By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
On December 29, 2016 at 12:30 am EST
On Thursday afternoon, the South Florida Bulls faces the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The game will be on ESPN at 2 pm EST.
The Bulls come into this game with a 10-2 record. The Gamecocks are 6-6.
The 10-2 record is the best in school history. Prior to this season, the Bulls won nine games three times, all under former head coach Jim Leavitt.
“It would be a huge boost to go out 11-2, on top of an SEC opponent and probably going into next season ranked,” USF senior safety Nate Godwin said. “It would be a great way for Charlie Strong to start off his career (here). We’re playing for a lot.”
T.J. Weist will serve as the Bulls interim head coach for this game. Since their last game, Willie Taggart was hired to lead the Oregon Ducks program.
Taggart will be replaced by Charlie Strong, who will officially take over the team once this bowl game is over.
This is the second meeting all-time between these two teams. In the Sept. 18, 2004 meeting, South Carolina won 34-3.
The Gamecocks have won their previous four bowl games. Only the Marshall Thundering Herd have a better active win streak in bowl games with five wins.
While they’re looking for their fifth straight bowl win, they’re 0-2 in bowl games in Birmingham. They lost 24-14 in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl to the Missouri Tigers.
In addition, they lost 20-7 to the Connecticut Huskies in the 2010 Birmingham Bowl.
South Florida is 4-3 in bowl gamers. They lost 45-35 to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers last season in the Miami Beach Bowl.
Their last bowl win came on Dec. 31, 2010 when they defeated the Clemson Tigers 31-26 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
South Florida has won its past four games. They haven’t lost a game since Oct. 21 when they lost 46-30 to the Temple Owls.
South Carolina lost its previous game to the Tigers. They haven’t won a game since Nov. 19 when they defeated the Western Carolina Catamounts 44-31.
Quinton Flowers leads the Bulls attack with 2,551 passing yards. He has 22 touchdown passes and six interceptions.
Flowers also has 1,425 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Rodney Adams has 755 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
“He’s a competitor,” South Carolina head coach Wil Muschamp said of Flowers. “He’s got a competitor edge about himself that you really appreciate as a coach. He’s got the ‘it’ factor as the intangible things that you want a quarterback to have.”
Jake Bentley leads the Gamecocks attack with 1,030 passing yards. He has six touchdown passes and two interceptions
Rico Dowdle has 714 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Deebo Samuel has 593 receiving yards.
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