On Saturday, Oct. 8, East Carolina will travel to Raymond James Stadium to take on the South Florida Bulls. It will be the second conference game for the Pirates.
Last season, the Bulls visited Dowdy-Ficklen and were able to get a hard-fought win against the Pirates by a score of 22-17. After the Bulls took the lead with 4:40 left in the game, the Pirates had a couple of chances to reclaim it late, but were unable to do so.
South Florida would finish the 2015 season 8-5 (6-2) which would land them in second place in the AAC east.
The Bulls have quite a bit of offensive talent returning, which will be a test for the ECU defense. Dual-threat quarterback Quinton Flowers returns and is coming off season in which he threw for almost 2,300 yards and rushed for 1,077 yards on the ground. Along with Flowers, South Florida returns running back Marlon Mack, who rushed for 1,381 yards a season ago.
Defensively, the Bulls were very strong when it came to forcing turnovers last season. They finished the season with a turnover margin of plus 10. They return some talented defensive backs who played pivotal roles in 2015. Star linebacker Auggie Sanchez, who recorded 94 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss last season, is also back.
The main question USF has going into the season is their offensive line. If the Pirates can take advantage of this defensively, it can help eliminate the threats that the Bulls have in the offensive backfield. Combine that with limiting turnovers on offense and they’ll have a great shot to avenge last season’s loss at home.