View Photo Album of Press Conference
TAMPA- The University of South Florida football team will host Florida A&M University twice over the next five years, USF Director of Athletics Doug Woolard announced on Tuesday. The Bulls will host the Rattlers on Sept. 17, 2011 and Sept. 5, 2015.
"We couldn't be more excited about rekindling the series with FAMU," Woolard said. "Getting the chance to host FAMU will be great for both fan bases, the city of Tampa and football in Florida. FAMU has one of the richest traditions in the state and it is another great opportunity for Tampa to host what should be both a great football game and a great event for the community."
USF defeated FAMU, 37-3, in 2005, the only meeting between the two programs. The game was the Bulls' home opener that season and produced one of the top crowds in program history up to that point. It marked the first time that tickets in the upper deck at Raymond James Stadium were made available for a USF game, resulting in a crowd of over 43,000 fans.
"This is a great opportunity for us to play another school from the state of Florida," said FAMU Director of Athletics Derek Horne. "We have so many fans in the Tampa area, so we're excited that they'll have the opportunity to come out and see the team. It also will be a great opportunity for the young men on our football team to face a BIG EAST team. We couldn't be happier about coming to Tampa to play USF not only next season, but in 2015 as well."
"We are very excited to be involved in this strong partnership with Florida A&M University and the University of South Florida that will result in significant social and economic impact for our community," said the Tampa Bay Sports Commission's Executive Director Rob Higgins. "We're focused on making this a memorable weekend for all of the student-athletes, coaches and fans of both of these great institutions."
In addition to the games with FAMU, Woolard announced USF's final non-conference opponent for the 2011 season in UTEP. The Bulls and Miners will square off on Sept. 24, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in what will be the first meeting between the two programs.
"We're excited about the opportunity to host UTEP," Woolard added. "This will allow our fans to see seven home games next season, which was one of our primary goals when filling our scheduling vacancies."
In addition to the FAMU and UTEP games, USF's 2011 non-conference slate consists of home games with Ball State on Sept. 10 and Miami (Fla.) on Nov. 26 and a road trip to South Bend, Ind. to take on Notre Dame (Sept. 3).
The Bulls also will host BIG EAST foes Cincinnati, Louisville and West Virginia at Raymond James Stadium in 2011. The dates for the BIG EAST games have not been announced. The conference office will release that information in the spring of 2011.