2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl: USF 31, Clemson 26 Credit: USF Athletics

A Glimpse At USF’s Bowl History, Which Started In 2005

2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl: USF 31, Clemson 26 Credit: USF Athletics
2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl: USF 31, Clemson 26 Credit: USF Athletics

TAMPA, Fla. – If nothing else, Alex Golesh’s first season at USF will be remembered for the Bulls snapping a four-season bowl drought. The hope among the fan base, of course, is that 2023 serves as a launching pad for something bigger and better.

The December 21 game against Syracuse in the Boca Raton Bowl will be the first postseason experience for many Bulls. At the same time, Golesh and his staff are looking ahead to 2024 with valuable practices that come with a bowl game.

“They are super excited to get down to Boca and play an ACC team and finish this season off the right way,” said Golesh, at his press conference Friday. “Majority of these guys have not played in bowl games. I think it is the first step for us as we lay the foundation for the expectation that you are practicing in December.”

This is the 11th time the Bulls have practiced in December. They are 6-4 in bowl games. Here is a glimpse at the first 10.

2005 Meineke Car Care Bowl: NC State 14, USF 0

Andre Hall, the Big East’s leading rusher, ran for 118 yards on 19 carries. The Bulls, however, totaled all of 295 yards in getting blanked by the Wolfpack in Charlotte. End Terrence Royal had three sacks, which still equals a USF bowl record. The Bulls finished 6-6.

2006 Papajohns.com Bowl: USF 24, East Carolina 7

The Bulls’ first bowl victory was at Legion Field in Birmingham. They scored all of their points in the first half, including a pair of touchdown runs by Benjamin Williams. The Bulls, who had only 12 first downs, recorded six sacks and held ECU to 54 yards rushing. They finished 9-4.

2007 Sun Bowl: Oregon 56, USF 21

This is the first of three bowls in which the Bulls (No. 23/25) played as a ranked team. In fact, both teams were No. 2 at some point in the season. USF trailed by only 18-14 at the half. However, the Bulls turned the ball over five times, including two second-half interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. Led by Johnathan Stewart’s 253 yards, the Ducks had 353 of their 533 yards on the ground. The Bulls finished 9-4.

2008 MagicJack St. Petersburg Bowl: USF 41, Memphis 14

Matt Grothe threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 83 yards and caught a 14-yard pass in leading an offense that produced 496 yards. Grothe also had a 29-yard punt on a quick kick. This was the first year of the St. Petersburg Bowl, which was played at Tropicana Field. The Bulls finished 8-5.

2009 International Bowl: USF 27, Northern Illinois 3

The game, played at Rogers Centre in Toronto, was 3-3 at the half before the Bulls pulled away in the second half thanks in part to a pair of B.J. Daniels touchdown passes to receiver A.J. Love. After carrying the ball once for 14 yards in the opening half, Mike Ford finished with a USF bowl record 207 yards rushing. The Bulls finished 8-5 in Jim Leavitt’s final season. He was 3-2 in bowl games.

2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl: USF 31, Clemson 26

The Bulls’ first of three bowl wins over power conference teams had a hairy finish. Clemson scored twice in 64 seconds within the game’s final two minutes to make things very interesting. USF, which was 9-for-14 on third down, got three total TDs from B.J. Daniels. The Bulls, in their first year under Skip Holtz, finished 8-5.

2015 Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky 45, USF 35

Willie Taggart’s only bowl game as the coach at USF featured 1,209 yards of total offense, including 612 by WKU. Quinton Flowers accounted for 381 (273 passing) of the Bulls’ bowl-record 597 yards. The quarterback ran for two scores and threw for a third. USF, which was only 1-for-14 on third down despite the offensive output, finished 8-5.

2016 Birmingham Bowl: USF 46, South Carolina 39 (OT)

Quinton Flowers’ 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Elkanah Dillon on the overtime’s initial possession was the difference against the Gamecocks. It was Flowers’ second TD pass to complete a day in which he totaled 366 yards and five scores. The Bulls, who entered at No. 25/22, finished 11-2 and No. 19/19. They played under co-offensive coordinator T.J. Weist, who was tabbed to lead the team after Willie Taggart left for Oregon.

2017 Birmingham Bowl: USF 38, Texas Tech 34

Charlie Strong’s first bowl as coach at USF had a thrilling finish. Quinton Flowers and Tyre McCants connected on a 26-yard touchdown with 16 seconds remaining to pull out the win. It was Flowers’ fourth touchdown pass on a day he totaled five scores and had 417 of the Bulls’ 561 yards. Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s 64-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter is the longest reception in USF bowl history. The Bulls, who entered No. 23/24, finished 10-2 and No. 21/21. Deadrin Senat tied Terrence Royal’s USF bowl record with three sacks.

2018 Gasparilla Bowl: Marshall 38, USF 20

In the first Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium, and second and final bowl under Charlie Strong, receiver Randall St. Felix accounted for nearly half of the Bulls’ 360 total yards when he caught six passes for a USF bowl record 165 yards and two touchdowns. After opening the season 7-0, USF lost six straight to finish 7-6.

Android Users, Click To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. Follow Us On Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our free newsletter. 

We can’t do this without your help. Visit our GiveSendGo page and donate any dollar amount; every penny helps.

Login To Facebook To Comment