(via USF Communications) - USF Director of Athletics today announced an agreement with the University of Florida to play a three-game football series beginning in 2022.
The Bulls and Gators will meet for the first time since 2010 on Sept. 17, 2022 when USF travels to 91,916-seat Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. The Gators and Bulls will meet for the first time ever in Tampa the following year on Sept. 9, 2023 at Raymond James Stadium. The series will conclude with the Bulls playing in Gainesville on Sept. 6, 2025.
"We are very excited for our program and our fans to add three games against the University of Florida to our schedule," Harlan said. "I would like to thank Coach Strong for his desire to play a challenging non-conference schedule and the leadership at Florida for their partnership in making this happen. We are committed to scheduling opponents that our fans are excited to see the Bulls compete against and Florida certainly ranks very high on that list."
The Bulls and Gators have met once on the football field, with then No. 8-ranked Florida posting a 38-14 victory in Gainesville in 2010. The Bulls went on to finish 8-5 that season and defeat Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. USF head coach began his coaching career at Florida and spent 15 seasons on the Gators' staff over four stints. He was an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator on Florida's 2006 and 2008 national title teams.
USF's previously scheduled matchup with FAU on Sept. 17, 2022 in Tampa will be moved to a future date. A 2023 return game vs. San Jose State in Tampa, previously scheduled for Sept. 9, has been moved to a Sept. 16, 2023 kickoff in Tampa.
The addition of three games vs. Florida marks eight games vs. Power 6 opponents added to the Bulls' future schedules since January. USF now has 15 scheduled non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents over the next nine seasons (through 2026) in addition to a pair of games vs. BYU (2019 & 2021).
The Bulls will play seven of those games vs. ACC opponents, with two games each scheduled vs. Georgia Tech (2018 & 2019) and N.C. State (2021 & 2024) and three vs. Louisville (2022, 2024 & 2026). Future schedules also include dates vs. SEC foe Florida (2022, 2023 & 2025), Big 12 opponent Texas (2020, 2022 & 2024) and Big Ten foes Illinois (2018) and Wisconsin (2019).
In 2018, USF will begin a two-game series with Georgia Tech on Sept. 8 in Raymond James Stadium and complete a two-game series vs. Illinois with a Sept. 15 game at Soldier Field in Chicago. USF's 2022 schedule now features home games vs. Texas and Florida, and a road game at Louisville, while 2024 features home games vs. N.C. State and Louisville and a road date at Texas.
USF has played 11 non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents in five seasons since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2013. Among the non-conference Power 6 opponents previously faced over that span were Florida State (2015, 2016), Illinois (2017), Maryland (2014, 2015), Miami (2013), Michigan State (2013), N.C. State (2014), Syracuse (2015, 2016) and Wisconsin (2014).
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