(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls (2-0) will play their first-ever game in Chicago and second in the state of Illinois on Saturday in the second of a two-game series with the Illini. The Bulls won the first meeting, 47-23, last year in Tampa. USF last ventured to the state of Illinois in 2001, falling, 20-17, at Northern Illinois. It will mark USF’s fourth Big Ten road game in the last six seasons and fifth overall. The Bulls are 1-5 all-time vs. Big Ten opponents, that victory coming last year vs. Illinois, and are 0-4 in road games vs. the Big Ten, falling at Maryland (2015; 35-17), Wisconsin (2014; 27-10), Michigan State (2013; 21-6) and Penn State (2005; 23-13).
Coming off a 49-38 win over Georgia Tech, USF is looking for its fifth straight win vs. a Power 5 opponent. The Bulls have won six of their last seven meetings vs. P5 teams, including a pair of bowl victories. The loss came to No. 13 Florida State (55-35) in 2016 in Tampa. The American has posted four wins vs. P5 teams so far in 2018.
Illini Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach Rod Smith was on the USF staff from 2001-06 under head coach Jim Leavitt, serving as QB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator and then Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach (2005-06). Meanwhile, nine coaches in the game have Tampa Bay Buccaneers ties, including Illini Head Coach Lovie Smith who served as head coach of the Buccaneers from 2014-15 and was the linebackers coach from 1996-2000.
USF has gone 23-4 since the start of 2016, including 10-1 in out-of-conference games (two bowl wins) with the only loss coming to No. 13 Florida State in 2016. The Bulls have posted a 18-3 record in Raymond James Stadium over the past four seasons and are in the midst of the most successful run in program history (31-9 (77.5) since 2015) that includes a 30-6 mark in the last 36 games, which ranks among the top six in the nation over that time.
Broadcast info for Saturdays Bulls game:
USF (2-0; 0-0 American) vs. Illinois (2-0; 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, Sept. 15 • 3:30 PM (ET) • Soldier Field • Big Ten Network
TV: Big Ten Network (BTN)
• Play-by-Play: Dave Revsine
• Analyst: J Leman
• Sideline Reporter: Ally Strum
• Online: BTN2Go.com
RADIO: USF Radio Network
• Play-by-Play: Jim Louk
• Analyst: Sam Barrington
• Sideline Reporter: Joey Johnston
• In Tampa: 820 AM / 96.7 FM
• Digital: iHeart Radio – Bulls Unlimited Channel
• Satellite: Sirius 145 / XM 386
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