TAMPA ― Ever since freshman Jah’Quez Evans’ dazzling collegiate breakthrough nine days ago at East Carolina, USF fans have eagerly awaited an encore.
They may have to wait a bit longer.
Evans, who ran for 99 yards on only six carries as a wildcat quarterback in that 45-20 win at ECU, still is being evaluated for a head injury sustained in the contest. Whether he plays in Thursday’s nationally televised home game against Temple (8 p.m., ESPN) remains uncertain.
“We have not made that decision yet.” coach Charlie Strong said Monday.
Back in the quarterback room full-time after moving to receiver during the preseason, Evans provided a fleet, shifty complement to starter Jordan McCloud (201 total yards, two passing TDs) in the first half at ECU.
Operating out of a single-back set, the three-star recruit from Atlanta took a shotgun snap in the second quarter and dashed off left tackle for a 34-yard touchdown, giving USF a 28-7 lead. Preceding that was a 53-yard run up the middle.
“He changed the game for us up at East Carolina,” Strong said.
But he and McCloud (ankle) both exited with injuries just before halftime and didn’t return.
McCloud is fine, Strong said Monday, while suggesting Evans’ status is more day-to-day.
“He’s coming along,” Strong added. “He got hit from the side. I don’t think he ever saw it coming, but he’ll be okay. He’s a tough young man.”
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