TAMPA, Fla. — USF head football coach Jeff Scott said he thought he was prepared to have no fans in the stands for a home game, but the season opener against the Citadel surprised him.

Scott said it was a totally different feeling, but he’s excited to move forward with people at the games.

For Saturday night’s game, 8,000 lower level tickets and 3,000 suite tickets will be available for the Bulls’ homecoming game versus East Carolina.

USF’s first-year head coach hopes tomorrow is the start of something special.

“This is the beginning, right? First game, no fans. Go on the road, play two good teams. Now you come home, got some fans,” Scott said. “Hopefully, two years from now, we got a full stadium. That’s just kind of my mind. There’s a progression, right? Starting from the ground up. This’ll be the next step in the progression.”

USF’s on-field progression has been slowed by a pandemic and adjusting to a brand new coaching staff, but the Bulls refuse to let adversity dull their optimism.

“It’s no secret that we have had guys out having to quarantine, and missing games or days,” said offensive lineman Michael Wiggs. “But for everybody else, just having the opportunity to go out and get meaningful reps. It’s created a lot of depth and a lot of great opportunities for a lot of people.”

Scott says there’s confidence in the Bulls sideline, but they have to convert that into results on game day.

“I kinda said that Bill Walsh quote, ‘Winners win before they truly win.’ There’s a lot of these things that are setting themselves up,” Scott said. “We’ve just got to get the execution a little bit cleaner and a little bit better.”

South Florida (1-2) hosts East Carolina (0-2) tomorrow at 7 p.m. Fans can also watch the game on ESPN+.