USF Football

Welcome to the McCloud Era in Tampa

USF won in dominating fashion Saturday night, breaking a program record with 8 take aways.

The Bulls took care of business last night, beating the South Carolina State Bulldogs 55-16. Jordan McCloud had an impressive debut performance tossing the rock for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns. McCloud got everyone on offense involved last night. Johnny Ford hauled in a new personal best 4 catches for 100 yards and a score. Mitchell Wilcox broke a school record for career touchdown receptions by a tight end with his two grabs last night.

“Offensively you come in with a new quarterback,” Head Coach Charlie Strong said in a post-game press conference, “and he was able to give us a different pace there on offense. It was good that Jordan was able to come in and perform the way he performed.”

Just as the offense shined, the defense put on a show by breaking a school record for takeaways in a single game with five fumble recoveries and three interceptions. Andrew Mims stonewalled the SCSU running attack on the goal line forcing a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Devon Studstill. KJ Sails made is presence known in the secondary with 3 pass breakups and one of the five fumble recoveries. No matter where you looked, someone on defense was making a play.

“Our defense came out and were very aggressive,” Strong said. “That’s why we had the number of turnovers. We probably left two or three on the field, we had the opportunity to get more. Every time they mounted a drive, we were able to get a turnover and stop that drive. I’m so proud of the way that our guys were able to bounce back.”

The Bulls have a lot of positives to take from this game into the bye week next week. Plenty of first team reps in practice for Jordan McCloud will be much needed as the Bulls open up conference play against SMU in two weeks. McCloud doesn’t lack the confidence, however, to be a starter for the Bulls.

“I don’t think so,” Strong said about McCloud having any nerves before the game. “He knew what was going to happen and he knew he was going to have to go in and be the guy. We needed to get off to a good start and he was able to come in and get us going.”

The Tampa kid from Plant High School is poised to make a name for himself in his hometown. He has potential to be the quarterback the Bulls haven’t had since Quinton Flowers. The redshirt freshman has a lot to prove but fans are openly optimistic. Is the McCloud era going to be as refreshing as the Bulls want it to be? I guess we will just have to wait and see.


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