It’s a dream come true for Bearcats fans and the realization of USF’s worst nightmare: A night game at Nippert Stadium.
The Bearcats will host the currently 3-0 and preseason AAC East favorite South Florida Bulls at night on October 1st inside Nippert Stadium. The game has been announced as a 7:00 kickoff by the American Conference, which will certainly produce an amazing atmosphere, as it did in UC’s loss to Houston last week.
TV info will be announced later, once the conference and ESPN decide whether to run the game on ESPN2 or ESPNU. Really, UC got very lucky that the conference’s two flex picks for October 1st both fell into the 7:00 slot. Cincinnati got the benefit of setting a night game kickoff, and now ESPN can decide whether UC-USF or Memphis-Ole Miss is more worth of top bulling on TV. A win for everybody.
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The Bearcats, of course, owe some epic payback to the Bulls, who embarrassed UC 65-27 last year in Tampa. Despite the loss to Houston, UC still controls its own destiny to win an AAC East crown and potentially set up a rematch with Houston in the league title game on December 1. But this game is absolutely critical, because a loss to USF would strip UC of that control and all but eliminate the Bearcats from title contention. The home field advantage of a 7:00 start is absolutely huge. It allowed UC to hang with a Houston team that in all honestly was a lot better than the Bearcats for the first 45:03, and Bearcat fans will have to bring the noise come game day.