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Charlie Strong’s team survives the ‘Call of Duty’ curse for a sixth straight year

In 2011, Strong claimed the popular video game was to blame for a loss against Pitt. He’s since had his revenge.

Getty Images/Morgan Moriarty, SB Nation

On Friday, the undefeated USF Bulls came back from a 24-10 fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Tulsa on the road, 25-24. It brings Charlie Strong’s team to 6-0 heading into the heart of the Bulls’ AAC schedule, featuring big games against Cincinnati, Temple, and UCF to close the regular season.

Also on Friday, Call of Duty released its newest edition, Black Ops 4.

This means Strong’s teams have successfully survived the Call of Duty curse for a sixth straight year.

The popular war-themed video game has been around since 2003, with new versions released every fall.

Back when Strong was the head coach at Louisville in 2011, his team lost to Pitt, four days after the new game came out. Strong partially blamed the loss on, yes, the video game’s release.

“I said on Tuesday we have guys that miss class because they want to stay (up) all night and play that video game, whatever it was,” Strong said in a press conference after the loss. “I didn’t even know what it was, but it’s such a big deal … That new … Call of Duty. It was a Call of Duty. They got Called to Duty. It’s young people. That’s what we’re dealing with … they want to try it, it engulfs them.”

“Young people are dealing with so much,” Strong continued. “I told them Tuesday. I get them off the practice field and we weren’t sharp, so you’re thinking you come back on Wednesday and we weren’t sharp then. There’s a new video game that came out and those guys are so... I said, how can you allow a video game to take control of what you have in your hand and what’s ahead of you.”

And there’s more:

Strong said he told the team Wednesday, “This video game is that important? We’ll see how important it is on Saturday. I said, in about a week or so, you’re going to be throwing that video game away. But we let a video game take control of us. And young people, there are so many factors they’re dealing with.”

Overall, Strong’s teams are now 6-3 when playing after a Call of Duty release, and they’ve won the last six straight.

  • Call of Duty Black Ops 4, released Oct. 12, 2018: USF beat Tulsa 25-24
  • Call of Duty WWII, released Nov. 3, 2017: USF beat UConn 37-20
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Nov. 4 2016: Texas beat Texas Tech 45-37
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Nov. 6 2015: Texas beat Kansas 59-20
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Nov. 4 2014: Texas beat WVU 33-16
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts, Nov. 5 2013: Louisville beat UConn 31-10
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Nov. 13 2012: Louisville lost to UConn 23-20
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Nov. 8 2011: Louisville lost to Pitt 21-14
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops, Nov. 9 2010: Louisville lost to USF 24-21

Congrats to Strong on escaping the COD curse for a sixth straight season. Probably because his players just play Fortnite now.