs; 12 carries, 56 yards, two TDs

*-Replaced in first half by Ronnie Banks

^-Replaced by Pat Julmiste in first quarter after a fumble leading to a Penn State scoop-and-score

#-Injured in the first half and replaced by Bobby Eveld

+-Replaced by Mike White, who led two fourth-quarter TD drives to rally USF


  1. USF quarterback Blake Barnett (11) tackled by SMU linebacker JC Rispress (32) while throwing during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 28. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The graduate transfer quarterback injured his ankle against SMU.
  2. Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) celebrates his touchdown reception with wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (89) and tight end Kyle Pitts (84) in the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) GERALD HERBERT  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay: Times college football writer Matt Baker discusses Florida-South Carolina, USF-Navy, FSU-Wake Forest and the conference already out of the College Football Playoff picture.
  3. Florida head coach Dan Mullen prepares to take the field with his players during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Some mid-year thoughts on the Florida Gators, FSU Seminoles, USF Bulls, plus some predictions for what happens next.
  4. USF quarterback Jordan McCloud (12), scoring a touchdown during the second half against BYU, had to wear a glove on his injured throwing hand to help him grip the ball. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Additionally, the redshirt freshman continues nursing an injured shoulder
  5. USF quarterback Jordan McCloud (12) runs past BYU defensive lineman Zac Dawe (99) for a touchdown behind Bulls guard Demetris Harris during the second half of Saturday's 27-23 triumph at Raymond James Stadium. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bulls’ resurgent offensive line has helped spark a two-game win streak
  6. Former USF quarterback Quinton Flowers was drafted by the XFL's Tampa Bay Vipers on Tuesday.
    The XFL club selects the record-setting Bulls quarterback as a running back.
  7. A Navy ROTC cadet matches his pushups with the USF-Navy score during a 2016 game at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    A stout defense and sleek quarterback have sparked the Midshipmen’s resurgence.
  8. USF point guard LaQuincy Rideau (3) was named to the coaches preseason All-American Athletic Conference first team on Monday. JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Bulls point guard Laquincy Rideau is a first-team pick on the preseason all-conference squad
  9. USF defensive lineman Kelvin Pinkney (96) celebrates the stop against BYU during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Suddenly, bowl eligibility doesn’t seem so far-fetched for the Bulls.
  10. BYU quarterback Baylor Romney (16) is stopped on fourth down by the USF defense during the second half Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Journal: The school also announces $2.5 million in athletic department donations, a good chunk of which will go toward an indoor practice facility.