Florida Gators football to face USF in unique three-game series over four years

By Adam Silverstein
May 22, 2018
Florida Gators football to face USF in unique three-game series over four years

Image Credit: ESPN Images

In an effort to beef up their nonconference slate, which already includes an annual game against a long-time rival, Florida Gators football on Tuesday announced an agreement on a three-game series with the South Florida Bulls with all contests scheduled before 2025.

Florida will host USF in 2022 and play in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium in 2023; both teams will then take a year off before meeting again at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in 2025. The Gators are 1-0 all-time against the Bulls after picking up a 38-14 win early in the 2010 season.

“This is a unique scheduling opportunity that allows us to get three games against a quality FBS opponent, with two at home and one in a great venue in Tampa,” UF athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “A lot of Gator fans will have the opportunity to attend that game and we are looking forward to being able to play a regular-season game in central Florida.”

In response to an inquiry, the University Athletic Association tells OnlyGators.com that the Gators will receive $250,000 for the 2023 game, while they will pay the Bulls $500,000 for the 2022 game and $250,000 for the 2025 game. There is a $2.5 million breach of contract penalty for each game remaining on the contract should either UF or USF look to make a change.

Former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong currently leads the South Florida program, though whether he or UF coach Dan Mullen — the two won two national titles together with the Gators — are in their respective roles four years from now (let alone five or seven) is anyone’s guess.

In addition to playing USF on these three dates and FSU annually, Florida is scheduled to open the 2019 season in Orlando for a neutral-site game against Miami. At this time, the Gators do not have another in-state opponent (such as UCF, FAU, FIU or Florida A&M) scheduled for the future but have played all of those opponents at least once over the last 15 years.

Florida is scheduled to play Charleston Southern (Sept. 1), Colorado State (Sept. 15) and Idaho (Nov. 17) in 2018; UT-Martin (Sept. 7) and Towson (Sept. 28) in 2019; Eastern Washington (Sept. 5) and South Alabama (Sept. 19) in 2020; and Samford (Nov. 20) in 2021.


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