Rivalry renewed: USF, FSU football to play in 2015-16
USF football has landed another home-and-home series with Florida State, with the Bulls going to Tallahasee in 2015 and the Seminoles returning to Tampa in 2016, adding a new chapter to a promising young in-state rivalry.
The two teams played in 2009 and 2012, with USF scoring an upset win at Doak Campbell Stadium and FSU getting its revenge last season with a 30-17 victory at Raymond James Stadium.
"The two previous games provided such great atmospheres for both of our fan bases that it was important for us to extend the series," USF athletic director Doug Woolard said in a statement. "Combined with our recent nonconference scheduling announcements, we're very pleased with how our future schedules have come together."
The FSU announcement comes less than a month after USF announced home-and-home series with Wisconsin and Maryland of the Big Ten between 2014-17. The initial FSU game will cap a tough three-week stretch for the Bulls in September 2015, immediately following a home game against Indiana and a game at Maryland, with kickoff in Tallahassee on Sept. 26, 2015.
USF is expected to shift a scheduled 2015 home game against Nevada to make room for the FSU game. The Bulls wrap up a six-game series with Miami this fall in Tampa, and have played one game at Florida, losing 38-14 in Gainesville in 2010.
"For all the Seminole fans throughout Central Florida, this is a great opportunity to once again see their team play in an NFL facility," FSU athletic director Randy Spetman said in a statement. "The last time we played in Raymond James vs. USF, the atmosphere was excellent and the excitement generated among our fan base was unmatched."
The agreement allows both schools to give fans road games close to home -- the announced attendance in Tampa last year was a USF record 69,383, while the 2009 game at Tallahassee drew an announced 83,524, including 12,000-plus Bulls fans who saw what some consider the biggest win in the program's history.
"We're excited to have USF back on the schedule," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement. "They're a great program. It's been a good series thus far, and it's great for our fans to have another in-state series on the schedule."