Posted by Chip Patterson
With four straight seasons of at least eight wins and a 3-1 bowl record in that span, a shortsighted college football fan can forget at times just how new the South Florida program is to college football. Started in 1997, the Bulls are the nation's youngest BCS program. In just 14 seasons, South Florida has jumped from Division I-AA, to I-A Independence, to Conference USA, and now a member of the BCS automatic qualifying Big East.
On Thursday night, South Florida defeated Rutgers 28-27 for the program's 100th victory. Interesting that it came against one of the competing teams in the first college football game ever. Rutgers defeated Princeton 6-4, and the 141st anniversary of that game will be on Saturday. But Thursday night would be an evening for the youth. For first-year head coach Skip Holtz, it was a win that also put the Bulls just a game away from their sixth straight season of bowl eligibility. After a rocky 3-3 start, there was some doubt in Tampa if the streak would make continue into Holtz' tenure.
So it is only fitting that on the historic night for the South Florida program, the Bulls were led by one of their oldest players. Sixth-year senior running back Moise Plancher rushed 21 times for a career high 135 yards, ending a four-game losing streak against the Scarlet Knights. Plancher has suffered through a torn ACL, dislocated elbow, and shoulder surgery since enrolling at South Florida, making Thursday night a special night for the 23 year-old senior as well.
South Florida is likely out of the Big East title hunt, but after turning around an 0-2 conference start with two straight wins the Bulls have a chance (though it is a long shot) to match the 8-win seasons of 2008 and 2009. The Bulls now have a long week ahead before traveling to Louisville to face the Cardinals November 13.