Sadly, among the current opponents on UConn's schedule, South Florida is the one who we have the most "history" with. Like UConn, their FBS football program is quite new, though actually the school didn't even start fielding a football team at any level until 1997.
Since joining FBS in 2000, South Florida has played UConn eleven times, with the Bulls holding a 6-5 edge. Of those eleven games, most have been horrible affronts to the game of football. Some have decided conference championships, or granted bowl berths, but even those games were pretty ugly.
Here is a short history:
2005: USF's hopes of a Big East championship in their first season as members are dashed as UConn beats USF at home 15-10. A Darius Butler return-TD gives UConn its only touchdown of the game and the Huskies win despite scoring zero second half points. The USF SB Nation site, Voodoo Five, is named after this atrocity.
2006: UConn loses 38-16. The score was 14-9 at the half and then the Bulls ripped off 24 unanswered points to put it away. This was a rough year for the Huskies, who finished 4-8 on the season.
2007: This is the only game between these two teams that had any sort of hype going into it. UConn was 6-1 after an improbable, and controversial (#fakefaircatch), win against Louisville the week before. USF, also 6-1, was ranked as high as No. 2 during the season (no, seriously) and were ranked 11th going into this one. The Huskies took a 16-0 lead into the half and held on for a 22-15 victory. The win vaulted UConn into the AP rankings for the first time in school history, coming in at No. 16.
Is it hard to imagine a world where UConn is ranked 16th in the country after beating No. 11 South Florida? WELL BELIEVE IT.
2008: For some reason the games which occurred during my college years are very hazy in my memory (weird). UConn lost at South Florida 17-13, and from what recaps and box scores are telling me it appears South Florida was able to keep Donald Brown in check. Good for them.
2009: It was a brutal start to the season for the Huskies, who were grieving the tragic death of Jasper Howard after the Homecoming win against Louisville. They lost five games by a total 15 points, but found their stride by beating Notre Dame, Syracuse and then USF in the finale on a last-second field goal to finish the regular season with a 7-5 record. This was good enough to qualify for the Papajohns.com Bowl, where the Huskies beat South Carolina, 20-7. (Why does all of this feel like it happened 200 years ago?)
2010: Ah, college is over and I can finally start clearly remembering UConn games. In my first year back, history is made as UConn grabs the win, again, on a last second field goal by Dave Teggart to send UConn to the FIESTA BOWL. This would be Randy Edsall's final season on the sidelines for the Huskies, with dark, dark times ahead, for both UConn Football and the UConn-USF series.
2011: I'll just steal the opening from ESPN's recap, "Lyle McCombs ran for 130 yards and Dave Teggart kicked three field goals as Connecticut beat South Florida 16-10 on Saturday without scoring an offensive touchdown."
Sounds about right. This win marked two straight years of UConn beating South Florida without scoring an offensive touchdown.
2012: UConn loses 13-6. For those of you keeping score at home that is three straight years against USF without an offensive touchdown. I would rather watch the Patriots offensive linemen in a wet t-shirt contest than see a replay of this game.
2013: In the first game after the firing of HCPP, interim head coach TJ Weist starts true freshman Tim Boyle and loses to USF 13-10. UConn receivers drop approximately 84 passes and the Huskies remained winless on the season. The Bulls had a horrible team last year, but this win gave them two-straight. They would finish the season with two wins.
Who knows what the 2014 edition of this illustrious series holds. Both UConn and USF are rebuilding and when these two teams meet it seems that anything (besides demonstrating football competence) can happen. Attendance will be... sparse... to say the least as UConn fans are unlikely to travel in droves to Tampa for this one and I can't imagine the allure of a UConn team that has gone 13-23 in the previous three seasons is attracting casual fans of the home team.
Are there better ways to spend a Friday night? Sure, but tomorrow night at 8pm I'll be parked on my couch, blissfilly ignorant to the joys of the outside world, and hoping UConn can pull off the impossible, an offensive touchdown on the road against USF.