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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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USF, FSU renew football series for 2015, 2016

TAMPA The University of South Florida football program added two games against Florida State with Monday's announcement that a home-and-home series has been scheduled.

The Bulls will visit Tallahassee's Doak Campbell Stadium on Sept. 26, 2015, with the Seminoles returning the game at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 24, 2016.

Last month, USF announced home-and-home series against Wisconsin (2014, 2017) and Maryland (2014, 2015).

“We're very pleased with how our future schedules have come together,” USF athletic director Doug Woolard said in a statement. “The two previous games (between USF and FSU) provided such great atmospheres for both of our fan bases that it was important for us to extend the series.”

USF upset FSU 17-7 in 2009 at Tallahassee — in the first career start for then-freshman quarterback B.J. Daniels — before 83,524 fans. The Seminoles won 30-17 last season in Tampa before an announced crowd of 69,383.

“We're excited to have USF back on the schedule,” Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement. “They're a great program. It has been a good series thus far, and it's great for our fans to have another in-state series on the schedule.”

The Bulls will play eight league games each season in the American Athletic Conference (the rebranded Big East), which includes Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, SMU, Temple and UCF in 2013.

In 2014, Louisville jumps to the ACC and Rutgers shifts to the Big Ten, while the American picks up East Carolina and Tulane to remain a 10-team league.

USF coach Willie Taggart, entering his first season with the Bulls, said he's enthused by an annual game against UCF, perhaps beginning a long-term rivalry, and favored the scheduling of more in-state opponents.

The Bulls played at Florida in 2010 and have another contracted game against the Gators, but that date hasn't been set. Miami visits USF this season — for the fifth and last game of that series — but additional dates haven't been added.

USF's scheduling philosophy has included one Football Championship Subdivision opponent, along with sprinkled-in games against teams from major conferences. The Bulls have made standalone trips to places such as Penn State, Notre Dame, Alabama and Auburn in the past decade. But with the maturity of USF's program, Woolard said he favors scheduling home-and-home series.

To summarize USF's future non-conference schedules:

2013 – McNeese State, at Michigan State, Florida Atlantic, Miami.
2014 – Western Carolina, Maryland, N.C. State, at Wisconsin.
2015 – Florida A&M, Indiana, at Maryland, at Florida State.
2016 – Towson, at Indiana, Florida State.
2017 – Stony Brook, Wisconsin.
2018 – Elon, Michigan State.

Future – at Florida (unscheduled), Nevada (originally scheduled for 2015, but will likely move to another season).
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