Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

South Florida Bulls to face Clemson Tigers in Meineke Car Care Bowl

USF tight end Kevin Gidrey (45), a transfer from East Carolina in Greenville, N.C., will return to the state for the Dec. 31 Meineke Car Care Bowl — as will former ECU coach Skip Holtz.

Associated Press

USF tight end Kevin Gidrey (45), a transfer from East Carolina in Greenville, N.C., will return to the state for the Dec. 31 Meineke Car Care Bowl — as will former ECU coach Skip Holtz.

TAMPA — The sting of Saturday's last-minute loss to Connecticut in the Bulls' home finale was softened somewhat Sunday, as USF landed on its feet for bowl season, a New Year's Eve slot against Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte.

"As disappointing as it was (Saturday) night, to be as close as we were, to come back to tie the game up only to lose it on a great effort by (UConn kicker Dave Teggart) to make a 52-yard field goal which just ripped your heart out," coach Skip Holtz said, "to come back today and get the great news … is something we're really excited about, having the opportunity to represent the Big East and this great university. It's really lifted everybody's spirits in this program."

The Bulls (7-5, 3-4 in Big East) will play at noon on ESPN against Clemson (6-6), which has five losses by single digits, including an early-season overtime defeat at current No. 1 Auburn. The Tigers, who will be about 140 miles from home, should have a considerable crowd advantage, though it's also a homecoming of sorts for Holtz, who spent the previous five seasons four hours east at East Carolina.

"It's a great finish to my senior year, going back to North Carolina," said Bulls tight end Kevin Gidrey, who transferred to the Bulls after playing for Holtz at ECU. "It's a big-stage team, I've watched them a couple of times and they have a good program. It'll be a real good opportunity to finish off the year going 8-5 with a good win against Clemson."

Holtz has a history of success against the ACC, including USF's win Nov. 27 at Miami. At East Carolina, his teams beat five different ACC teams, and he knows Clemson well from his six years on his father Lou's staff at South Carolina from 1999-2004.

The Bulls will take four days off while players focus on final exams, then will begin practice this weekend — a big benefit of a bowl game is the 15 practices teams are allowed to help prepare for next season as well.

USF played its first bowl game in Charlotte in 2005, losing 14-0 to N.C. State. Sixth-year senior running back Mo Plancher, who redshirted that season but made the trip, has already told his teammates what to expect on Dec. 31.

"Hopefully it's a better outcome this year," said Plancher, who fondly remembers the NASCAR ride-along experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which the team will do again in Charlotte. "A lot of guys have asked me about the city. It's beautiful, great atmosphere. I think they'll enjoy it."

NOTES: USF is the only school in the nation to lose four games in which they allowed 20 points or fewer. … USF's announced home attendance ­— an average of 40,849 at seven games — dropped 22 percent from 2009, to the Bulls' lowest average since 2006. USF fell from third to fifth in the Big East attendance rankings, and the Bulls' change in attendance was the worst in the conference.

.fast facts

Meineke Car Care Bowl

USF vs. Clemson

When: Noon, Dec. 31

Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.

TV: ESPN

Tickets: Prices start at $40 for upper-level seats. Purchase through a link at GoUSFbulls.com or call toll-free 1-800-462-8557 (Go-Bulls).

South Florida Bulls to face Clemson Tigers in Meineke Car Care Bowl 12/05/10 [Last modified: Sunday, December 5, 2010 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tom Jones: Rays made right move sending Blake Snell to minors

    The Heater

    tom jones' two cents

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays took their team photo before Wednesday night's game against the Angels. One player who should have been there was not: pitcher Blake Snell.

    Blake Snell’s struggles on the mound were only one of the reasons the Rays sent him to the minors; some other red flags existed. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    Rookie INF Daniel Robertson's bat might ultimately determine how much he plays, and even whether he stays in the majors. But there is no doubt his glove is ready, as he made another highlight-reel play while playing second base, diving to his right.

  3. Rays journal: More bullpen changes as Diego Moreno heads to DL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays bullpen has another new look.

    Rays reliever Diego Moreno, pitching Sunday against the Yankees, heads the DL with shoulder bursitis.
  4. ACC baseball tournament: FSU beats Notre Dame on 12th-inning HR

    Colleges

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jackson Lueck hit his second two-run home run of the game in the 12th inning, lifting Florida State past Notre Dame 5-3 on Wednesday at a rainy ACC baseball tournament.

    Jackson Lueck hits his second home run of the game, a two-run shot in the 12th inning to send FSU past Notre Dame.
  5. Rays vs. Angels, 1:10 Thursday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Angels

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    Radio: 620-AM (no TV)

    Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game

    This is a 2017 photo of starting pitcher Daniel Wright of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. This image reflects the Angels active roster as of Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)