Quarterback competition continues

Jordan McCloud (3) has been the starting quarterback for the first two games, but the competition is still wide open, according to coach Jeff Scott. The deadline to find a starter is Oct. 3 against Cincinnati, but there’s no guarantee Scott’s pick will get the starting job each week. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

With two games now in the rearview mirror, coach Jeff Scott has a looming decision to make about his team.

He must decide who will be his starting quarterback by a self-imposed deadline of the Cincinnati game on Oct. 3, USF’s first conference game.

Scott has been adamant about using the first three weeks of the season as an open competition — cycling guys in and out, giving them each an opportunity to put something on film.

Following those games, he will select a quarterback with whom to move forward, but that doesn’t mean the spot is guaranteed, he said.

“That doesn’t mean that when we get to Cincinnati that we’re going to have our quarterback locked in for the rest of the season, it just means we’re going to now treat them as the starter,” Scott said Tuesday.

After a demoralizing 52-0 loss to Notre Dame, the competition is about where it was last week, according to the first-year head coach.

“We’re still in a position very similar to where we were, to be honest, after last game,” Scott said following the loss to Notre Dame. “Where we had multiple guys competing for [the starting job].”

Someone is needed to separate themselves from the pack, according to Scott.

“We are going to need somebody to kind of step up and take charge,” he said.

Thus far, Jordan McCloud and Noah Johnson have been given the bulk of the in-game opportunities, but neither has separated themselves from the other.

Freshmen quarterbacks Katravis Marsh and Jordan Smith have also seen time, but in extremely limited roles.

North Carolina transfer Cade Fortin has been on the unavailable list for both of USF’s games and has yet to play.

Scott said that Fortin will have his chance when the time comes.

“Whenever Cade is allowed to come back, he will be given an opportunity to play,” Scott said.

Despite the limited opportunities on the field, Marsh drew praise from legendary football coach Tony Dungy during Saturday’s broadcast. 

Dungy said that Marsh caught his eye during his visit to a USF practice prior to the game.

Marsh will be given an opportunity to show what he can do, according to Scott. 

“Katravis is a talented freshman, a very strong arm, he’s really been improving in practice,” Scott said. “Those two young men [Fortin and Marsh] will get opportunities at some point.”

In his weekly appearance on the USF Football Radio Show on Monday, Scott expressed feelings of frustration with the inconsistency of his quarterbacks and receivers.

“You know, I think those guys have done some good things, but overall we have just not been consistent enough at the quarterback or wide receiver position,” Scott said. “That’s probably the most frustrating thing for me through two games.

“We just have not played up to the standard that we need to play at that quarterback position.”