USF faced off against a now 24th ranked SMU team and came away with a humiliating loss at home. The Bulls lost the game 48-21., but the score does not tell the true story of how inept this USF team has become.
This game is giving way to another possible QB battle between Senior Blake Barnett and redshirt Freshman Jordan McCloud.
Jordan McCloud started for the second time in his career on Saturday against the mustangs. Unfortunately, McCloud was not able to follow up his last start against SC State. In that game, McCloud recorded 217 passing yards and three touchdowns. In the SMU game, McCloud threw for 66 yards and two interceptions before going down with a wrist injury.
Blake Barnett replaced McCloud in the second half after McCloud’s injury. Barnett started the season against Wisconsin and lost his starting spot to McCloud halfway through the game against Georgia Tech. In the second half alone, Barnett threw for 222 passing yards with three touchdowns.
In the SMU post-game press conference, Coach Strong addressed the possibility of a QB battle, “ What we got to do is go into it, Jordan was injured then Blake came and played very well, but we gotta do is make a decision on a guy and just go with him”.
To me, that guy seems to be Blake Barnett. Barnett was able to engineer some good drives and put points on the board in the second half. Although it was in garbage time, Barnett was able to make the plays that McCloud couldn’t.
Barnett was also a threat to run when he felt pressure coming in; whereas McCloud would take the sack. McCloud took six sacks in the first half of the game. Barnett was also able to finish the game as the Bull’s leading rusher.
In the Week 5 press conference, Coach Strong confirmed that McCloud would be the starter going into their next game against UCONN. “ We’ll be okay with him, he’ll be able to bounce back.”
I predict that if McCloud has not completely healed from the wrist injury he suffered against SMU, Barnett will take over as the game progresses. If Barnett is able to put together some successful drives like he did on Saturday, I can see there being a strong case for him to be the Bull’s starter once again.
The Bulls go on the road to face a 1-3 UCONN team on Saturday as -11 point favorites.