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USF, Former Texas Head Coach Charlie Strong Views BYU As Power 5 Program

TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 23: Head coach Charlie Strong of the South Florida Bulls enters the field before kickoff against the UCF Knights at Raymond James Stadium on November 23, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – South Florida head coach Charlie Strong has a short, but memorable history taking on BYU. Only once in Strong’s career that spans three and a half decades has he faced BYU. That one time came in 2014 as head coach of the Texas Longhorns.

Strong’s Longhorns suffered a 41-7 setback against the Cougars and Taysom Hill sent everyone in burnt orange into despair.

One has to think Strong’s views of BYU as a program were formed on that night, but no one knows for sure. One thing we do know is that Strong has a lot of respect for the Cougars coming into Tampa.

“They are a great program always have had a great history, plays very well,” Strong said in his weekly appearance on the AAC Teleconference.

“You look at how well they’re playing this season, I know it hasn’t gone as well as they’d like. But still though, you have a win over Tennessee, you have a win over USC, they are a program we are happy to have them on our schedule. You know, a really good Power 5 team.  But they are a team that we know are very well coached and they’ll be ready to play.”

Hey, BYU will probably take any designation as a Power 5 program they can get. Strong also spoke highly of BYU’s personnel this week in preparation for the Cougars.

“This team that we’re playing this week is big, physical, and they’re athletic, said Strong.”

BYU is used to receiving compliments about being a big and physical team, but not very often do they garner the athletic tag from opposing coaches.

“We’re going to have to be at our best,” Strong said. “We’re going to have to play well at home. We haven’t played well at home. So it’s good to be back home, but we are going to have to play good, we’ve got a home crowd in front of us.”

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, like Strong, has high praise for his upcoming opponent.

“A lot of athleticism and speed,” said Sitake. “I know Coach Strong. He’s been around for a long time and he’ll have those guys playing hard. We’re going to their house and we have to be ready for this game. More than anything we respect them a lot.”

BYU vs. USF

Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. (MT)

Radio: KSL Newsradio – 102.7 FM & 1160 AM

TV: CBS Sports Network

Location: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Florida)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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