A regular season that many Bulls fans likely would describe as underwhelming now will feature a bowl trip to match.
USF (9-2), a preseason favorite to win the American Athletic Conference and earn a Peach Bowl berth, instead will make a second consecutive Birmingham Bowl appearance, this time against 6-6 Texas Tech of the Big 12.
The Dec. 23 game kicks off at noon EST — 11 a.m. Birmingham time — and will be televised on ESPN. USF topped South Carolina, 46-39, in overtime in last year's contest.
Clearly, offense will be the draw in this year's matchup. USF enters with the nation's ninth-ranked offense (508.6 ypg); Texas Tech is 17th (468.4).
"This is an exciting bowl matchup and a chance for our team and this tremendous senior class to close the 2017 season with a win," USF coach Charlie Strong said in a school news release.
"It's the third straight bowl game for our program and a chance to go out and try to beat an exciting opponent and get to double-digit wins for a second straight year. Our guys are excited to play."
The Red Raiders dropped five of their last seven games — leading to speculation over Coach Kliff Kingsbury's future — but defeated Texas 27-23 in their regular season finale to earn bowl eligibility.
The Bulls and Red Raiders share Houston as a common opponent. Texas Tech defeated the Cougars 27-24 in late September; Houston upset USF 28-24 on Oct. 28.
Birmingham Bowl tickets are $50 for seats and may be reserved by visiting GoUSFBulls.com or calling 1-800-GoBulls. Information on discount tickets for USF students can be found here.