TAMPA — In the wake of one of his most prosperous passing nights at USF, third-year sophomore Jordan McCloud has been named the Bulls' starter “going forward” by coach Jeff Scott.
Scott’s announcement Tuesday ends one of the more prolonged quarterback derbies in program history, though the first-year coach was quick to clarify McCloud’s position atop the depth chart is “not a season-long contract.”
“I’m not going to pull him after two series or something like that,” said Scott, whose team (1-3, 0-2 American Athletic Conference) will try to snap a three-game skid Saturday at Temple (0-1, 0-1).
“I expect him to play well, and whether it’s this game or any game in the future, if he plays poorly for a long-enough time, then obviously I reserve the right to put another guy in. ... Ideally, if he can continue to play similar to how he played last Saturday night, then I see him having a chance to start all year, and that’s really our intentions.”
Blitzed steadily and besieged by shoddy protection in Saturday’s 44-24 loss to East Carolina, McCloud nonetheless finished 26-of-35 for 298 yards and no interceptions. His attempts, yardage and completion percentage (74.3) all were career highs.
“There were about five or six (instances) where he’s got a guy coming right down the middle of him,” Scott said. “He stood in there and delivered a strike and took the hit and showed some toughness.”
Entering Saturday’s game, the top two spots on the Bulls' quarterback depth chart are occupied by Hillsborough County products. Armwood High alumnus Noah Johnson, who ran for a 15-yard touchdown in mop-up duty Saturday, is listed behind McCloud (Plant). North Carolina transfer Cade Fortin is No. 3.
USF (1-3, 0-2 American Athletic Conference) at Temple (0-1, 0-1)
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Saturday, noon