A deeper look at USF’s 2018 football slate

The Bulls, who will have a first-year starting quarterback, don't play a conference road game until mid-October
Published Feb. 13, 2018

Now that USF's 2018 football schedule has been unveiled as part of the American Athletic Conference's complete schedule release, here's a quick breakdown of how it stacks up (and some lowdown on how it came together).

Saddled with three weeknight home games in 2017, the Bulls are one of seven AAC teams that will have one or fewer weeknight home contests this fall. Five schools — UCF, Memphis, SMU, Houston and Tulane — have two non-Saturday home games. We've heard the East Carolina game (Sept. 22 at Raymond James Stadium) initially was set for a weeknight, but USF fought to have it moved to Saturday.

• In the Bulls-feel-your-pain department, Tulsa has only one weeknight home game, but will play three consecutive week-night contests.

• The Bulls, who host Georgia Tech (Sept. 8) and travel to Illinois (Sept. 15 at Soldier Field) are among eight league teams that will play two Power Five opponents this year. Cincinnati, Connecticut, Navy and Memphis play one each.

• USF won't play a conference road game until its Oct. 12 contest at Tulsa. For a team entering the season with a first-year starting quarterback, that's another logistical break. The Tulsa game will be the Bulls' latest conference road opener since 2015 (at UConn).

• We're hearing the Sept. 8 home game against Georgia Tech will be carried by ABC, possibly for a national audience.

• For those digging the fact the Bulls will play Illinois at Soldier Field, we're obliged to provide this Debbie Downer stat: Since 2011, USF has played six road games in NFL stadiums. The Bulls have lost all six.

• Speaking of NFL stadiums, we've heard a strong but futile attempt was made to stage the UMass contest (Oct. 6) in Foxboro.