Bulls in uncharted territory

Former Auburn star running back Cadillac Williams believes Jordan-Hare Stadium provides the Tigers with the best home-field advantage in college football. ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO

Saturday’s contest at Auburn may set the tone for USF’s football team for the entire season.

A victory would likely propel the Bulls into their first national ranking in either the Associated Press or the coaches’ polls and no longer make the team a “dark horse” pick for any upcoming games.

A loss would put USF back into a position where they still need that “signature” victory to justify the hype and a possible third-straight bowl game appearance.

Any way the game is considered, the Bulls have never played on a field quite like Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“It’s definitely a great experience. I think we have the best college fans in the country,” former Auburn star and Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back Cadillac Williams said. “It’s loud, the atmosphere is crazy. It’s everything you want in college football and more.”

Williams said the entire town changes from a quiet college atmosphere into a football-crazy tailgate party as early as Thursday for big rivalry games. The empty streets turn into traffic jams, with RV’s serving as the primary


The Tigers have already sold out the game, which means 87,451 – a capacity crowd – will be in attendance trying to throw the Bulls off their game.

“They should definitely expect a rumbling. It’s going to be loud. It’s something you can’t prepare for. You just have to be in that moment,” Williams said. “I think USF is going to have a great time and they’re going to love the atmosphere. It’s going to be something you’ve always wanted to experience in college football.”

USF has become familiar with playing at big time college football

environments. In 2002, USF

traveled to face then-ranked No. 2 Oklahoma, and two years ago, the Bulls faced Miami in the Orange Bowl, but fell in both contests.

If the Bulls are able to win at Auburn, it will be the biggest

non-conference win in the program’s 11-year history.

Buccaneers wide receiver Michael Clayton played at Jordan-Hare only once, as his Louisiana State Tigers fell 35-3 to Auburn during his sophomore season.

Clayton thinks playing the Tigers on the road was one of the toughest games he played during his three years in college.

“It’s definitely an action-packed stadium and the fans are going to be going crazy. It’s going to be a hard-fought battle for the guys to go in and get a victory, but I think they can go in there and do it,” Clayton said. “Get the momentum early. Start fast and get them early. Don’t let them get it started because once they get it started in their home stadium it’s going to be hard for them to stop it.”

Auburn has called Jordan-Hare its home for 68 years, posting an all-time record of 256-62-7 (.798) there. The Tigers have gone

42-8 at home over the past eight seasons, and since 2000, own a record of 12-1 in night games at Jordan-Hare. The Bulls are set to play Auburn at 9 p.m. on


Auburn’s impressive numbers at home don’t come as a surprise to Williams, who believes Tiger fans provide Auburn with the best home field advantage in all of

college football.

“There’s just something about that orange and blue,” Williams said. “They’re very genuine and they’re going to support us 100 percent, and I think we’re playing with that 12th man.”