TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The days are dwindling. The time is ticking. The football team at the University of South Florida is embarking on the start of the 2021 season in about 48 hours and their first opponent is expected to be fierce.

“It will definitely be a great opportunity, a challenge, this Thursday,” Bulls head coach Jeff Scott said. “NC State, I played them several years in a row at Clemson and they always had good teams. Coach Doeren has done a really good job within their program. I think this is probably his best team he has had since he has been there.”

Doeren, who is entering his ninth season as the head coach of the Wolfpack program, pushed his team to an impressive 8-4 record last year.

“It will definitely be a great challenge and one our guys are looking forward to,” reiterated Scott. “The biggest thing for me, kind of, for our team going into it is really just trying to see progress from where we were a year ago. I felt like I have seen a lot of progress in the offseason with the attitude, the mindset, the work ethic, those types of things and it is really important that we see that progress carry over to the game on Thursday night.”

The Bulls have been crafting their plan and implementing the necessary tweaks. The starters practiced against the scout team on Tuesday and they will have their “Focus Friday” on Wednesday before they travel to Raleigh, North Carolina for the game.

“We have meetings and walk throughs and those types of things,” explained Scott, “still plenty of work to do but the game plan is in and, now, it is about refining it and making sure every player understands all of the details of what we are asking them to do and the situations of all of those calls and plays that should be called on Thursday night. They are ready to go play someone else.”