With the Bulls now eliminated from bowl contention, USF Athletics is treating Friday’s game against UCF like a bowl game.
In an effort to generate interest and sell more tickets, USF Athletics purchased the domain name BeatUCF.com. The website offers links to buy tickets, a countdown until game time and features a slideshow of pictures from the USF-UCF rivalry. The site also features a hype video to further generate interest.
USF Athletics also bought BeatUSF.com and made it redirect to the site.
“We’ve listened to our students and the students from UCF and it’s a big game for them and we think it’s a good thing to embrace this rivalry,” spokesman Brian Siegrist said. “They’re 90 minutes down the road, they’re in the same conference now and it’s something good for the fans to look forward to.”
The Bulls and the Knights played four times between 2005-08, but stopped doing so until the two schools switched to the AAC last season.
Because the two schools hadn’t faced off in five years before last season, the players have only experienced one year of the rivalry.
But with the two schools aligned in the same conference for the foreseeable future, both are making a concerted effort to renew the rivalry.
“We’re trying to embrace it more and renew interest in it,” Siegrist said. “You see what happens with the Michigan and Ohio State rivalry or Cal and Stanford. It’s something that a fan base has to look forward to each year.”
Aside from the website, USF revealed unique jerseys that will be worn only for Friday’s game.
“Our contract from Under Armour allows for us to have a special jersey each year,” Siegrist said. “We felt like this would be a good game to do this, so Under Armour presented several designs and coach Taggart picked the best and that’s the one we went with.”
But while USF Athletics has been focused on motivating the students to come support the Bulls on Friday, the players don’t need a pep-rally or anything of the sort.
“I think it would do major positives for the team, just to end the season on a victory and against your rival,” senior lineman Quinterrius Eatmon said. “That boosts team morale. Guys will say, ‘We ended the season on a win, imagine what we could do if we consistently played like that.’”