Order the book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
Years of existence: 1984-1985
Owner: Fred Bullard
Stadium: Gator Bowl (80,200)
Colors: Garnet (or burgundy), burnt orange, silver, black and white
Overall Regular Season Record: 15-21 (.417)
Overall Playoff Record: 0-0
Yearly Standings and Average Home Attendances1984: 6-12 (46,730)
1985: 9-9 (44,325)
The Bulls are perhaps the best example of what the USFL meant to a community. Without the support shown the Bulls in 1984 and 1985, there would be no such thing as the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bulls led the league in attendance in their inaugural season and were again one of the leaders in 1985. Their crowd of 73,227 on March 4, 1984, against the New Jersey Generals was the best in league history.
Coach Lindy Infante also kept the Bulls competitive in most games despite a lack of name talent. The 1984 squad was led by Robbie Mahfouz and Matt Robinson who split the year at QB, while Gary Clark paced the team with 56 catches for 760 yards. The Bulls struggled mightily on defense, giving up 455 points. Don Bessillieu picked off six passes, but the Bulls had trouble pressuring the quarterback.
An improved defense and the addition of Mike Rozier at runningback helped the Bulls post a .500 record in 1985. The addition of Keith Millard, who later would become an NFL defensive player of the year, and the emergence of linebacker Vaughan Johnson were two big causes of Jacksonville's defensive turnaround. Rozier finished second in the USFL with 1,361 yards on the ground and added 12 touchdowns. Receiver Alton Alexis made 83 grabs for 1,118 yards, and Perry Kemp caught 53 balls for 915 yards. Kicker Brian Franco nailed 24 of his 29 field goal attempts and all 45 of his extra point attempts to finish as the league's fifth leading scorer. Ed Luther played most of the year at quarterback after Brian Sipe was injured in the opening game and again immediately upon his return to duty. The Bulls also had two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin at runningback, giving them two Heisman winners in the same backfield.Their Finest Hour: In 1984, the Bulls had come within a hair of beating the New Jersey Generals in front of a raucus crowd of 73,227 at the Gator Bowl, but Danny Miller's last second field goal attempt sailed just wide in a 28-26 loss. In week 11 of the 1985 season, the Bulls got another crack at the Generals, and this time the Jacksonville faithful left happy. New Jersey jumped on top 10-0 on a Roger Ruzek field goal and a Doug Flutie to Sam Bowers TD pass. Rozier scampered into the endzone from the 23, and Franco kicked three field goals to give the Bulls a 16-13 lead headed into the fourth. The Generals retook the lead when Maurice Carthon scored from 10 yards out, but Jacksonville would not be denied. Norris Brown raced 82 yards with the ensuing kickoff and scored the go-ahead touchdown. Rozier clinched it with a late one-yard TD run, giving Jacksonville a 30-20 victory. Quarterback Ed Luther connected on 20 of 31 passes for 200 yards.
1984 Jacksonville Bulls Roster|
1985 Jacksonville Bulls Roster
1984 Jacksonville Bulls Statistics |
1985 Jacksonville Bulls Statistics