“Isn’t it great this time of year?”
It’s the question USF coach Willie Taggart asks himself each year.
Saturday is when it all happens.
“It’s when football season comes around,” Taggart said. “It’s amazing. This entire country is fired up. It’s amazing how it works.”
USF’s season opener at home this Saturday against McNeese State is now a reality. With a New conference, new starters, new coaches this freshman class brought in not only new players, but also some new fans as well.
Even the tough, fired-up, self-proclaimed blue collar coach Taggart can’t contain his emotions, which resemble a roller coaster.
“I’ve been anxious since we’ve been allowed to get back with our guys, “ Taggart said. “I have mixed emotions. I go up and down. Why? I have no idea, but it happens every year.”
Taggart isn’t the only one relishing in the excitement either.
Offensive coordinator Walt Wells said USF has been ready for Week 1 of the schedule, and now is when reviewing comes in — along with some fun.
“Game week is always fun week,” Wells said. “For the first week you always have your game plan ready in the summer and now you just go back and review what you’ve done.”
With a completely new game plan heading into 2013, preparation has been heavily focused on in the offseason.
Taggart brings in a new offense led by two new starters to the offense in redshirt sophomore quarterback Matt Floyd and senior runningback Marcus Shaw behind what is said to be a young, yet strong, offensive line.
On defense, fans will get to see some new faces and some old, such as longtime starting linebacker, senior Devekeyan “DeDe” Lattimore and Notre Dame transfer, defensive end Aaron Lynch.
But that’s just from a fan’s perspective while Taggart on the other hand is setting his mindset a bit simpler.
“I’m just ready to see our guys go out and play some football.” Taggart said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.