Tag Archives: USF Bulls Football

USF Bulls Football To Play Three-Game Series Against Alabama Starting in Tampa in 2023

(Tampa, FL) USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly announced an agreement with Alabama to play a three-game football series that will begin in 2023 with the Crimson Tide coming to Tampa.

The addition of the series with the Crimson Tide brings the Bulls’ scheduled non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents to 17 over the next 10 seasons, 14 of those added since January. The 17 contests vs. Power 6 opponents are tied for the most among American Athletic Conference teams.

Alabama joins most recent series announcements pitting the Bulls vs. Florida and Miami as well as games in the next two seasons vs. Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and Texas. The Bulls have at least one Power 6 non-conference opponent scheduled in each of the next 10 seasons and two or more in seven of those seasons.

Six of those opponents can claim a national championship, including 17 for Alabama, and the Bulls will be facing programs during that span that claim a total of 34 national championships.
“We are very excited to open the Alabama series in Tampa in 2023 and to add one of the most successful brands in American sports to a very exciting list of future opponents that will give our student-athletes and coaches a great opportunity to compete against the best programs in the nation,” Kelly said.

The Bulls and Crimson Tide will open the series on Sept. 16, 2023 in Raymond James Stadium. It will be the Tide’s first return to Tampa since falling, 35-31, to Clemson in the 2017 CFP National Championship Game, one of Alabama’s four straight national championship game appearances since 2015. The series will shift to Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821) in Tuscaloosa, Ala. for the final two games in the series on Sept. 7, 2024 and Sept. 12, 2026.

USF and Alabama have met once previously with the Tide winning, 40-17, in Tuscaloosa on Aug. 30, 2003. The Bulls are 2-5 all-time vs. SEC opponents, winning their only meeting in the last eight seasons with a 46-39 overtime victory over South Carolina in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl.

The Bulls’ 2024 non-conference slate is now set with the USF facing Louisville, NC State and Western Kentucky in Tampa and traveling to Alabama. USF’s 2026 schedule has one remaining date with FAU coming to Tampa and the Bulls traveling to Alabama and Louisville.





USF Bulls and Miami Hurricanes to Play Three-Game Series

(Tampa, FL) USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly today announced an agreement with the University of Miami to play a three-game football series starting in 2025, bringing the Bulls’ scheduled non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents to 14 over the next 10 seasons.

The Bulls and Hurricanes will play a pair of games at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, beginning the latest series on Sept. 13, 2025 and closing the three-game series on Sept. 9, 2028. The Hurricanes will return to Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 4, 2027 to face the Bulls in Tampa for the fourth time and first time since 2013.

The addition of the three-game series with Miami comes on the heels of the announcement of a home-and-home series with Boise State (2025 & 2027) in April and an agreement with Texas to cancel the final two games (scheduled for 2022 & 2024) of a previously announced three-game series. USF will still travel to Texas in 2020.

“We are excited to continue to add very high-level opponents with great national interest to our future football schedules,” Kelly said. “In the next 10 years we now have six games on the schedule against Florida and Miami and our student-athletes, coaches and fans look forward to the challenge.”

The Bulls and Hurricanes have met six times on the football field with Miami holding a 5-1 lead in the series, including a 49-21 victory in the last meeting in 2013 in Tampa. The Bulls win came, 23-20, in Miami in 2010.

USF’s 2025 season non-conference schedule is now full with games vs. Boise State (Aug. 30), at Florida (Sept. 6), at Miami (Sept. 13) and vs. San Jose State (Sept. 20). The Bulls will open the 2027 season vs. Miami (Sept. 4) in Tampa and have road trips to Boise State (Sept. 11) and Northern Illinois (Sept. 25) on the schedule with one non-conference opponent to be filled.

USF now has 14 scheduled non-conference games vs. Power 6 opponents over the next 10 seasons (through 2028) in addition to home-and-home series vs. Boise State (2025 & 2027) and BYU (2019 & 2021).

The Bulls will play nine of those games vs. ACC opponents, including contests vs. Georgia Tech (2019), NC State (2021 & 2024), Louisville (2022, 2024 & 2026) and Miami (2025, 2027 & 2028). Future schedules also include dates vs. SEC foe Florida (2022, 2023 & 2025), Big 12 opponent Texas (2020) and Big Ten foe Wisconsin (2019).

USF takes on Wisconsin on Fri., Aug. 30 in a primetime matchup to open the 2019 season, travels to Georgia Tech (Sept. 7) in Week 2 and will host BYU on Oct. 12 for a homecoming game at Raymond James Stadium.

USF has played 13 non-conference regular season games vs. Power 6 opponents in six seasons since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2013. The non-conference Power 6 opponents faced over that span include Florida State (2015, 2016), Georgia Tech (2018), Illinois (2017 & 2018), Maryland (2014, 2015), Miami (2013), Michigan State (2013), NC State (2014), Syracuse (2015, 2016) and Wisconsin (2014).





USF Bulls Show Signs of Improvement in Spring Football Showcase Saturday

(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls played its spring football game Saturday afternoon at Corbett Stadium on campus as fans got a first look at new Offensive Coordinator Kerwin Bell’s offense.

Starting quarterback Blake Barnett set the tone by throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mitchell Wilcox on the very first play. By the final whistle, USF’s offense produced five touchdowns and two field goals in a 73-36 victory over the defense, which was limited by spring practice rules.

“I just feel like we’ve got a lot of momentum coming from this spring camp and I think we’re going to take that into the fall,” said Wilcox, a senior from Tarpon Springs, Fla., who led all receivers with 90 yards on two catches.

Saturday’s scoring system featured normal point totals for touchdowns and field goals on top of two points being awarded for 15-plus yard plays and one point for fourth-down conversions. Defensively, three-and-outs counted for three points, turnovers counted for four and fourth-down stops earned the Bulls one point.

“I like the way the offense just came out. They were able to operate,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “Defensively with the scoring system, defensive guys got mad at me because I took away the sacks and tackles for loss, which could have added more points to the score.”

USF’s offense was certainly happy with the result after producing what would have been 41 points in a real game situation as all three quarterbacks threw at least one touchdown and combined for 509 yards passing.

Behind Barnett, redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud completed 17 of 25 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Before McCloud’s scores, redshirt freshman Octavious Battle threw a 29-yard pass to Jernard Phillips for a score and added a 10-yard TD pass to slot receiver Bryce Miller in the first quarter.

“From day one of spring practice to where we are now, we’ve come a million miles on offense,” head coach Charlie Strong said.





USF Bulls Set to Begin Spring Practice Tuesday March 19th

(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls football team will return to the field on Tuesday, March 19 for the first of 15 spring practices to prepare for their third season under head coach Charlie Strong.

Strong announced one of those spring practices will be held on location at Clearwater Central Catholic High School on Saturday, April 6 and will be open to the public. The open practice is scheduled from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

The USF Spring Game presented by USF Federal Credit Union will once again return to Corbett Stadium on the USF campus on Saturday, April 13 with a 1 p.m. kickoff. The spring game, which has drawn capacity crowds the past four seasons to Corbett Stadium, is free to the public and will cap off a day of entertainment on campus that begins with a street festival starting at 11 a.m. outside the stadium.

The 2019 Bulls return 16 starters (9 offense, 5 defense, 2 specialists) from a 2018 squad that reached the program’s fourth straight bowl game. USF will feature a new offensive coordinator in Kerwin Bell, who led Valdosta State to an NCAA Division II national championship with the nation’s top scoring offense (52.0 ppg) last year.

Bell will take the reins of an offense that returns starting quarterback Blake Barnett (2,710 passing yards), first team all-conference tight end Mitchell Wilcox (540 receiving yards), tailbacks Jordan Cronkrite (1,121 rushing yards) and Johnny Ford (787 rushing yards), leading receiver Randall St. Felix (679 receiving yards) and all five starters along the offensive line from the Gasparilla Bowl.

USF’s defensive returners are led by second-leading tackler Greg Reaves (89 tackles), who is expected to return to his defensive end position after starting the final seven games of 2018 at linebacker. Honorable mention all-conference cornerback Mike Hampton returns after posting the second-most pass defenses (18) in program history, as do safety Nick Roberts, who led the team with three interceptions and was fourth with 72 tackles, and defensive end Kirk Livingstone, who tied for the team lead with 10 tackles for loss and was fifth with 56 tackles.

USF will play seven games in Raymond James Stadium during the 2019 season, highlighted by visits from preseason top 25-ranked Wisconsin to open the season (Aug. 30) and BYU (Oct. 12) in the non-conference slate and three straight November home games vs. conference contenders Temple (Nov. 7), Cincinnati (Nov. 16) and Memphis (Nov. 23).





USF Bulls Spring Football Game Set for Saturday April 13

(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls Spring Football Game will once again return to Corbett Stadium on the USF campus on Saturday, April 13 with a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The spring game is free to the public and will cap off a day of entertainment on campus that begins with a street festival starting at 11AM outside the stadium. Normal pregame tailgating activities will be allowed in campus lots. Fans are also encouraged to bring blankets and utilize seating areas on the grass berms surrounding the playing surface as a large crowd is expected.

Fans will get their first look at a 2019 Bulls team that returns 16 starters. USF’s third season under head coach Charlie Strong will feature a new offensive coordinator in Kerwin Bell, who led Valdosta State to an NCAA Division II national championship with the nation’s top scoring offense (52.0 ppg) last year.

Bell will take the reins of an offense that returns starting quarterback Blake Barnett (2,710 passing yards), first team all-conference tight end Mitchell Wilcox (540 receiving yards), tailbacks Jordan Cronkrite (1,121 rushing yards) and Johnny Ford (787 rushing yards), leading receiver Randall St. Felix (679 receiving yards) and all five starters along the offensive line.

The defensive returners are led by second-leading tackler Greg Reaves (89 tackles), who is expected to return to his defensive end position after starting the final seven games of 2018 at linebacker. Honorable mention all-conference cornerback Mike Hampton returns after posting the second-most pass defenses (18) in program history, as do safety Nick Roberts, who led the team with three interceptions and was fourth with 72 tackles, and defensive end Kirk Livingstone, who tied for the team lead with 10 tackles for loss and was fifth with 56 tackles.

The Bulls will take the field for the first of 15 spring practices on March 19 and will practice for four weeks leading up to the spring game.

USF will play seven games in Raymond James Stadium during the 2019 season, highlighted by visits from preseason top 25-ranked Wisconsin to open the season (Aug. 30) and BYU (Oct. 12) in the non-conference slate and three straight November home games vs. conference contenders Temple (Nov. 7), Cincinnati (Nov. 16) and Memphis (Nov. 23).





Charlie Strong Completes USF Football Coaching Staff Revamp for 2019 Season

(Tampa, FL) University of South Florida Head Football Coach Charlie Strong has completed the Bulls’ coaching staff, officially adding one offensive coach and three defensive coaches to the staff for his third season at the helm.

On the offensive side of the ball, Strong announced the addition of Jeremy Darveau as offensive line coach. Darveau rejoins new Bulls offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell as the pair helped lead Valdosta State to an NCAA Division II national championship with the highest scoring offense (52.0 ppg) in the division last season. Also joining USF from the Valdosta staff are Kade Bell and Andrew Robustelli, who were both standouts playing under Bell at Jacksonville University and will serve as quality control analysts for the offense at USF.

On the defensive side of the ball, Strong announced the promotion of Bryan Hill to safeties coach. Hill served the last two seasons on the USF staff in a quality control position for the defense. Strong also announced the addition of Steve Ellis as defensive backs coach and Paul Spicer as defensive line coach as well as a positional change for current assistant coach Sean Cronin, who will now coach outside linebackers. Ellis joins the USF program from Middle Tennessee State, where he served as cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator last season and previously served as co-defensive coordinator. Spicer joins USF from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he served as assistant defensive line coach for the last four seasons.

Strong also announced the promotion of Albert Boone to director of football operations, replacing Clifford Snow, who departed to pursue opportunities outside of football. Boone had previously served as director of on campus recruiting.

“I feel very good about our coaching staff and the energy and ability they will bring to our program as we head into the 2019 season,” Strong said. “I expect our new coaches will connect very quickly and very well with our players, bring their own perspectives and ideas and will help us excel on the field and in recruiting. We are very excited for this upcoming season and are going to work.”





USF Bulls 2019 Football Schedule Released

(Tampa, FL) The USF football team will open its third season under head coach Charlie Strong with a primetime clash vs. Wisconsin on Friday, Aug. 30 nationally televised on an ESPN network from Raymond James Stadium. The American Athletic Conference announced the 2019 schedules for all 12 conference teams on Thursday.

The clash with the Badgers, No. 17 in the CBS Sports Way-too-early Top 25 rankings for 2019, moving to Friday night of Labor Day weekend was among the highlights of a 2019 schedule that will see the Bulls play seven games in Raymond James Stadium, including five against opponents that played in bowl games last season.

The Bulls’ conference slate is highlighted by three straight November home clashes with conference title contenders Temple (2018 East Division runner-up), Cincinnati (2018 East Division third place) and Memphis (back-to-back West Division winner) before the regular season finale in the War on I-4 in Orlando. Kickoff times and remaining television designations will be announced at a later date.

The Bulls will open their 23rd season of football with their biggest season opener since winning on the road at No. 16 Notre Dame (23-20) to open the 2011 campaign. The Wisconsin game, which was originally slated for an Aug. 31 kick, will pit the Bulls against a Badger program coming off its 17th straight bowl appearance and returning Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor, who ran for 2,194 yards last season. Wisconsin appears in multiple preseason Top 25 polls after an 8-5 season capped by a 35-3 victory over Miami in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The Badgers won the first meeting with USF, 27-10, in 2014 in Madison, Wisc.

USF will travel to Georgia Tech on Sat., Sept. 7 for the second meeting between the schools. The Bulls used 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to post a 49-38 comeback win vs. Tech in Tampa last year. The Bulls return home on Sat., Sept. 14 to face South Carolina State and get the first of two byes on the season the following week before opening conference play in Raymond James Stadium on Sat., Sept. 28 vs. SMU. The Bulls own a 3-1 record vs. the Mustangs and it will be the first meeting since a 35-27 victory in Dallas in 2016.

USF will hit the road to face UConn on Sat., Oct. 5. The Bulls own an 11-5 record vs. the Huskies and have won the last seven meetings. USF will wrap up its non-conference slate vs. BYU on Sat., Oct. 12. It will be the first meeting with the Cougars, who posted a 7-6 mark and defeated Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last season.

USF returns to conference action with back-to-back road games. The Bulls will travel to Navy on Sat., Oct. 19 for a game televised on CBS Sports Network and then head to ECU on Sat. Oct. 26 as conference play heats up.

USF will get its second bye of the season before a strong closing slate against teams that posted a combined conference record of 26-6 last year. The Bulls will get the first three of those games at home starting with a Thurs., Nov. 7 primetime game vs. Temple on ESPN. USF fell to 2-3 vs. the Owls after a 27-17 loss in Philadelphia last year as Temple went 7-1 in the conference and finished second in the East Division. The Bulls beat Temple, 43-7, in 2017 in a Thursday primetime clash in Raymond James Stadium.

Cincinnati comes to Tampa on Sat., Nov. 16 followed by a visit by defending West Division champion Memphis on Sat., Nov. 23. The Bearcats posted an 11-2 record last season, including a 35-23 victory over USF in Cincinnati to take a 9-7 lead in the series and end a string of three straight USF wins. Memphis posted an 8-6 record last season and fell in the conference championship game for the second straight year. The Tigers lead the series with USF, 5-4, but the Bulls posted a 49-42 victory in Memphis in the last meeting in 2016.

The Bulls close out the 2019 regular season with the traditional Friday clash with UCF. The 11th installment of the War on I-4 is set for Fri., Nov. 29 in Orlando and will be broadcast on an ESPN Network to be designated later. USF leads the series, 6-4, but will look to end a string of two straight wins by the Knights, who claimed a 38-10 victory in Tampa last year and won an epic 49-42 game in the last meeting in Orlando in 2017.

The American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the home site of the division winner with the better conference record.





Marshall Hands USF 6th Straight Loss with 38-20 Win at The Gasparilla Bowl In Tampa

(Tampa, FL) Most Valuable Player Keion Davis rushed for a game-high 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Marshall Thundering Herd (9-4, 6-2 C-USA) to a 38-20 victory over the USF Bulls (7-6, 3-4 AAC) in the 11th annual Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium before an announced crowd of 14,135. USF completes a disappointing season with 6 straight losses after going 7-0.

Davis did almost all of his damage in the second half, picking up 82 of his 94 yards on just nine carries. His 16-yard touchdown run with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter gave the Herd its final 18-point margin and secured Marshall’s record third win in three Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl appearances. Marshall also won in 2011 (20-10 over FIU) and in 2015 (16-10 over UConn).

Marshall never trailed, jumping out to a 14-0 lead less than 11 minutes into the game on the strength of short scoring runs by quarterback Isaiah Green and running back Anthony Anderson. Green’s score capped a seven-play, 81-yard drive and Anderson’s plunge followed a fumble recovery and return of 29 yards to the USF 1-yard line by Marshall’s Darius Hodge.

USF cut the lead in half at the 2:43 mark of the second quarter thanks to a 38-yard scoring pass from slotback/wildcat Tyre McCants who found Randall St. Felix open in the end zone.
The Bulls were unable to get any closer in the game as Marshall extended its lead to 28-7 late in the second quarter and carried a 28-10 lead into halftime.

St. Felix highlighted the USF offensive effort collecting a Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl-record 165 receiving yards on just six catches. St. Felix added his second touchdown reception of the night on a 33-yard connection with quarterback Blake Barnett late in the third quarter which narrowed Marshall’s lead to 31-20.

Marshall’s balanced offensive attack finished with 503 total yards — 282 rushing and 221 passing. The Herd’s defense limited USF to 360 total yards and just 92 on the ground. Marshall did not allow an opposing rusher to reach 100 yards in any game during the 2018 season and the streak now has reached 14 games.





USF Bulls Football Program Signs 19 on First Day of Early Signing Period

(Tampa, FL) The University of South Florida football program welcomed 19 new student-athletes during the first day of the NCAA Early Signing Period, which began Wednesday and ends Friday.

Head Coach Charlie Strong and the Bulls were preparing for USF’s fourth straight bowl appearance as the early signing period began. USF takes on Marshall Thursday in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, set for an 8 p.m. kickoff at Raymond James Stadium before a national TV audience on ESPN.

On Wednesday, the first of three days in the early signing period, USF received National Letters of Intent from 19 student-athletes that will don the green and gold. Fifteen of the new Bulls hail from the state of Florida, while three are from Georgia and one is from Virginia.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulls added 10 players, including a pair of junior college players. Four of the signees play in the secondary, including junior college cornerback McArthur Burnett (Pahokee/Coffeyville CC), who began his career at Florida playing is six games as a redshirt freshman in 2017. He is joined by cornerbacks Jayden Curry (Virginia Beach, Va./IMG Academy) and Daquan Evans (Orlando/Jones HS) and safety Leonard Parker (Tampa/Plant HS).

The Bulls added three players along the defensive line, including junior college defensive end Tyrik Jones (Plantation/Arizona Western CC). He is joined by defensive ends Thomas Nance (Eagle Lake/Lake Region HS) and Jason Vaughn (Auburndale/Advance Prep).

The Bulls also added three linebackers in Demaurez Bellamy (Deland/Deland HS), Tae’Aviion Gray (Quitman, Ga./Brook County HS) and Darius Williams (Miami/Norland HS), who tallied 58 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and six sacks in his senior season.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Bulls added nine players, including quarterback Jahquez Evans (Atlanta/Mays HS), a Georgia 6A All-State first team selection who threw for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns and ran for 365 yards and four touchdowns in six games in his senior year.

The Bulls added four offensive linemen in Joshua Blanchard (Miami/Norland HS), Raymond Collins (Largo/Largo HS), Dustyn Hall (Punta Gorda/Charlotte HS) and Matthew McDuffie (Glen Saint Mary/Baker County HS).

USF also added a running back in Josh Berry (Davenport/Ridge Community HS) and three wide receivers, including 6-4 Logan Berryhill (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County HS), 6-1 Xavier Weaver (Orlando/Orland Christian Prep), who posted 110 catches, 2,124 yards and 32 touchdowns on his career, and Groveland, Fla. speedster Kelley Joiner Jr. (South Lake HS), who tallied 4,525 career yards and 55 touchdowns rushing.





USF-Florida Football Series Start Moved Up to 2021 in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) USF’s football series with the Florida Gators will begin one-year earlier than previously scheduled and now open in Tampa, USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly announced on Thursday. Kelly also announced the addition of a seventh home opponent to the Bulls’ 2019 slate.

“The University of Florida has been great working with us on this series and we appreciate being able to make adjustments that work best for both programs,” Kelly said. “We are excited to get the Gators in Tampa two years earlier than originally scheduled and to add to our 2021 non-conference schedule that also includes games at N.C. State and BYU.”

The Bulls’ three-game series vs. Florida, previously slated to begin in 2022 in Gainesville, will now get underway on Sept. 11, 2021 with a clash in Raymond James Stadium. The Gators first visit to face USF in Tampa had previously been scheduled for the 2023 season.

The Bulls will complete the series with the Gators with two previously announced games in Gainesville on Sept. 17, 2022 and Sept. 6, 2025.

Kelly also announced the addition of a game vs. South Carolina State to the Bulls’ 2019 home schedule, bringing the home slate to seven games. The Sept. 14 game vs. the Bulldogs in Raymond James Stadium completes USF’s 2019 non-conference schedule, which also includes home games in the season-opener on Aug. 31 vs. Wisconsin and on Oct. 12 vs. BYU as well as a Sept. 7 road date at Georgia Tech.

The Bulls also have future non-conference series vs. Power 6 opponents scheduled against Texas (2020, 2022, 2024), N.C. State (2021 & 2024) and Louisville (2022, 2024 & 2026), with all making visits to Raymond James Stadium.