Willie Taggart and company will be going bowling in the 305 this bowl season. It was officially announced on Sunday that South Florida will be heading to the Miami Beach Bowl to take on Conference USA champions and #25 Western Kentucky. The game will take place in Marlins Park on Monday, December 21st at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN.
For the Bulls, it is their first bowl appearance since 2010, a 31-26 victory over Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. For Coach Taggart and the USF fateful, it is an accomplishment that has been a long time coming.
“I am so happy for our players, coaches and fans,” Taggart said when speaking of the bowl invite.” The young men in our program believed in what we are building and committed themselves to the hard work, energy and team-first attitude needed to achieve their goals and set this program on an exciting path. I am so proud of them and so happy, particularly for our seniors, that they have the opportunity to complete this season in the Miami Beach Bowl.”
The bowl invite to Miami accomplishes three critical things for the USF program:
1. It allows easy access for students, alumni, and fans to see the team play in an in-state bowl game.
2. It provides the team an opportunity to play directly in front of several key recruits from the Miami area, including key four-star commit Darnell Salomon.
“We are thrilled to be returning the USF Football program to a bowl game and the Miami Beach Bowl is a tremendous destination to celebrate that achievement,” Athletic Director Mark Harlan said. “Coach Taggart, his coaching staff and all of the student-athletes are very deserving of this opportunity and I know they will have a fabulous experience. I am also excited for our fan base, which supported this team all year, and I look forward to seeing many Bulls in attendance. This has been a very exciting and historic season for the Bulls and we can’t wait for the opportunity to continue it in Miami.”
In a twist of fate, the Bulls will be facing a Hilltoppers program where Taggart not only excelled at quarterback in his playing days, but helped revitalize as a head coach before arriving to Tampa. WKU defeated Southern Miss. 45-28 in the C-USA Championship Game and features a prolific offense that has them ranked in the AP Top 25.
Tickets for the Miami Beach Bowl are $68.75 and can be reserved through visiting USFBullstix.com. Students can buy a discounted ticket for $20.00 through their USF student account courtesy of USF Athletics and USF Student Government.