Three games into Jeff Scott’s rebuilding project at USF, exactly no one will argue the Bulls' collective quarterback play has become an eyesore.
But if it’s any consolation to the new regime, the pupils of the fan base have been exposed to worse.
Through three games, the performance of USF’s 2020 committee of quarterbacks statistically ranks somewhere between the first two years of the Willie Taggart Era (2013 and 2014), and the 2019 team that flopped in Kerwin Bell’s pro-style scheme.
All of those teams began 1-2 except the 2013 squad, which started 0-3 en route to a 2-10 season. All of their schedules are comparable, with each team facing at least one Power Five program in its first three contests.
The 2020 group owns a better completion percentage (53.7) through three games than Taggart’s teams of 2013 (37.4) or 2014 (35.7), but slightly trails the 2019 team (54.9) and 2015 club (58.3) that started 1-2 before Taggart took the schematic shackles off first-year starter Quinton Flowers.
Similarly, the current team’s NCAA-calculated passer rating (85.09) is better than the 2013 (76.84) and 2014 (75.5) teams, but is far lower than Flowers' rating through three games in 2015 (129.09), or the collective rating (118.6) compiled by Blake Barnett and Jordan McCloud through three games last season.
USF’s five interceptions in Saturday’s 28-7 loss at Cincinnati tied the program single-game record established in a 22-19 loss to Alabama-Birmingham in 2003. On his normal Monday radio spot on 95.3-FM, coach Jeff Scott said he’s back to “square one” at the position and will let his four quarterbacks compete this week for the right to start Saturday at home against East Carolina.
“We’ve just got to take the gimmes that are there,” Scott said.
“It’s not having to make an incredible play, it’s just having to square in on third-and-11 and being able to hit the guy right between the numbers. And right now, we’re just inconsistent overall with the four quarterbacks that have gotten an opportunity. We’ll re-evaluate.”
Putting the QBs into context
A statistical comparison of USF’s current quarterback play to other recent years that began bleakly:
2020: Completed 51-of-95 for 435 yards, with 1 TD and 5 INTs, for 53.7 completion percentage and 85.09 rating.
2019: Completed 50-of-91 for 541 yards, with 5 TDs and 2 INTs, for 54.9 completion percentage and 118.6 rating.
2015: Completed 42-of-72 for 466 yards, with 6 TDs and 4 INTs, for 58.3 completion percentage and 129.09 rating.
2014: Completed 30-of-84 for 454 yards, with 1 TD and 4 INTs, for 35.7 completion percentage and 75.5 rating.
2013: Completed 34-of-91 for 405 yards, with 3 TDs and 4 INTs, for 37.4 completion percentage and 76.84 rating.