By Brad Meyer | Published 07/05/2020 | USF Football
Tampa, FL - With just over two months remaining before the first potential 2020 football game for the South Florida Bulls, there is little doubt the game itself may be at risk. The September 5 game, to be played at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium, would be a difficult debut game for Bulls new head coach Jeff Scott. Add to that the erasure of spring football and the Covid-19 impact to fall practice.
The Bulls returned to campus, tested and readied for voluntary athletic activities beginning June 10. By June 17, however, two USF players were declared positive for coronavirus. Workouts continued in groups of 10 or less as the program also worked to better sanitize and social distance prior to being put on extended hold.
Meanwhile, the state of Texas has witnessed an increase in Covid-19 cases. The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has mandated face covers statewide beginning with the 4th of July weekend. Austin Mayor Steve Adler also banned gatherings over groups greater than 10 participants.
Prior to the recent outbreak, the Texas governor had approved an order to allow sports facilities to operate at 25%. That order was followed by a statement that colleges in the Lone Star State should not expect capacity greater than 50%. With the current increase in cases, we may see yet another restatement of expectations before long.
The Daily Caller reported local Florida sports personality, Chris Torello, reported that USF informed its donors and season ticket holders to not to book trips to Austin for the the season opener. With a potential reduction in stadium capacity, it appears the visitor allotment may be the first to go. Individually, Bulls fans are finding ways to acquire tickets separately from the USF entourage.
Early predictions for the 2020 opener have been unsurprisingly lopsided in favor of the Longhorns. Texas fan site, Longhorns Wire, expects a 45-13 Texas victory.
The Bulls have a lot of questions to answer as head coach Jeff Scott transforms the program and its culture. The first question mark starts with the quarterback position where the Bulls return 2019 starter Jordan McCloud, but also adds sophomore Cade Fortin and grad transfer Noah Johnson, formerly of Alcorn State.
With increasing Covid-19 cases in the state of Florida, it's difficult to tell when the Bulls might return in numbers to the practice fields, but Scott is preparing for a return in the short term. There will be much yet to do in order to prepare for the season.