How To Watch The Gasparilla Bowl 2018: USF vs Marshall

Marshall University will venture into an area where pirates once prospered, and where many met their fate, when the Thundering Herd meet the University of South Florida Bulls in the 2018 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.

The game will be played Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, home of USF. The name Gasparilla comes from the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar, whose nickname was "Gasparilla." He was known as "Last of the Buccaneers." The bowl week festivities come complete with, you guessed it, pirate-themed fun.

As for the game, Marshall (8-4) and South Florida (7-5) are meeting for the first time. However, Marshall isn't new to the area as the Thundering Herd are 2-0 in this bowl, winning it in 2011 (20-10 over Florida International) and again in 2015 (16-10 over UCONN). Marshall coach Doc Holiday oversaw both of those victories.

Marshall finished second in Conference USA's East Division and won five of their last six regular-scheduled games before falling to Virginia Tech in a rescheduled game on Dec. 1.

South Florida started the season with seven straight wins and found themselves in the Top 25 in the country, but coach Charlie Strong's team didn't finish strong, losing their last five games of the season and finishing fourth in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference.

2018 DXL Frisco Bowl

Marshall Thundering Herd vs University of South Florida Bulls

Raymond James Stadium • Tampa, Fla.

Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

Time: 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

TV Channel: ESPN

Satellite Radio: ESPN Xtra Radio

Live Streaming: Watch Live with fuboTV – Try Free Trial; or WatchESPN

Odds: Marshall -4; over/under 50.5 (Vegas Insider)

KEY MATCHUP:

Marshall Offense vs USF Defense

South Florida has one of the worst run defenses in the country. And with a five-game losing streak in tow, Marshall will will try to needle away at that defense, especially on the home turf of the Bulls. However, the Thundering Herd rushing offense hasn't been all that dominant as no player has more than 660 yards on the season. Whoever wins this matchup could lead the path to victory.

Prediction:

Juan Jose Rodriguez (Athlon Sports): Marshall 31, USF 27

"While both teams ended their respective regular seasons with a loss, it is Marshall coming in playing with much more momentum. With both teams having played in this bowl before, and because this is effectively a home game for USF as the teams square off at Raymond James Stadium, there is a level of familiarity for both teams that could serve to help them in preparation for the game. Look for the Thundering Herd's defense to be a big factor, especially if the Bulls struggle to get their offense going early."

How To Watch The Gasparilla Bowl 2018: USF vs Marshall | Sports