Canceled last week as Hurricane Irma took aim on Florida, the University of South Florida’s game against Connecticut is back on, meaning the Bulls will play a complete American Athletic Conference schedule in 2017.
USF was one of several AAC programs to overhaul its schedule in the wake of cancellations and postponements caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. As a result, the Bulls will lose one home game in 2017, but will play all eight AAC games, the university announced Thursday.
“We are determined to do what is necessary to play a full conference schedule to determine a true conference champion,” USF athletic director Mark Harlan said.
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Said AAC commissioner Mike Aresco: “This was not an easy process, but we feel that this revised schedule is a significant step toward giving us the best opportunity to decide our champion on the field.”
The changes involving USF:
▪ The game against UConn, previously scheduled for Sept. 9 in Storrs, will now be played on Nov. 4 at Rentschler Field.
▪ The game against Houston, previously scheduled for Nov. 4 in Tampa, will now be played on Oct. 28 at Raymond James Stadium.
▪ The game against Cincinnati, previously scheduled for Oct. 28 in Tampa, will now be played on Oct. 14 at Raymond James Stadium. That date will remain the Bulls’ homecoming.
▪ The non-conference game against Massachusetts, previously scheduled for Oct. 14 in Tampa, will not be played this season and will be moved to either 2022 or 2023. USF maintains its commitment to play at UMass on Oct. 6, 2018. To make up for the lost game against USF, UMass will play at Florida International on Dec. 2, as long as FIU doesn’t reach the Conference USA title game.
“We understand that the changes mean that USF will go from seven home games to six and that these changes may adversely affect the plans for some fans,” Harlan said. “As with the many changes that have occurred over the last week due to the impact of the hurricane, we appreciate our fans’ flexibility and understanding.”
Information on how the changes affect season-ticket holders, single-game tickets and parking can be found on the USF football website.
No. 22 USF (2-0) hosts Illinois (2-0) in a nationally televised game at 7 p.m. Friday on ESPN. It will be the Bulls’ first outing since a 31-17 home win over Stony Brook on Sept. 2.
Meanwhile, Central Florida’s AAC game against Memphis, which was called off last week because of Irma, is likely to be rescheduled, the Orlando Sentinel reported, though details were still being finalized. The Knights’ game against Georgia Tech, scheduled for Saturday, has been canceled because the football stadium is being used as a staging area for the National Guard.
USF’s revised 2017 schedule
Aug. 26 at San Jose State, W 42-22
Sept. 2 vs. Stony Brook, W 31-17
Sept. 15 vs. Illinois, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Sept. 21 vs. Temple, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sept. 30 at East Carolina, TBA
Oct. 14 vs. Cincinnati, TBA
Oct. 21 at Tulane, TBA
Oct. 28 vs. Houston, TBA
Nov. 4 at Connecticut, TBA
Nov. 16 vs. Tulsa, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Nov. 24 at UCF, TBA