UCF confirmed a home-and-home with Penn State beginning in 2013, officially announcing that the Knights will travel to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions on Sept. 14.
Penn State will return to Orlando in either 2014 or 2015, according to the release. That date has not been finalized.
“We are very excited about this home-and-home series with Penn State,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury said in a statement. “It is our goal to put together a schedule that will be exciting and entertaining for UCF fans. Traveling to State College in 2013 will be a memorable experience, and we are certainly looking forward to hosting the Nittany Lions at Bright House Networks Stadium in the near future.”
The game was facilitated in part through UCF coach George O'Leary's relationship with Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, whom he hired as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech in 1995. O'Brien coached under O'Leary until 2001.
“With the addition of the Penn State game and facing a coach that I used to work with in Bill O’Brien, it gives us a great opportunity to get up into the northeast, especially heading into the BIG EAST Conference,” O’Leary said. “This allows us to have more presence in the area that we have to open up recruiting to.”
The Penn State game will replace Bethune-Cookman on the schedule and completes the Knights nonconference slate. If the return game is held in 2014, it would replace the Jacksonville State game, UCF sources said.
UCF will open the season hosting Akron on Thursday, Aug. 29. It will then travel to play at FIU on Sept. 7 and then travel to Penn State on Sept. 14. It will have a bye week on Sept. 21 before hosting South Carolina on Sept. 28.