Bulls ranked No. 19 in Coaches Poll and No. 22 in AP Top 25 Poll
War on I-4 will feature two ranked teams for the first time
TAMPA, NOV. 20, 2017 – USF football seniors Auggie Sanchez (St. Petersburg) and Emilio Nadelman (Miami) were named American Conference Players of the Week Monday after outstanding performances in the Bulls’ 27-20 win over Tulsa.
Sanchez, who earned his first conference player of the week honor on the year, equaled a career-high with 14 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss and also added a sack in the game. He moved his career tackle total to 378 on the night to claim the USF career record, which had stood for 15 years.
Nadelman, who earned his fourth conference player of the week honor on the year, hit field goals from 41 and 48 yards and scored nine points in the game as he improved his season field goal total to 20, a new USF season record. Nadelman ranks second in the nation hitting 2.0 field goals per game and leads The American and ranks ninth nationally hitting 87.0 percent of his attempts (20-23) on the year. Nadelman also leads The American and ranks seventh nationally in scoring, posting 10.3 ppg.
The USF football team (9-1; 6-1 American) will carry a top 20 ranking and a school-record 17 straights weeks in the Top 25 into Friday’s War On I-4 clash with No. 13/12-ranked UCF (10-0; 7-0 American). The game, set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff in Orlando before a national television audience on ABC, will feature two ranked teams for the first time in the ninth meeting between the schools.
USF checked in at No. 19 in the Amway Coaches Poll and at No. 22 in the AP Top 25 Poll, moving up a spot in both. USF and UCF are joined by No. 17/16-ranked Memphis (9-1) as American Athletic Conference teams in the Top 25. The entire AP and Coaches polls can be seen here: http://www.espn.com/college-football/rankings.
Memphis has clinched The American’s West Division and will face the winner of the War on I-4 in the American Conference Championship game on Sat., Dec. 2. The site of that game is dependent on the outcomes of this week’s games.
USF and UCF will play for the War On I-4 Trophy, which was unveiled in 2016. Claimed first by USF, the traveling trophy measures 4-foot-3-inches in height and weighs 160 pounds with a detachable, pewter replica of the iconic I-4 road sign. The two different sides of the road sign are emblazoned with “Tampa” and “Orlando,” representing the metropolitan areas that together form the fourth largest media market in the nation and are connected by 100 short miles of Florida Interstate I-4.
USF leads the series with UCF, 6-2, and has won the last two meetings. This marks the first time two ranked teams will meet in the game and the third time USF has entered the game ranked. It is the second straight season two already bowl eligible teams will meet. The two teams are among just nine nationally with one loss or less on the year.