It's December, and the Bulls have begun preparations for their third Bowl straight game. With that said, now's the time to start looking at the Bulls late December date. Over the next three weeks we'll be breaking down the game, but for now here's a first look.
In just its 11th season of football competition USF is already playing in its third consecutive bowl game. This time it's the 74th annual Sun Bowl, the second oldest bowl in existence behind the Rose Bowl. The first Bowl game USF played in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2005, and the Bulls won their first bowl game at the Papajohns.com Bowl in 2006.
What is the Sun Bowl? The Sun Bowl which is the second oldest bowl was first played on January 1, 1935. It started as a fund-raising event, to benefit underprivileged children and to finance improvements to the El Paso High School Stadium. The early games pitted the champion of the Border Conference (an NCAA-affiliated founded in 1931 that included nine schools in the states of
Where's it played? The game which has grown into
When is it played? The Sun Bowl will be played on December 31 at 2:15 eastern time. The game will also be nationally televised by CBS Sports and will be viewed by millions on center stage.
Who are they playing? In their third ever bowl game the Bulls will face the Oregon Ducks, a member of the Pacific 10 Conference. This will be the first Pac-10 opponent that the Bulls will have ever faced.
What are the teams Sun Bowl history? This is the first ever time in the Sun Bowl for the Bulls and the fourth appearance in the Brut Sun Bowl for
Opponents snapshot. Amazingly, at one point in the season, both the Ducks and the Bulls were both ranked No. 2.
How they finished the season.
The Bulls started strong going 6-0 and a No. 2 ranking. The Bulls then suffered a three skid to
First look at the USF Bulls. USF finished the regular season No. 21 in the BCS rankings and finished the regular season with a 9-3 overall record and 4-3 in the BIG EAST. At one point USF was ranked as high as No. 2 during the 12-game regular season schedule and tied a program record with nine victories with a chance for the first ever 10-win season.
The USF was lead by its defense, one of the best in college football. The Bulls forced 41 turnovers this season, an average of more than three per game which leads the NCAA. The Bulls 23 interceptions and 18 fumbles recovered also lead the NCAA. USF comes into the game ranked third in tackles for loss with 8.9 per game. USF is 19th in the country in rushing defense (112.0 avg.) and 26th in scoring defense (20.7 avg.)
The USF may be identified by the defense, but the offense has been outstanding this season. The Bulls offense has scored a program record 430 points this season, while averaging 35.7 per outing. The Bulls also have averaged 43.4 points and 474 yards over the last four games and has been putting up record yardage totals all season. The 2007 offense is the first in 11-years of football to produce 5,000 yards of total offense and they still have another game to add to the total of 5,059. It has produced an average of 421.6 yards per game, which is nearly 13 yards better than the previous record of 408.9 by the 1998 team.
First look at the Ducks.
The Ducks have the Pac-10's top offense – and an offense that is ranked No. 12 in the nation – that averaged 462.1 yards per game and recorded 55 touchdowns on the year. In addition,
First look at the Bull players. The Bulls defense is lead by stars - CB Mike Jenkins, LB Ben
Sophomore QB Matt Grothe and
First look at the Duck players. Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dixon is out for the year with a torn ACL suffered in the loss to
The Duck rushing attack is lead by Jonathan Stewart, the Pac-10's leading rusher, who was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Stewart, who averages 122.4 yards per game, also finished the regular season ranked No. 10 in the nation in rushing with a school-record 1,469 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns. Stewart also rushed for 163 yards on 39 carries in the
The ducks defense is led by Patrick Chung who finished with 110 tackles including 65 solo. Nick Reed also paces the team in tackles for loss with 21.5, a total that also includes a team-high 11 sacks. Kwame Agyeman is second in TFL with 10.5 and Jerome Boyd is third recording 10 on the season for the Ducks.
What's the Bowl story line? Back in September, this could've been considered a possible BCS match up for the two schools, but in the NCAA things change quickly. The game is still huge for the USF football program, and it will be the biggest, oldest, most viewed, and best bowl game ever played in by the Bulls.
USFNation.com - Get it First, Get it Fast!