War on I-4: Who Will Hold The Trophy High In This Rivalry?

Tampa, November 22, 2018- It’s about that time again. The highly awaited battle is upon us as we head into week 13- the final matchup of their regular season. The Green and Gold will dual the Black and Gold in these Friday night lights, broadcasted and televised on the four letter network; kickoff at 4:15p EST. Here’s some info on the matchups around the Bay, as we feast on leftovers and our eyes on these Bowl games that make for a thrilling introduction to the College Football Playoffs.

Blast from the past:

A little over two years ago, in September 2016, USF and UCF put a label on their Florida rivalry for communal unity as an annual competition. This competition features all of the two universities’ athletic programs. To add to the brewing motivation, the victor will walk away with two cups to hoist- one for the November football game and another for the overall winner of the series. The Bulls hold a 6-3 advantage in the now 10th meeting between these two schools in gridiron history. 

Knight Nation has traveled well throughout the 2018 season, so much so that South Florida head coach Charlie Strong said in his weekly press conference that “I just don’t want them to come in and take over our stadium,” in reference to UCF fans. USF vice-president of athletics Michael Kelly announced on Monday that more than 50,000 tickets had been sold for the game at Raymond James Stadium. The Knights are expecting a large contingent of the tickets sold to be cheering on the Knights. Wherever you are on Friday watching the game, remember the #UCFansWear is black. Per

Up in Orlando, UCF proudly boasts the trophies for the second straight year as QB McKenzie Milton and his arsenal of offensive weapons backing his Heisman candidacy took er’ home in 2017. This time they’re looking to repeat with the same capabilities under their undefeated belt, (if not better) as the team has rightfully showed, climbing to 8th on the CFP rankings with their longest active winning streak in the nation at 23 games.

The Knights and Bulls each captured a trophy during 2016-17, the inaugural year of the War on I-4 Rivalry Series. USF earned the first trophy by notching a 48-31 victory on the gridiron at Raymond James Stadium on Nov. 26. The Bulls rushed for 351 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in the win. Three turnovers by UCF proved costly in the game as the Knights cut the deficit to 31-24 near the end of the third quarter. USF out-scored its rival, 17-7, during the final frame. Per

Ahoy Tampa!

The Gasparilla Bowl is celebrating 10 years in the Bay area and this year its AAC (American Athletic Conference) vs ACC. It also takes place in Ray Jay Stadium on ESPN, Thursday December 20th at 8p and quite possibly USF’s upcoming bowl game. Don’t procrastinate too long on your tickets folks, they’re flying out the booths this year!

Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor