Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

A win over FSU would rank as USF’s biggest day ever

in Sports by

Back in its run as king-slayers, the USF football team had quite a few moments to savor.

They beat Auburn, and it was wonderful.

They beat Miami, and it was terrific.

They beat Notre Dame, and it was sublime.

They beat Louisville and West Virginia and Kansas and North Carolina. Back in the day, it was hardly a surprise if USF beat anyone on its schedule.

But this would be the best one. Above all others, this would be the keeper.

After all, the last time that USF beat FSU, it may have been the final nail in the coffin of Bobby Bowden’s career. USF, with a freshman quarterback, in Tallahassee, pulled off what some consider to be the Bulls’ finest moment.

But this time, with a 3-0 record of its own, flirting with a top 25 ranking, would be the Bulls best-ever.

After all, it was just a year ago that FSU looked like the proverbial big-brother program. Dalvin Cook rushed for 266 yards, and the Seminoles won going away.

But FSU is coming off a humbling loss to Louisville (by 43), and USF is coming off a come-from-behind win over Syracuse (45-20). Still, the Seminoles are favored by 5 ½ points.

How does USF pull off the upset? It does so if Quinton Flowers is sharp; if Marlon Mack can find holes; if Rodney Adams can find space in the FSU secondary. If does so if the Bulls can keep Cook from having his breakout game, if the line can keep Demarcus Walker at bay, if Deondre Francois doesn’t find room in the secondary.

In other words, a lot of things have to go right for USF. And wrong for FSU.

Isn’t that why they call it an upset?

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

Latest from Sports

Go to Top