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Bulls QB McCloud likely to start in UConn road game

Abbey Radeka

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls redshirt freshman QB Jordan McCloud won the starting spot over veteran Blake Barnett two weeks ago, and will keep his spot under center this week as the Bulls take on conference opponent UConn.

However, the decision to keep McCloud at QB1 was not due to last weeks performance against SMU. If that were the case, it would probably be Barnett, who jump-started the offense with three touchdown passes on three straight drives in the second half of a 48-21. But unfortunately, he suffered a high ankle sprain against the Mustangs that has rendered him unable to practice. 

Barnett completed 13 of 21 passes for 222 yards, his 10th career 200-yard passing game, and added 24 rushing yards in an valiant relief effort. However, it was too little too late for the Bulls last Saturday night, after getting steamrolled in the first 3 quarters and allowing SMU to score 41 unanswered points.

So it looks like they’ve got to stick with the Tampa Native, who was seriously tested in his second ever career start. McCloud was sacked six times and turned the ball over in the end zone on a 16-play, 77-yard drive, that could’ve tied the game up and turned the momentum in the Bulls favor early in the game.

McCloud was out in the second half after suffering a wrist injury, but has been able to practice at full speed this week.

The Bulls have had a rocky season all around, highlighted by tottering quarterback performances, making it impossible for the offensive staff to know which guy will be the one to spark something on offense.

After two disappointing performances by Barnett to start the season, McCloud made his starting debut for the Bulls in their matchup against South Carolina State. He finished the game throwing for 217 yards with three touchdowns, and rushing for 56 yards. Most importantly, he proved to be shiftier behind a spotty O-Line, which allowed him to complete more plays than Blake Barnett has this season.

But as mentioned above, this past weekend proved otherwise.

Right now, the team is in a poor position, with a dismal 1-3 record, and two injured quarterbacks heading into the heart of conference play.

Sophomore quarterback Kirk Rygol will most likely be the backup if Barnett is a non-option, and McCloud’s wrist starts to give him trouble.

Given all of these setbacks, history is on USF’s side against the Huskies as they hold a commanding 11-5 series record. The Bulls have beaten the UConn seven times in a row, with the last USF loss being back in 2011.

UConn enters into the game with a 1-3 record for the season, matching the Bulls, with two 20+ point losses from Indiana and UCF.

So, if McCloud can return to his third week performance and his wrist can hold up, there’s potential for this to be a nice bounce back week for Charlie Strong’s struggling program.

Abbey is a native Floridan who grew up a fan of all Tampa Bay sports teams. She’s recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Media Communication Studies. In her time at FSU, she was an In-Game Host for the Basketball and Baseball teams, and reported for Seminole Sports Magazine, producing feature stories that appeared on Fox Sports Sun. She’s excited to share her perspective on all of Florida’s Football teams, especially the Seminoles.

USF Bulls

Report- Alabama will hire Charlie Strong as consultant

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former USF coach Charlie Strong has decided on a new role for the upcoming 2020 season, and it won’t be in Gainesville.

ESPN college football insider Chris Low reported Tuesday morning that Strong has agreed to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as a defensive “consultant” for this season

As we wrote last week, Strong had visited Saban and the Tide about the possible position on his staff, while considering a similar opportunity to join either Dan Mullen’s Gators staff or a couple of others in a consulting role. None of this will affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart.

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USF Bulls

Former USF coach Strong to be consultant for Alabama?

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

And intriguing item popped up Friday morning involving former USF head coach Charlie Strong and him visiting Nick Saban the Alabama football program.

According to Alabama Insider and radio host, Aaron Suttles, Strong, who was dismissed last December after his third season with the Bulls, was in Tuscaloosa Thursday meeting with Saban and his staff:

Strong had also been reportedly talking with the University of Florida about a possible consultant role, which likely would not affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart

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