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Three takeaways from USF’s romp of East Carolina

Bulls fans should be encouraged about both Jordans (McCloud and Cronkrite) after Saturday’s 45-20 romp
USF tailback Jordan Cronkrite (2), taking a handoff earlier this season at Connecticut, had 12 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 45-20 win at East Carolina. [MICHAEL DWYER  |  AP]
USF tailback Jordan Cronkrite (2), taking a handoff earlier this season at Connecticut, had 12 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 45-20 win at East Carolina. [MICHAEL DWYER | AP]
Published Oct. 26, 2019
Updated Oct. 27, 2019

We now can dispense with any talk about a coaching change until Thanksgiving weekend at the earliest. Even if the Bulls had embarrassed themselves at ECU to fall to 3-5, the odds of athletic director Michael Kelly making a bye-week change seemed remote. Now, they’re nonexistent. Heck, if the Bulls can replicate Saturday’s performance (525 total yards), they could steal a win or two in November.

MORE BULLS: USF solves a few recent woes on the road at East Carolina

Presuming the injuries to Jordan McCloud (ankle) and wildcat option Jah’Quez Evans (head) aren’t serious, one should feel better today about USF’s quarterback depth. Until getting dinged up again Saturday, McCloud was mobile (four carries, 51 yards) and efficient (9-for-12, 102 yards, two TDs) against ECU. And while walk-on Kirk Rygol miscommunicated badly with his receivers on his first two throws, he finished with some solid numbers (6-for-12, 74 yards, one TD; four carries, 31 yards) in significant action. His 24-yard scoring strike to Terrence Horne was an absolute dart.

The resurgence of Jordan Cronkrite has emerged as arguably USF’s most uplifting story line of October. In the Bulls’ first four games, Cronkrite was virtually invisible (33 carries, 72 yards, two TDs). In their last four: 75 carries, 511 yards, four TDs. The senior had 129 and a pair of TDs on only 12 carries Saturday.

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  1. Connecticut's Jalen Gaffney (0) and South Florida's David Collins (0) battle for a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)
  2. USF guard Laquincy Rideau drives to the basket between Houston's Nate Hinton, left, and Fabian White during a game on Jan. 26, 2020, in Houston.
  3. USF athletic director Michael Kelly (left) and first-year football coach Jeff Scott have confirmed the Bulls' spring football game will remain on campus. [JOEY KNIGHT | TAMPA BAY TIMES]
  4. USF coach Brian Gregory's club dropped its third consecutive game Thursday, falling 65-55 at Wichita State.
  5. Florida Gators running back Lamical Perine (22) smashes into LSU Tigers safety John Battle (26) in the second quarter. (Bronte Wittpenn, Times)
  6. BRONTE WITTPENN   |   Times
Florida Gators wide receiver Trevon Grimes (8) catches the ball near the end zone in the third quarter in a game against LSU at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
  7. USF defensive back Mike Hampton (7), returning an interception during the 2018 season opener, will help lead the Bulls through what could be the American Athletic Conference's toughest schedule in 2020.
  8. USF wide receiver Randall St. Felix (84) and the Bulls have only one open date in the 2020 season. USF's complete 2020 schedule was finalized Tuesday.
  9. Former USF coach Charlie Strong (left), greeting Alabama coach Nick Saban at a 2017 summer football camp on the Bulls campus, reportedly has joined Saban's staff in an analyst role.
  10. Connecticut's Megan Walker, left, drives past USF's Shae Leverett during the second half of the Huskies' 67-47 triumph Sunday at the Yuengling Center. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
  11. Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma brings his team to the Yuengling Center for the final time as an American Athletic Conference member today.
  12. USF coach Brian Gregory, pacing the sideline during a January game at the Yuengling Center, watched his team score only 11 first-half points in Saturday's 56-48 loss to Tulsa. [OCTAVIO JONES | TAMPA BAY TIMES]
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