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USF appears close to finding new football opponents, Jeff Scott says

The Bulls' first-year coach is hopeful of announcing new foes within the next week
New USF football coach Jeff Scott already has lost three non-conference opponents from his 2020 schedule. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
New USF football coach Jeff Scott already has lost three non-conference opponents from his 2020 schedule. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] [ Times ]
Published Aug. 15, 2020

Shortly after his team's 90-minute scrimmage Saturday morning at Raymond James Stadium, USF coach Jeff Scott offered hope for those longing to see the Bulls face someone in an opposing jersey before late September.

The school appears close to filling perhaps a couple of the vacancies created on its non-conference schedule by the COVID-19 outbreak. Scott said he and his administration, including athletic director Michael Kelly, have been “working day and night” with a “large, winding web of schools” to try to fill those openings.

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“I’ve been talking to a lot of coaches, trying to make some things work,” Scott said on a Zoom call with reporters Saturday afternoon. “But right now, we’re still kind of in those conversations with one or two people right here at the end, just needing to get the contracts signed and get final approval.”

USF has lost the first three opponents (Texas, Bethune-Cookman, Nevada) on its 2020 slate, and currently is set to open its season Sept. 26 at Florida Atlantic. FIU, however, now has a Sept. 19 vacancy on its schedule, and FSU lost its lone non-conference foe (Samford, Sept. 19) earlier this week.

Currently, the SEC, ACC, Big 12, American Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA are forging ahead with plans to compete this fall. Of those, the SEC is the only one opting for a league-only slate.

“My first four years out of college was coaching high school ball,” Scott said. “And for the first time in maybe 16 years, it brought back memories where you’re still a month out from playing and you’re calling coaches trying to get games.

“I feel pretty optimistic that here within the next week, we may have some games finalized if things go well.”

Related: Spring football season is at least worth exploring in colleges