With the University of South Florida wrapping up its final practice Saturday before a normal game-week schedule begins Monday, Coach Jim Leavitt is champing at the bit for the season to get started.
"We need to play," he said. "Nobody in the country ever feels like they probably won't need another day, but not me. I want to play. We need to play and just start to see what we have as a football team. Especially as we build into the Big East (portion of the schedule)."
USF opens with three relatively easy opponents in Wofford, Western Kentucky and Charleston Southern.
"These games are really important," Leavitt said. "We need to get people out playing and see what they can do, see what we really have."
FINE LINE: It's always been a risk-reward thing with QB Matt Grothe, who improvises so well and stretches out plays when things break down. But are the risks he takes with the ball worth the rewards he usually delivers?
Offensive coordinator Mike Canales thinks so, but with a stipulation.
"I don't want to rein him in. I just want him to be smart with his decisions," Canales said. "I always tell him if he increases his throws to his running backs and tight ends his completion percentage is going to go way up."