Tag Archives: Conference USA

USF Bulls to Play Marshall in Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa December 20th

(Tampa, FL) The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will feature USF (7-5, 3-5) from the American Athletic Conference and Marshall (8-4, 6-2) from Conference USA, as both teams have accepted invitations to play in this year’s game.

The 11th edition of the bowl game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. ET and air on ESPN.

USF, which started the season 7-0 and earned a top 20 ranking, will be appearing in its hometown bowl for the second time. The Bulls played in the inaugural bowl game in 2008 as the Big East Conference representative and defeated Memphis 41-14. USF head coach Charlie Strong is also making his second trip to the bowl game. Strong was a rookie head coach at Louisville in 2010 and capped off his first year leading the Cardinals to a 31-28 win over Southern Mississippi.

“We are excited for the opportunity to compete in a bowl game against a good opponent and the chance to send our seniors out with a third straight bowl win,” Strong said. “We look forward to some good practices and work with our team to prepare for the game. Our players will enjoy the activities and bowl experience here in the Bay Area and they are excited to get back out on the field and perform in front of our fans.”

Marshall will be making its third appearance at the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. The Thundering Herd defeated UConn 16-10 in 2015 and FIU 20-10 in 2011. Marshall finished the season winning three of its last four games.

“Any opportunity to play in a bowl game is great,” said Marshall head coach Doc Holliday. “The state of Florida has been good to our program for several years now and we’re excited to get back down to the Tampa area. We will face a very good South Florida team and a head coach that I know well in Charlie Strong.”

“We’re expecting lots of green clad fans at Raymond James Stadium,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. “We hope USF fans will be excited with the opportunity to stay at home to see their team in a bowl and Marshall has been well represented by their fan base both times they’ve been here.”

The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl is owned-and-operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

While the game is the headliner event, the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl activities start a few days prior. This year the teams, their alumni and students will start arriving in Tampa on Sunday, Dec., 16, for the numerous bowl-related festivities leading up to kick-off. These events, which are free and open to the public, include the Beach Invasion (Dec. 16 – Treasure Island Park), Battle of the Bands (Dec. 18 – Treasure Island Park), Pep Rally (Dec. 19 – Armature Works) and the Fan Invasion (Dec. 20 – Raymond James Stadium).

For more information on the 2018 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl game and the numerous events, visit www.gasparillabowl.com. Additionally, follow the bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@GasparillaBowl).





Marshall defeats UConn 16-10 in the St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field

(St. Petersburg, FL) Using a ball control offense and several extended drives, the Marshall Thundering Herd defeated the UConn Huskies 16-10 this afternoon in the 8th St. Petersburg Bowl played at Tropicana Field. Marshall had 5 consecutive possessions at one time of more than 10 plays, keeping the ball for nearly 35 minutes en route to their 10th victory of the season.

Keion Davis was named game MVP with a 10 carry, 73-yard performance including a 41-yard scamper late in the 4th quarter setting up Nick Smith’s 3rd field goal of the contest. Smith connected on kicks from 21, 29 and 32 yards out. Marshall Quarterback Chase Litton completed 23 of 34 passes for 218 Yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

The Thundering Herd took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Chase Litton lofted a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tight End Ryan Yurachek. It was Litton’s 23rd TD pass of the season.

UConn responded with a 13-play, 71-yard scoring drive taking 6:19 off the clock capped off by an 8-yard touchdown run by Running Back Ron Johnson tying the game at 7-7 with 1:51 remaining in the first quarter.

Nick Smith booted the first of his 3 field goals topping Marshall’s first clock burning drive of 13 plays and 65 yards in 6:02 to regain a 10-7 lead for the Herd.

Smith added a 29-yard field goal after Marshall drove the ball 85 yards in 15 plays in just under 5 minutes giving the Herd a 13-7 lead going into halftime.

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Marshall opened the second half with its third straight drive of more than 10 plays but turned the ball over on downs at the UConn 17 yard line.

Kendall Gant intercepted UConn Quarterback Bryant Shirreff for the first turnover of the game. Marshall again kept the ball for 10 plays and 4 and a half minutes, but game up empty when Nick Smith missed a 42 yard field goal attempt.

The Huskies pulled to within 3 on Bobby Puyol’s St. Petersburg Bowl record long 52-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter.

UConn’s Jamar Summers intercepted Chase Litton early in the 4th quarter, but UConn’s offense stalled and was forced to punt with 8:19 left in the game. Marshall executed another lengthy drive of more than 10 plays, led by Keion Davis’ 71 yards on 10 carries setting up Nick Smith’s 32 yard field goal with 1:44 remaining. The Thundering Herd’s defense squashed UConn’s last minute hopes forcing a turnover on downs to seal the win for Marshall.

Marshall finishes the 2015 season with a 10-3 record while UConn falls to 6-7.

Bowl Shots

Today is the 8th St. Petersburg Bowl held at Tropicana Field. Marshall University comes in with a 9-3 overall record and 6-2 Conference USA record. UConn finished the regular season at 6-6, 4-4 in the American Athletic Conference.

Marshall averaged just under 33 points per game on offense in 2015. UConn averaged just under 18 points per game on offense.

Today’s officials were from the Mountain West Conference.

ESPN telecast the St. Petersburg Bowl and streamed the game on ESPN3. Tom Hart called the play-by-play with Anthony Becht doing the color and Tiffany Greene on the sidelines. ESPN radio also carried the game with Drew Goodman handling the play-by-play, Rene Ingoglia doing the color and Brett McMurphy on the sidelines.

Events this week in St. Petersburg leading up to the game included a “fill the bowl” contest at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort Grand Ballroom, “Beach Bash” on Madeira Beach, dance and belly flop contests and battle of the bands at Sirata Beach Resort.

Both schools marching bands performed at halftime.

125 players who have played in previous St. Petersburg Bowls have gone on to sign NFL contracts including Blake Bortles (UCF/Jacksonville Jaguars), T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Indianapolis Colts) and George Selvie (USF, NY Giants).

This was the UConn Huskies first bowl game in Florida.

Attendance: 14,652.

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