From a football standpoint, there’s nothing bad about playing a top 25 team in front of a national audience.
“Thursday night football has become like Monday night football in the NFL. Everybody goes home after Thursday night practice – all the athletes around the country – and watch Thursday night football,” USF coach Skip Holtz said. “It’s become part of the tradition, so to speak, of college football.”
Holtz said that while weeknight games are beneficial from an exposure standpoint, he is concerned with some of the other side effects it could have on his team.
“The negatives to it are a shortened week, having to use one day to travel, having to prepare for a defense that is different than most of the others you have (faced),” Holtz said. “And the quality team we’re playing, I wish we had a little more time to prepare for it.
“I hate what it does to our student athletes from an academic standpoint as Wednesday becomes a little bit more of a travel. Thursday you’re on the road, and you’re going to get back at 4:30 … on Friday morning. It makes it a very difficult week for them academically. It’s not just this week. This will be a challenge for our student athletes.”
Next week, the Bulls play on a Friday night against Cincinnati and the following week on a Wednesday night against Rutgers. All three games will be televised on ESPN.
USF won’t play another Saturday game until Nov. 13 at Louisville.
Last year, the Bulls had three ESPN games during the week, going 1-2.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback B.J. Daniels said the good outweighs the bad with nationally televised weeknight games.
“Primetime ESPN – that is something special,” said Daniels, who led the Bulls to a win against then-No. 20 West Virginia on a Friday night ESPN game. “It really is a beautiful opportunity to be able to go out there and play.”