USF-Rutgers will be another Thursday classic
It's been in the works by the Big East since early March, but USF made it official Friday, announcing that the Bulls' Big East football opener against Rutgers will be in Tampa on Thursday, Sept. 13, with a 7:30 kickoff on ESPN, just five days after USF plays at Nevada.
When USF scheduled the Nevada game, it was with the expectation of a bye week after the Bulls' farthest regular-season trip west in a decade. Not only will the Bulls have a game the next week, but on a short turnaround, with another Thursday showdown with Rutgers and new coach Kyle Flood. It's a key Big East game well before most of the conference schedule, so the winner will be seen as a viable challenger for the conference crown.
The USF-Rutgers game had been released as being on Saturday with the possibility of a change, with the Bulls asking that the Nevada game have an early kickoff to allow the team to fly home to Tampa on Saturday night, lessening the impact of the short week. A kickoff time for USF-Nevada has not yet been announced.
USF's Thursday woes with Rutgers go back to 2007, when the Bulls were No. 2 in the nation and lost on the road to the Scarlet Knights. The Bulls returned to Rutgers on a Thursday in 2009 and lost 31-0, the first regular-season shutout in the program's history.