Charlie Strong wanted to make win over Illinois special after Irma

Friday night was an emotional one for Charlie Strong and South Florida.

The Bulls returned home to play Illinois after Hurricane Irma forced the postponement of their contest last week at UConn, and Strong wanted the contest to be meaningful.

“I’m very proud of this football team and just the way we came out and responded tonight,” Strong said afterwards, according to Andrea Adelson of ESPN. “We wanted to make this night special. We felt we had a chance to give back to the city and give back to the state, and get everyone just a little sense of relief for a few hours.”

South Florida came away with a convincing 47-23 victory as players like running back D’Ernest Johnson were especially driven upon taking the field.

“I was playing for my city and playing for the whole state of Florida, everybody who witnessed this Hurricane Irma,” Johnson said. “There was a lot of motivation.”

The Bulls hosted more than 3,000 high school football players and coaches along with 2,100 first responders for the game free of charge.

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Source: The Score

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