(via USF Communications) - Coming off a school-record 11-2 campaign and No. 19 ranking in the final polls, the USF football team found out the path it will navigate in 2017 when the American Athletic Conference announced schedules for all 12 conference teams Thursday. Kickoff times and most television designations will be announced at a later date.
USF opens the 2017 season on the road at San Jose State on Saturday, Aug. 26 before returning to Tampa for the 2017 home opener vs. Stony Brook on Saturday, Sept. 2 in Raymond James Stadium.
The Bulls will open conference play the following week at UConn on Saturday, Sept. 9 in an early season conference clash. It will mark the second time the Bulls have opened conference play vs. the Huskies and the third time playing their first conference road game of a year in Hartford. USF is 4-0 vs. UConn since beginning play in The American, including two wins in Hartford and a 42-27 victory in Tampa last year.
USF will return to Tampa for back-to-back weeknight, prime time games on ESPN. The Bulls will take on Big Ten foe Illinois on Friday, Sept. 15. The first meeting between the programs and the return of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and current Illini head coach Lovie Smith will be played before a national TV. It will also be #BayMade Youth Football Night at Raymond James Stadium, with numerous groups of Bay Area youth football teams anticipated to be in attendance.
USF will return to Raymond James Stadium the following week on Thursday, Sept. 21 vs. Temple. The clash with the defending American Conference champions will be nationally televised on ESPN. The Bulls downed the then No. 21-ranked Owls, 44-23, in 2015 in Tampa before falling last year in Philadelphia, 46-30.
The Bulls hit the road for a Saturday, Sept. 30 game at East Carolina before the first of two bye weeks on the year. USF will return to action for Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 14 vs. UMass in Raymond James Stadium, the last of four non-conference games.
The Bulls will make their first-ever trip to New Orleans the following week for their first meeting with conference foe Tulane on Saturday, Oct. 21.
USF will return to Raymond James Stadium for three straight conference games separated by a bye week. The run begins with 2014 conference co-champion Cincinnati on Saturday, Oct. 28. The following week the Bulls face 2015 conference champion Houston on Saturday, Nov. 4 in the Salute to Service game.
USF will enjoy its second bye week of the season before closing with a pair of conference games. First is a visit from Tulsa on Saturday, Nov. 18 in Raymond James Stadium. It will be the first-ever trip to Tampa for the Golden Hurricane, which posted a 10-3 record and finished second in The American West Division last year.
The War On I-4 will return to Friday in 2017, as the Bulls will play their final regular season game at UCF on Friday, Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving. That game will be televised on ABC or one of the ESPN Networks.
The American Conference Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the home site of the top division winner and will be televised by ABC or an ESPN network.
USF will not face West Division foes Memphis, Navy or SMU in 2017 or 2018.
USF shares the The American East Division with Cincinnati, East Carolina, Temple, UConn and UCF.USF will host three games against 2016 bowl participants who won at least nine games last year when Houston, Temple and Tulsa come to Raymond James Stadium.
Sat Aug 26th - AT San Jose State
Sat Sept 2nd - vs Stony Brook
Sat Sept 9th - AT UCONN
Fri Sept 15th - vs Illinois
Thursday Sept 21st - vs Temple
Sat Sept 30th - AT ECU
Sat Oct 14th -vs UMASS
Sat Oct 21st - AT Tulane
Sat Oct 28th - vs Cincinnati
Sat Nov 4th - vs Houston
Sat Nov 18th - vs Tulsa
Fri Nov 24th - AT UCF
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