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USF-UCF game set for 3:30 kickoff on ABC

The Bulls' Nov. 24 game at UCF will be its second on a major network to be broadcast to a national audience.
UCF wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (80) is tackled by USF cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) during the teams' 2015 game in Orlando. The Bulls won, 44-3. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
UCF wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (80) is tackled by USF cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) during the teams' 2015 game in Orlando. The Bulls won, 44-3. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
Published Nov. 13, 2017|Updated Nov. 13, 2017

The Black Friday showdown between No. 23 USF and No. 14 UCF will kick off at 3:30 p.m. at Orlando's Spectrum Stadium, and will be televised nationally by ABC, the American Athletic Conference announced Monday.

The Nov. 24 contest is expected to determine the American Athletic Conference's East Division champion.

It will be USF's seventh appearance on ABC, but its first on the network to be shown to a national audience. The Bulls' only other games to be shown nationally on major network television: their 23-20 win at Notre Dame on Sept. 3, 2011 (NBC); and their 56-21 loss to Oregon in the 2007 Sun Bowl (CBS).

STRONG SAYS NEW FACILITY 'NEEDED:' In his first public comment since USF unveiled plans for a $40 million football-exclusive facility, Bulls coach Charlie Strong said it's a necessity in light of the nationwide amenities race ongoing in college football.

"It's something that's needed," Strong said Monday on the American Athletic Conference weekly coaches teleconference.

"It's more of a recruiting tool because you look at what's happening across the country…these new facilities, they're all about recruiting, and that just gives our recruits a chance to say, 'Hey, they're making a commitment.'"

The timeline is contingent upon when funds will be raised. Longtime boosters Pam and Les Muma earmarked $5 million of their recent $15 million donation toward the facility. Speaking on a USF podcast last week, athletic director Mark Harlan said the center could be built in phases.

An indoor field presumably would be the top priority if the project were phased.

"Right now, you're always looking at the weather, and that's why we practice when we practice (in the mornings), just so you get out of the weather," Strong said. "But whatever phase, however we do it is gonna be fine because whatever they build first you're gonna be able to use it."

AUDIBLE: "He's a guy that doesn't make mistakes. He's seen everything. He's been in a lot of wars and understands how guys are trying to schematically do some things. He doesn't overrun stuff, he fits things very well. He does a good job in their blitz-package things. He's just a guy that's got so much experience underneath his belt he knows where to get himself in position to make plays." — Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery on Bulls MLB Auggie Sanchez, who needs four tackles Thursday night against the Golden Hurricane to become USF's career leader in that category


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