BROOKSVILLE, Fla. —- Finally, the summer season is winding down and your old favorite Uncle is getting back into the groove of work inside the southern office of the News Gathering Compound located in the city that is known around these parts as the blueberry capitol of the state of Florida.
The weather is still great, warm and steamy, the restaurants are still great, in fact your old Uncle Mel might have put on some weight from all the Cubin sandwiches that he enjoyed and yes now the 2013 college football season is here and well that just may be a little bitter for some taste but for Uncle Mel it is the best time of the year.
This Saturday night, The University of South Florida Bulls will be opening up the 2013 college football season at home at Raymond James Stadium in the city of Tampa and yeah nieces and nephews you guessed it! It is the same place that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers call home.
McNeese State University is a proud member of the Southland Conference and will take the field against the Bulls for all the color and celebration of a spirited opening night but here is a little of Uncle Mel advice for the Bulls. Do not look past this team from Lake Charles, Louisiana!
It is a fact, that the Cowboys play in the Football Championship Subdivision but they won their conference title last season, so the Cowboys know how to win and they play a tough-gritty style of football.
Some teams from the so-call bigger conferences that play in the NCAA, look at teams that play FCS as cupcakes and teams like the Cowboys will fall to the wayside at the sight of the big crowds, quiver playing inside the upscale venues but that is when teams like McNeese State can sneak up on a team like the Bulls.
Last season, the Bulls finished the season 3-9 and that led to the dismissal of Skip Holtz and before the New Year Bowls were finished the University of South Florida came calling and persuaded Willie Taggart to leave the green rolling hills that surrounds the campus of Western Kentucky University for the sunshine and the beaches of Tampa.
Taggart graduated from and played quarterback at Bradenton Manatee High School and he left Florida to play college football at Western Kentucky University.
Last season, the Hilltoppers qualified for and accepted a bid to play Central Michigan University at the Little Caesar Pizza Bowl played at Ford Field in the city of Detroit, Michigan.
It was the first time that the Hilltoppers were invited to a bowl game.
Taggart left Western Kentucky University after three years with a record of 16-20 and that is after he was given the job after the Hilltoppers lost 20 games in-a-row.
Taggart has been given a clean slate and another rebuilding project, instead of a team that lost 20 games, he is looking and working with a team that has little depth or experience.
“Look we’re here to win, Taggart said. “We didn’t come here to wait a while. That’s how I’ve always been. We talk about doing the job now and we want players to understand that!”
Many coaches from all levels and from different sports have told Uncle Mel that you can not beat game experience!
The Bulls is a team with no experience at quarterback, a running game that features tailbacks that have limited experience, an offensive line that is adjusting and receivers that have some ability and have some experience.
The defense is the strength of the Bulls, the defensive line is suppose to be talented enough, the linebackers will be physical and the defensive backfield will be improved and will be getting to their assignments with purpose.
“Coach T ‘s mentally is overwhelming,” Bulls linebacker Reshard Cliett said. “He has so much energy. We’re all affected by it.”
“I am not saying Coach Skip (Holtz) didn’t have it but I see the desire, that fire in his eyes,” University of South Florida defensive end Julius Forte said. “We have something to prove. It’s not going out and just trying to win. It’s a must win and our backs are against the wall.”
If the Bulls do not take the Cowboys serious Saturday night, it will be a long night at Raymond James Stadium and the Bulls will defiantly all ready start to feel the wall against there collective backs.
The Bulls will need to flex the defensive muscle to control the tempo of the game and give the offense some time to get acquainted and get some much needed experience.
The excitement of new football season in a new city with a new team is something that both Uncle Mel and Taggart will cherish and with a good start by the Bulls will make the evening enjoyable and memorable for the fans, a new coach and an old Uncle.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.