(Tampa, FL) Quarterback Jordan McCloud accounted for five touchdowns in his first career start in a 55-16 rout of South Carolina State at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night.
Redshirt freshman McCloud completed 16 of 27 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. The Tampa native also rushed for two scores and 56 yards.
USF (1-2) scored 42 points off takeaways after forcing five turnovers in its 31-point second half.
Sophomore Johnny Ford, who moved from running back to receiver in the spring, recorded his first 100-yard receiving game with 100 yards on just four catches, including a 42-yard touchdown to start USF’s scoring and a career long 52-yarder in the fourth quarter. Ford also had a 32-yard touchdown run and gained 37 yards on three carries.
In the first half, McCloud threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another while the USF defense totaled three takeaways and six tackles for loss (9.0 total on the night) as the Bulls built a 24-3 advantage.
After a field goal by SC State (2-1) started the scoring, Ford’s 42-yard touchdown reception boosted the Bulls into the lead with 5:05 remaining in the opening quarter. Ford has touchdown receptions in back-to-back games, both on passes from McCloud.
McCloud’s career long 31-yard run down to the SC State 4 paved the way for Coby Weiss’ 20-yard field goal that extended the lead to 10-3 with 14:16 to play in the first half.
Livingstone scooped up a fumble on sophomore cornerback Bentlee Sanders’ (Tampa) first career sack before another USF score. Wilcox set the program’s new tight end career touchdown receptions record he’d later extend with a 20-yard catch that helped the Bulls up their lead to 17-3 with 9:22 to go before halftime.
“I was so proud to see the way we bounced back”, Head Coach Charlie Strong said. “Losing that game last week, a game that you felt like we should have won, we didn’t come away with the victory. Then we come back and win this game. Now, everything counts. Now, we’ve got to get ready for conference play.”
Following a bye week, USF opens conference play with home game against SMU on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Raymond James Stadium kickoff at 4PM EDT. Game to be televised on ESPNU.