By R.L. Bynum
Seasons that started with promise at new schools for former UNC quarterbacks Jace Ruder and Cade Fortin took bad turns in Week 3.
Ruder was 6 of 13 with one touchdown, an interception and a sack in North Texas’ 40–6 home loss Saturday to UAB in the Mean Green’s CUSA opener and Cade Fortin lost his starting job at South Florida.
On North Texas’ first play of the game Ruder was intercepted to set up UAB at the North Texas 13 and a Blazers touchdown.
Ruder threw a 3-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to account for the only points for the Mean Green (1–2, 0–1 CUSA), which visits Louisiana Tech on Saturday night. A pass on a two-point conversion attempt failed.
Ruder had six rushes for 16 yards.
After Fortin went 19 of 38 for 132 yards and two interceptions in the first two games, freshman Timmy McClain, who was 11 of 23 for 209 yards and two interceptions in those games, got the start at quarterback for South Florida (1–2) in the Bulls’ 38–17 home victory over Florida A&M.
McClain went 12 of 23 for 163 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions and broke loose on a 27-yard run. Mitch Katravis came in at the end to go 0 of 3 passing but Fortin didn’t play.
The timing of the change has to be frustrating for Fortin since FAMU (1–3, with a 34–7 win over Fort Valley State) was the weakest of South Florida’s first three opponents.
McClain figures to get the start again Saturday when South Florida plays at BYU (10:15 p.m., ESPN2)