Despite the depth chart listing sophomore quarterback Cade Fortin as the starter, coach Jeff Scott said in a Tuesday press conference he was not yet ready to name a starting quarterback to lead his team for the rest of the season.
Here is your USF depth chart for game No. 3 (FAMU). pic.twitter.com/dIFaW8JsQG
— USF Bulls | BullsInsider.com (@USFBulls_Rivals) September 14, 2021
“We’re not going to name a starter right now,” Scott said. “Obviously we’ve evaluated and learned some things from this last game, but really we’re challenging all the quarterbacks to have a great week and just see who does the best job with the game plan for this week.
“We’ll put somebody out there first [against Florida A&M on Saturday], and if they go out and do well they’ll be the starter. If they don’t, we’ll continue to give other guys opportunities until somebody steps up and takes the job, which needs to happen here pretty soon.”
Scott has self-imposed a Week 5 deadline, the start of AAC play, to select the signal caller he plans to roll with for the rest of the season.
What he wants to avoid is a situation like last year where he had a revolving door at the position from the beginning of the season to the end.
“But what I really don’t want to do, if we can help it at all, I really don’t want to go into conference play and be rolling back and forth with guys,” Scott said. “That was very difficult last year, it’s really not fair to the offense. So, you’ve really just got to pick your guy and move forward.”
Two players seem to be the front-runners for the job, Fortin and freshman Timmy McClain.
Both quarterbacks have seen playing time in the first two games, each having their share of ups and downs.
Fortin is 19-of-38 for 132 yards and two interceptions, to go along with seven rushes for 17 yards. While McClain is 14-of-23 for 209 yards, as well as a pair of interceptions. He also has logged 12 rushes for 28 yards.
“We’ve still got to get more consistent play from the quarterback position,” Scott said. “We’ve had two games and had some opportunities for guys, and [no one has been] consistent enough.
“That’s really every team and every offense, [it] runs through your quarterbacks, so we’ve got to coach those guys better to make the right decisions in the RPO game and maybe adjust a few things that we’re doing … to make sure we’re cleaner on our execution, because when we do execute, we move the ball.”
Although Scott’s deadline remains the fifth game of the season against SMU, he’d be open to the idea of establishing a starter before that rolls around.
“You’ve really just got to pick your guy and move forward,” he said. “I think we’re getting closer to that, hopefully this week someone will separate out of that group and maybe we can do that going forward to BYU [next week].”