A lot of enthusiastic college football fans filled Raymond James Stadium Saturday night for an intrastate battle.
The University of South Florida Bulls played host to the #4 ranked team in the country – The Florida State Seminoles.
While the outcome – 30-17 Noles – wasn't what Bulls fans wanted to see they certainly had a very good time with their counterparts tailgating before the contest.
FSU alum LP Steele was buying into the pre-game hype.
"I think it's a huge, huge game," he explained.
While the mood outside the stadium was festive it was even louder inside the sold-out facility. A sell-out is not something fans in this area are used too just ask Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans.
So what did the Bulls do to ensure a packed house in front of a national audience against a top-ranked opponent? They got a little help from their Seminole counterparts.
"It's USF, it's an in state rivalry," said USF support Tony Vincenti. "It's also one more step closer to glory."
The Noles came into the game with an unblemished 4-0 record, leading many FSU enthusiasts to entertain dreams of a possible national championship.
With the number of Noles fans in attendance Saturday RJS became ‘Tallahassee South.'
David Mariotti came to support his team.
"This is a Florida State home game," said the FSU alum. "The fans of Florida State are all over the state."
As you can imagine that didn't go over well with Bulls fans.
"This is actually our stadium," said Bull grad Mike Mariotti. "I don't care what the FSU fans say, they're out guests and they are welcome to come here and play hard and we are welcome to play harder."
Despite the intense rivalry and the back-and-forth action everyone kept their head and had a good time. Noles fans cheered on their team and USF fans rooted on their boys, with a little razzing mixed in.
For the Mariotti's it was a friendly Civil War.
"Just naturally we talk a lot of trash between each other," David said. "We're real competitive people but this week has been more so than others simply because of that rivalry."
And there's more than just bragging rights at stake in their house.
"My brother, he likes to cut his hair real short lately so he's going to have to shave his head if he loses tonight," Mike added. "The same goes for me."
Saturday night was just another chapter in this in this intrastate rivalry.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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