TAMPA — One week from tonight, the University of South Florida Bulls will open the Willie Taggart era at home against McNeese State on Aug. 31. This morning, Taggart will take his team to Raymond James Stadium for a dress rehearsal and practice, which is closed to the public.
“We’re going to pretty much go through a game routine and make sure on game day, it’s not the first time we do it,’’ Taggart said.
That includes Taggart’s plans of having the players depart the buses and walk through a line of fans into the stadium.
“We’re starting a new tradition,’’ Taggart said. “We have a young university and there is so much tradition to be made. Hopefully everyone gets behind it and comes to welcome our team. It will be a bad idea if no one shows up. We’ve got to make sure everybody shows up.’’
Sophomore TE Sean Price said he’s looking forward to the stadium work.
“I can’t wait (for the opener), honestly,’’ Price said. “We’re ready to play McNeese now. We’re preparing now (at the stadium) so we can kick butt (next) Saturday.’’
QB UPDATE: USF’s starting quarterback is … yet to be determined.
“I don’t know yet,’’ Taggart said. “I’m not going to keep a secret. As soon as I find out, I’m going to let you guys know.’’
Taggart’s only hints to date were saying the holdovers, senior Bobby Eveld and sophomore Matt Floyd, were ahead of sophomore Steven Bench, a transfer from Penn State, and freshman Mike White. On a national radio show this week, Taggart said he was disappointed that one quarterback hadn’t separated himself as the starter by now.
“When I said that, it was more from a selfish standpoint that I wanted someone to make it easy,’’ Taggart said. “But those guys have been doing a good job. I feel like whoever we go with at quarterback, we’re going to be OK. It’s going to be an easy decision from that standpoint, knowing (any of) these guys can run our offense.’’