Florida football will soon have another in-state challenge on the schedule.
The Gators announced Tuesday that they have agreed to a deal for three nonconference games against USF, which will include a meeting at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa during the 2023 season.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to host South Florida twice in The Swamp and also play them in Raymond James Stadium,” Dan Mullen said via Florida release. “The Tampa/St. Petersburg area is an important recruiting footprint for us and our players will love playing another game in an NFL stadium.”
The Bulls, which are based in Tampa, play their home games in the home venue of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The other two games in the series will be played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville during the 2022 and 2025 seasons.
“This is a unique scheduling opportunity that allows us to get three games against a quality FBS opponent, with two at home and one in a great venue in Tampa,” Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin said, according to Florida’s official release. “A lot of Gator fans will have the opportunity to attend that game and we are looking forward to being able to play a regular-season game in central Florida.”
The Gators last played USF, which is now coached by former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, during the 2010 season. Florida won that game, 38-14. It is the only time these programs have played since USF launched its FBS program in 1997.