Still no starting QB named following USF’s final scrimmage

The Bulls open their season a week from Saturday at home against Elon
CHRIS URSO   |   Times
USF freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud, a Plant High alumnus, had a touchdown pass in Wednesday's scrimmage.
CHRIS URSO | Times USF freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud, a Plant High alumnus, had a touchdown pass in Wednesday's scrimmage.
Published Aug. 22, 2018|Updated Aug. 22, 2018

The third and final scrimmage of USF's preseason came and went Wednesday with no update on the quarterback derby or any other prominent position battle.

About the only thing that could be ascertained: Wednesday's closed session went a bit better for the offense than Saturday's, when Coach Charlie Strong publicly blasted the unit's performance.

"We got better today," veteran WR Stanley Clerveaux said. "We've still got a lot of work to do, but we did get better."

USF's sports-information department reported no interceptions were thrown. Moreover, four of the five scholarship quarterbacks threw touchdown passes in the scrimmage, where the Bulls focused on red-zone work and situations between the 40s.

Graduate transfer Blake Barnett directed a field-goal drive and hit Tyre McCants on a third-down conversion on the scrimmage's first drive, indicating he likely was the first QB to take a snap in the scrimmage.

Fourth-year junior Brett Kean had a 17-yard scoring pass to Darnell Salomon. Third-year sophomore Chris Oladokun scrambled for a 16-yard gain, setting up a 4-yard TD pass to Ole Miss transfer TE Jacob Mathis.

Freshman Jordan McCloud, a Plant High alumnus, had an 11-yard scoring pass to freshman Deric DuBose (nephew of former Gators and Buccaneers RB Jimmy DuBose), and freshman Octavious Battle had a 9-yard TD strike to Alonso High alumnus Yafeo Davis.

Additionally, RB Elijah Mack scored on runs of 4 and 12 yards.

Defensively, DE Josh Black — a Sickles High alumnus — had another "sack" (though QBs are in non-contact jerseys), giving him five in three scrimmages. Nickel back Ronnie Hoggins had a tackle for loss, and second-year players Donelle Thomas and Nick Roberts had key pass breakups.

"It was a little better (for the offense) than Saturday's, but it's hard to compare the two because…I put 'em in different situations today," Strong said.

"The thing about this game, you've got to play this game with passion, you've got to play this game with enthusiasm. You've got to come out here and you have to be ready to go practice because whatever happens in practice, it is gonna carry on to the game. So we have to get better."

KICKING DERBY: Strong also provided no update on the place-kicker competition, though it appears senior walk-on Jake Vivonetto and Tennessee State transfer Coby Weiss and former USF goalkeeper Jake Stone all remain in contention. Vivonetto and Stone each converted a pair of 38-yarders Wednesday, the school reported.

Freshman walk-ons Ian Deneen and Andrew Beardall are battling for the long-snapper job.

"We still have a few more kicks to go, but it's good," Strong said. "I like the battle right now 'cause they are doing a really good job of kicking and they're moving the ball around well."

ODDS AND ENDS: TE Mitch Wilcox remained in a red non-contact jersey Wednesday, but Strong said he could've practiced. He's expected to be good to go for the Sept. 1 opener against Elon. … Junior DE Kirk Livingstone acknowledged the Bulls are spending a couple of periods a day preparing for the triple-option of Georgia Tech (the Week Two foe), and have been since spring. … When reeling off the names of his defensive linemen, Strong said freshmen Rashawn Yates and Tyrone Barber are "doing a really good job."

AUDIBLE: "It's hard to put a number on it because some days we come out here and practice very well and look very well, and then some days we come out here and you would think that we've never taught any fundamentals, any technique, even no scheme. So it's more of just a maturity level with our football team." — Strong, when asked if he could put a percentage on how ready his team is right now