(Tampa, FL) ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, has announced the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will now be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL beginning this year.
Owned and operated by the Tampa Sports Authority, Raymond James Stadium is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and host to the Outback Bowl and the 2017 National Championship.
“We are excited about the continued growth of this bowl game,” said Clint Overby, vice president of ESPN Events. “I want to thank those we have worked with in St. Petersburg and at Tropicana Field in helping us build this game into a quality, postseason experience.
The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will continue to hold a presence in Pinellas County during bowl week, hosting multiple events and maintaining relationships with its beach hotel partners. Bowl week plans for 2018 include former Tampa Bay Buc Mike Alstott hosting team visits to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in downtown St. Petersburg and the Battle at the Beach taking place at the City of Treasure Island Gulf Front Park.
“Since the inception of the bowl in 2008 our staff has aimed to forge special relationships with stakeholders on both sides of Bay,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. “This move will continue to support our ability to better expand our relationships across Tampa Bay. With our new home at Raymond James Stadium, Bad Boy Mowers, the two participating teams and their fans will be able to enjoy the incredible benefits of one of the best football venues in America.”
The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will air on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 20, from Raymond James Stadium. Tickets will go on sale later this year.
(Tampa, FL) No. 20 Florida dominated the Outback with stingy defense and a persistent offense that did its job, too.
Chauncey Gardner, Jr., returned one of his two fourth-quarter interceptions 58 yards for a touchdown, and graduate transfer Austin Appleby threw for 222 yards and two TDs to pace Monday’s 30-3 rout of No. 21 Iowa.
With Gardner grabbing game MVP honors, the Gators (9-4) held up their end of what many expected to be a day defense ruled , especially considering Florida entered ranked 115th in the nation in total offense — five spots ahead of the sputtering Hawkeyes.
Conversely, the teams were sixth and 24th, respectively, in total defense.
“The MVP, it goes to our guys up front, the linebackers and the coaching staff because they put me in good position to make plays. … It should be a team MVP,” Gardner said. “Our motto is just go out there and have fun, and play our game.”
Mark Thompson scored on an 85-yard pass play in the first half and Appleby, who spent the past four seasons at Purdue, tossed a 6-yard TD pass to DeAndre Goolsby to break the game open late in the third quarter.
Florida (9-4) rebounded from lopsided losses to archrival Florida State and No. 1 Alabama, scoring more points on Iowa (8-5) than the Hawkeyes allowed to Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska combined while ending the regular season on a three-game winning streak.
“It was a tough day for our football team,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Our team really had a good month, they practiced and prepared well. I’m not sure there’s a thing I’d go back and change. Ultimately, we didn’t play well enough to come up with a victory.”
Iowa’s C.J. Beathard led an early field goal drive and managed to get his team close to the end zone on two other occasions. Florida’s defense stiffened both times, stopping the Hawkeyes on downs at the Gator 3 in the second quarter and forcing them to settle for a 30-yard field goal that sailed wide right midway through the third quarter.
Appleby, who actually began his career at Purdue against Iowa, shrugged off throwing interceptions on Florida’s first two drives of the day to finish 14 of 25 passing.
“We didn’t panic early. We knew Iowa would come out swinging and make some plays on us early,” Appleby said. “We had some bad luck, but didn’t panic, and the defense made some stops and we got on a roll.”
Akrum Wadley ran for 115 yards, giving Iowa a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same season for the first time. The junior finished with 1,081, and LeShun Daniels wound up with 1,058 after gaining 45 Monday.
(Tampa, FL) Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack combined for over 300 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns to lead the USF Bulls to a 48-31 victory over UCF Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. The Bulls notched a program record 10th win and 7th in the American Athletic Conference.
The Bulls overcame a 7-0 early deficit to their cross-I4 rival UCF Knights (6-6, 4-4) when running back Marlon Mack broke a tackle and scampered down the sideline 43 yards to tie the game at 7-7.
Juwuan Brown gave the Bulls a lead they would never relinquish when he picked up a Jawon Hamilton fumble at the UCF 22-yard line and rumbled in for the score putting USF up 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Marlon Mack tallied his second touchdown of the game on a spectacular 56-yard run, breaking at least four tackles on the way to the end zone. Mack would finish the day with 155 yards on 20 carries. The Bulls took a 24-14 lead into halftime.
Quarterback Quinton Flowers opened the third quarter in style with a 62-yard touchdown romp, breaking teammate Marlon Mack’s single season rushing he set last year of over 1600 yards. Flowers had 152 yard rushing on 20 carries. He also completed 17 of 26 passes for 152 yards.
UCF would pull to within seven points late in the third quarter, but USF linebacker Auggie Sanchez’ interception led to Flowers second running touchdown of the game and the Bulls never looked back.
Head Coach Willie Taggart’s post game comments are available in the attached video below.
Temple defeated East Carolina Saturday night to win the east division in the AAC and will play Navy in the conference champtionship game next Saturday at noon in Annapolis. USF will await bowl offers to determine where they will play next.
USF honored 18 seniors today playing in their final home game. Six members of the senior class were recruited from the Tampa Bay area.
Today’s win was the 10th of the season for USF, setting a record for the Bulls football program. USF’s road win last week over SMU was a school’s best 4th of the season.
Coming into today’s game, the Bulls have a nation-leading streak of 15 games scoring at least 30 points.
The Bulls offense has the nation’s 7th ranked total offense averaging 516.2 yards per game and 43.2 points per game. The Bulls average 286.4 yards rushing per game, good for 6th in the nation.
USF beat UCF 44-4 last season in Orlando, FL.
USF needed a Temple loss tonight to East Carolina to earn a spot in next Saturday’s (12/3) AAC Conference Championship game to be played in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Temple’s win over East Carolina Saturday night sets up the conference title game between Temple and Navy in Annapolis. ABC or ESPN will televise the game beginning at noon ET.
Uniform Shuffle: The Bulls wore their all green uniforms with gold numbers, green helmets with gold Bulls logo.
Today’s game was broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.
(Tampa, FL) Quinton Flowers ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more to lead the USF Bulls to a 42-27 American Athletic Conference victory over the UConn Huskies Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Despite four turnovers for the Bulls, the win keeps USF (6-1, 3-0) undefeated in the AAC and in first place in the East Division.
“We can play better”, Bulls Head Coach Willie Taggart, said. “We had 4 turnovers and still won the game.”
Trailing 17-14 early in the third quarter, USF rallied with four touchdowns the rest of the way to secure bowl eligibility and maintain the top spot in its division.
Quarterback Quinton Flowers gave the Bulls its first lead when he zig-zagged his way to a 54-yard touchdown run on the Bulls second play on offense.
“It was like watching a video game”, his coach Willie Taggart joked after the game.
Flowers would score two additional touchdowns on the ground and toss for two more. The junior signal caller had a career night rushing for 157 yards on 16 carries and completing 23 of 37 passes for 213 yards. The only downside to his game was a pair of interceptions.
Marlon Mack scored on a 34 yard run with 2:57 left in the game to break the 100-yard rushing barrier for the 17th time in his USF career. Mack carried the ball 16 times for 107 yards and also caught six passes for 75 yards.
UConn (3-4, 1-3) quarterback Bryant Shirreffs threw for a pair of touchdowns while connecting on 22 of 39 passes for 306 yards. Arkeel Newsome led the Huskies ground game tallying 72 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown.
The Bulls have a short week as they continue their AAC schedule next Friday night on the road in Philadelphia against Temple in a 7:00 PM kickoff. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN.
Tonight’s game was broadcast nationwide on CBS Sports Network.
Tonight’s win was the fifth straight for USF over UConn.
UConn last played in the Tampa Bay area in last December’s St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field, losing to Marshall 16-10.
Uniform Shuffle: The Bulls wore pink accents on their all green uniforms and white helmets for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Tonight’s win makes the USF bowl eligible for the second earliest time in school history. The Bulls won their sixth game on October 13, 2007 against UCF.
Marlon Mack had his 17th career 100-yard rushing game tonight to go over 3000 yards in his USF career.
Before tonight, the last nine games between USF and UConn had been decided by 8 points or less.
Last year (Oct. 17, 2015) the Bulls defeated the Huskies 28-20 in Hartford, CT.
The Bulls play their next two games on Friday nights. Next week (Oct. 21) at Temple and (Oct. 28) against Navy at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls extended their American Athletic Conference winning streak to six straight wins with a 38-22 victory over the East Carolina University Pirates Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Marlon Mack rushed for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns and Quarterback Quinton Flowers ran for 115 yards and threw for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Bulls offense.
“It wasn’t pretty”, said Bulls Head Coach Willie Taggart, “but I’m happy with the win”. Taggart’s high-powered offense racked up 556 yards, including 306 on the ground as USF (5-1, 2-0) remained unbeaten in conference play.
ECU (2-4, 0-2) took the early 3-0 lead on their opening possession with a 40-yard field goal by Davis Plowman at 5:29 of the first quarter.
After a stalled first drive, USF scored the second time they had the ball when Quinton Flowers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to D’Ernest Johnson, capping off a 45-yard in 5:11 to go ahead 7-3.
Both teams traded field goals early in the second quarter. Eric Nadelman booted a 26-yard field goal for USF and Davis Plowman connected on a 49-yarder to pull the Pirates within 10-6.
Marlon Mack had his longest run of the season, 63 yards to the ECU 6-yard line, but fumbled on the next play and the Pirates recovered. ECU drove the ball downfield and Davis Plowman clanked it off the right goal post on a 42-yard field goal attempt.
The Bulls mounted one of their patented quick scoring drives in less than two minutes, when Quinton Flowers hit D’Ernest Johnson for his second touchdown pass of the game from the 11-yard line giving the Bulls a 17-6 lead at the half.
Marlon Mack scored on a one-yard plunge early in the third quarter to extend the Bulls lead to 24-6.
ECU replaced starting quarterback Philip Nelson with sophomore Gardner Minshew (21-33 220 yards, 1 TD) who gave the Pirates offense a boost with a 1-yard touchdown toss to Zay Jones to make it 24-13. Jones was the leading receiver for the Pirates with 145 yards on 18 catches.
Davis Plowman made it a one-possession game (24-16) with a 31-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter. Then after USF went 3 and out and punted, the Pirates drove 69 yards and scored on James Summers 3-yard touchdown run. Summers finished with 114 yards on 18 carries. The 2-point conversion was no good. USF led 24-22 with 6:58 remaining in the game.
Quinton Flowers ended any hopes of an ECU comeback with his third touchdown pass of the game, a 62-yard strike to Rodney Adams over the middle to extend the Bulls lead to 31-22.
Marlon Mack added one more score to the books on a 9-yard run lifting the Bulls to their fifth win of the season.
USF will host UConn next Saturday (October 15) at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7PM.
Today’s victory extends the Bulls AAC Conference win streak to six straight, the longest in Bulls football history.
USF holds a 5-1 all-time record over East Carolina. The Bulls defeated the Pirates 22-17 last season in Greenville, NC.
USF defeated ECU in the 2006 PapaJohns.com bowl.
Including today’s win over ECU, the Bulls have scored at least 35 points in ten consecutive games. The Bulls rushed for more than 200 yards against ECU to extend that streak to 11 games.
The Bulls are first in the AAC and fifth in the nation in scoring averaging 45.8 points per game.
Last week against Cincinnati, Marlon Mack had his 15th 100-yard game and became USF’s all-time leading rusher with 2755 yards in just 28 games. Today’s game marked his 16th straight 100- yard game.
Today’s game was telecast nationally on ESPNews.
Uniform shuffle: USF wore green jerseys with gold numbers, white pants and metallic gold helmets today.
Lee Roy Selmon family members served as honorary captains at today’s game.
Today was Homecoming for USF Bulls alumni.
Next week: The Bulls are home to play UConn in another AAC conference game. Kickoff scheduled for 7PM.
(Tampa, FL) When Quinton Flowers connected with Rodney Adams on an 84 yard touchdown pass just 17 seconds into the game, the Bulls looked like they would be another Louisville to Florida State. That vision ended 12 seconds later when Dalvin Cook raced 75 yards down the sideline on FSU’s first play from scrimmage to tie the game. The ‘Noles would tally touchdowns on its first 4 possessions en route to a 55-35 victory over USF in Tampa Saturday afternoon.
Both teams traded touchdowns in the first 5 minutes and the game was tied at 14. Then the ‘Noles, coming off a 63-20 shellacking by Louisville last week, hit the gas pedal and jumped out to a 38-14 lead by the half.
Dalvin Cook had another career game against the Bulls, leading all rushers with 267 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Deondre Francois added 75 yards of his own on the ground in a game that totaled 768 yards rushing between the two teams and 1097 total yards of offense.
USF Quarterback Quinton Flowers led USF with 159 yards running the ball, while Marlon Mack was held to just 42 yards on the ground despite scoring one touchdown.
The Bulls (3-1) winning streak ends at 3 while FSU (3-1) gets back on track after the Louisville loss last Saturday.
USF begins its AAC Conference schedule next Saturday night at Cincinnati in a 7PM kickoff (ESPN2/ESPNU).
Last Saturday’s comeback win over Syracuse put USF at 3-0 for the first time since 2011. The Bulls have won 10 of their last 12 games equaling the best period in school history.
USF’s 48.1 points per game over the last 7 contests ranks the Bulls 2nd in the nation. Coming into today’s game, the Bulls are seventh in the country in scoring.
Home cooking: The Bulls have won 7 of their last 8 at Raymond James Stadium, all by 3 touchdowns or more.
American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco spoke with the media in the press box before today’s game. He said he’s not concerned about several teams in the AAC, USF included, that have been making overtures to move to the Big 12 and other Power 5 conferences. He said the AAC has plans in place in case several teams leave the conference.
FSU Seminoles and Tampa Bay Bucs play-by-play broadcaster Gene Deckerhoff has a much easier travel schedule this weekend. He called the ‘Noles/Bulls game this afternoon and will call the Rams/Bucs game tomorrow at 4PM from Raymond James.
FSU is 2-1 all-time against USF. The last time the ‘Noles were in Tampa in 2012, they defeated the Bulls 30-17 before a school record crowd of 69,383 at Raymond James Stadium.
Uniform shuffle: The Bulls wore their green jerseys with gold numbers, white pants, white helmets with gold bull logo this afternoon.
Local connection: FSU QB Deondre Francois played high school football at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.
(Tampa, FL) The 20th season of USF football began with a roar as the Bulls soundly defeated the Towson Tigers 56-20 Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Head Coach Willie Taggart in his 4th season at the helm of the Bulls watched his high octane, no-huddle offense roll over the Tigers defense in the season lid lifter.
USF jumped ahead quickly 1:39 into the game when Quinton Flowers zipped a pass to Darius Tice who eluded several defenders and rumbled into the end zone from 43 yards out capping off a speedy 6-play, 80-yard drive.
Marlon Mack tallied the Bulls second score with a 7-yard touchdown run set up by a 57-yard kickoff return after a Towson field goal to make it 14-3. Mack would later leave the game after a hard hit which caused a fumble early in the second quarter. He walked off the field on his own power but would not return to the game.
Quinton Flowers tossed his second touchdown pass of the game a 51-yarder to Marquez Valdes-Scantling at the 6:56 mark of the second quarter and then ran one in from 5 yards out on the Bulls next possession to put USF ahead 28-10 at the half.
The Bulls quarterback added another rushing touchdown midway through the 3rd quarter before leaving the game to his backup Brett Kean, who threw 2 touchdowns of his own.
Flowers completed 8 of 18 for 178 yards with 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and 58 yards on the ground. Kean went 5 for 7 with 2 touchdowns.
Marlon Mack rushed 9 times for 58 yards and 1 touchdown.
Darius Victor led all runners with 78 yards on 23 carries and 2 scores for Towson. Tiger quarterback Morgan Mahalak completed 16 of 36 with no touchdowns and 1 interception.
USF hosts Northern Illinois next Saturday night at Raymond James in a 7PM kickoff before heading to Syracuse the following week.
Tonight’s game marked the start of the 20th season of USF Bulls football and 17th at the FBS level.
Coming into tonight, the Bulls were 14-5 in season openers and 18-1 in home lid lifters.
Former Booker Tornado (Sarasota) high school standout Marlon Mack who was the offensive juggernaut for the Bulls on the ground last season brought a streak of 5 straight 100-yard games into tonight’s contest against Towson.
Mack led the AAC in rushing for the second straight season last year averaging 115 yards per game, 1381 overall. He has 2422 career rushing yards, 309 away from setting a new school record.
WR Rodney Adams set a USF record with 822 receiving yards last season.
Junior quarterback Quinton Flowers returns as the Bulls field general. Flowers tossed 22 touchdowns in 2015 and ran for 12.
USF has been picked by many to win the East Division of the American Athletic Conference.
In addition to the USF radio network, tonight’s game was broadcast nationally on the American Sports Network and ESPN 3.
This was the first meeting between the two schools.
Former Manatee Hurricane Willie Taggart enters his fourth season as head coach of the Bulls and seventh overall.
The Bulls were 8-5 overall and 6-2 in the AAC in 2015.
15 starters return to the Bulls lineup this season from last year.
The Bulls are 126-101 overall in their 19 year history and 106-88 in the FBS. USF has a 4-3 record in bowl games.
The Bulls wore all green uniforms, green helmets with fluorescent yellow numbers tonight.
This was the first game ever for the Towson Tigers in the state of Florida.
Earlier today in the AAC, #15 Houston upset #3 Oklahoma 33-23.
The Bulls host Northern Illinois next Saturday (Sept. 10) at Raymond James 7PM EDT.
(Tampa, FL) USF quarterback Quinton Flowers almost singlehandedly carried the team on his back leading the Bulls to a 38-14 victory over SMU (1-6, 0-3) Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Without standout running back Marlon Mack, on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, Flowers rushed for a USF record 201 yards and scored three touchdowns as USF (4-3, 2-1) extended their winning streak to three in a row including back-to-back American Athletic Conference wins.
After recovering a fumble at the SMU 21 yard line, the Bulls scored first on a 40-yard Emilio Nadelman field goal just over two minutes into the game.
SMU took the only lead they would have in the contest on the last play of the first quarter when Xavier Jones plunged up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown capping off a 12-play, 78 yard drive, temporarily giving the Mustangs a 7-3 advantage.
The Bulls regained the momentum on their first possession in the second quarter when Quinton Flowers ran to his left and broke free down the sideline for 67 yards. He fumbled the ball, but Marlon Pope recovered for USF to set up first and goal from the SMU 4-yard line. Darius Tice took it in from 1-yard out jump ahead of SMU 10-7.
Two possessions later, Flowers scored on a quarterback keeper from the 8-yard line with 4:54 remaining in the half extending the Bulls lead to 17-7.
Sophomore running back D’Ernest Johnson powered into the end zone from the 1-yard line as the Bulls opened the second half with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive for a 24-7 margin.
After Tajee Fullwood returned a punt 40 yards to the SMU 5-yard line, Quinton Flowers tallied his second rushing touchdown of the game inflating the Bulls lead to 31-7.
The Mustangs mounted a 75-yard scoring drive when Jeremy Colbert, replacing starting QB Matt Davis, connected with Courtland Sutton on a 30-yard touchdown pass pulling SMU to within 31-14.
Quinton Flowers capped off his outstanding afternoon with the hat trick touchdown on an 18-yard scamper making it 38-14.
Flowers had 101 yards rushing in the first half by the nine-minute mark and added another 100 in the second half.
USF travels to Annapolis, MD next Saturday for a noon kickoff against Navy. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
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USF running back Marlon Mack suffered an injured hamstring in last week’s win at UConn. He saw limited action in practice this week.
Quinton Flowers established a USF single game rushing record for quarterbacks with his 201 yards on the ground today against SMU.
Today’s win over SMU equaled last year’s total for USF (4) and the first three game winning streak since 2011.
Today’s win over SMU completed the first back-to-back conference victories for USF in two seasons and only the second time since 2010.
The Bulls wore special uniforms with pink accents in honor of today’s Breast Cancer Awareness game presented by Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa.
Today’s game was the third meeting between USF and SMU. The Mustangs beat the Bulls 16-6 in 2013 in Tampa and USF beat SMU last year in Dallas, 14-13.
USF ranks 15th nationally in rushing averaging 233 yards per game on the ground. Sarasota’s Marlon Mack is averaging 114 yards individually per game.
At 1,730 career yards, Mack needs only 58 to move into fifth place on USF’s all-time rushing list.
Coming into today, USF is third in the AAC East division behind Temple and East Carolina.
USF hits the road for two games at Navy next Saturday and at East Carolina November 7th before returning to Tampa to play Temple on November 14th.
Today’s game was televised on the ESPN News Network.