CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — The Marshall Thundering Herd will be heading south this winter to take on South Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.
The Herd (8-4, 6-2) will travel to the Sunshine State to take on the South Florida Bulls (7-5, 3-5) out of the American Conference.
Marshall heads into the bowl game coming off a 41-20 loss to Virginia Tech.
After starting the season 7-0, Charlie Strong's Bulls lost its final five games of the season.
"Any opportunity to play in a bowl game is great," Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said in a news release. "The state of Florida has been good to our program for several years now and we're excited to get back down to the Tampa area. We will face a good USF team and a head coach that I know well in Charlie Strong."
Holliday and Strong coached together at the University of Florida from 2005 to 2007.
Marshall is 11-2 in bowl games and has the best bowl game winning percentage (.846) in college football. Holliday is a perfect 5-0 in bowl games with the Herd and is also 11-3 in games played in Florida and/or against Florida schools.
The Tampa- St. Petersburg area is a familiar stop for the Herd during bowl season. In 2011, the Herd defeated Florida International 20-10 in the Beef 'O' Brads Bowl at Tropicana Field. In 2015, Marshall returned to Tropicana Field and defeated Connecticut 16-10 in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
This will be the first meeting between the schools.
The Herd will take on the Bulls Thursday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. on ESPN at Raymond James Stadium, the home of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It will also be a home game for the Bulls.