We’d been waiting for word, but apparently it takes time to sell some 65,000 tickets to a Friday night football game in high school heavy Florida. Nevertheless, it’s done and the game between West Virginia and South Florida will be played in sold out Raymond James Stadium.
The largest stadium in the BIG EAST has been sold to capacity in anticipation of Friday nightâ€™s football game between No. 18 USF and No. 5 West Virginia.
The sellout is the first since the program has been playing at Raymond James Stadium and all but guarantees that USF will play in front of a record crowd for the game that will be televised nationally by ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD.
Not that this isn’t a big moment for the Bulls, because it is, but it’s not all that significant to their counterparts. WVU is 21-5 in night games under Coach Rich Rodriguez and 11 of those wins have come on the road. News of the imminent sell out was met little more than a with a yawn and a nod.
“I’ve talked to our team about how when a highly ranked team goes on the road to play somewhere, they’re going to sell out the stadium,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s like the Yankees. Every time they go somewhere, they’re going to get a big crowd. Every time we go somewhere, we help them sell out. It’s not like they’re all coming to watch us. They’re also coming to watch USF. But our guys understandÂ about hostile environments and at the same time, they’d rather go some place like that than some place where no one cares.”
Bold, to be sure, but it’s very true. WVU’s last Friday night game was at Connecticut last year. The Mountaineers won 37-11 before a rare sell-out crowd of 40,000 and helped ESPN2 set its Friday night ratings record.