TAMPA – The University of South Florida will continue its strong non-conference scheduling with the addition of a home-and-home series with the University of Illinois beginning in 2017 USF Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard announced Tuesday.
The Illini, currently in their second season under head coach Tim Beckman, will travel to Tampa on Sept. 9, 2017 for a contest in Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls will return the game on Sept. 15, 2018 when they travel to Champaign, Ill., for a contest in Illinois’ 60,670-seat Memorial Stadium.
USF is preparing to take on Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., on Saturday. That game will mark just USF’s second ever against a Big Ten foe and the first of 10 scheduled games vs. five Big Ten opponents over the next six seasons. Michigan State will return the game in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2018. Along with the series with the Spartans and the Illini, the Bulls also have home-and-home series scheduled with Wisconsin (at Madison, Wisc. in 2014 and in Tampa in 2017), Maryland (in Tampa in 2014 and at College Park, Md. in 2015) and Indiana (in Tampa in 2015 and at Bloomington, Ind. in 2016).
The addition of Illinois to the schedule will give USF a pair of Big Ten home games at Raymond James Stadium in the 2017 season with Illinois and Wisconsin both traveling to Tampa and a pair of Big Ten foes on the non-conference schedule in 2018 with USF going to Illinois and Michigan State coming to Tampa.
Illinois has won nearly 600 games on the football gridiron and played in 17 bowl games, winning eight. The Illini claim five national championships (the last in 1951), 15 Big Ten conference titles and 24 consensus All-Americans. The Illini have played in five Rose Bowls, the last in 2008, and won their last two bowl game appearances in 2010 and 2011. The Illini posted a 2-10 record last year in Beckman’s first season.