One of the most anticipated schedules in UCF history was finalized Wednesday when the BIG EAST Conference announced this year's slate. The Knights will begin their journey in their new league Oct. 5 at Memphis, while its first home conference game is set for Oct. 26 against Connecticut.
Thanksgiving weekend also marks the continuation of the I-4 rivalry when UCF hosts USF Friday, Nov. 29, either on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. Parents and Family Weekend this year is slated for Sept. 28 against South Carolina, and Homecoming 2013 will be Nov. 9 vs. Houston.
2013 UCF Football Schedule
Thursday, Aug. 29 - Akron
Saturday, Sept. 7 - at FIU
Saturday, Sept. 14 - at Penn State
Saturday, Sept. 21 - BYE
Saturday, Sept. 28 - South Carolina - Parents and Family Weekend
Saturday, Oct. 5 - at Memphis*
Saturday, Oct. 12 - BYE
Friday, Oct. 18 - at Louisville* (ESPN/ESPN2)
Saturday, Oct. 26 - Connecticut*
Saturday, Nov. 2 - BYE
Saturday, Nov. 9 - Houston* - Homecoming
Saturday, Nov. 16 - at Temple*
Thursday, Nov. 21 - Rutgers* (ESPN)
Friday, Nov. 29 - USF* (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2)
Saturday, Dec. 7 - at SMU*
Kickoff times will be released when they become available
Home Game Ticket Information
-2013 season tickets start at $99. To renew or secure your UCF football season tickets, visit UCFAthletics.com or call 407-UCF-1000. While online, check out even more details including a stadium seat and pricing map, GKC information and FAQs.
Schedule Notes - Non-Conference
-UCF is one of 19 schools which does not play an FCS opponent or a school from another level.
-The Knights have not played a FCS school since Sept. 3, 2011 (Charleston Southern). They are one of 11 teams in the nation without a FCS school on both its 2012 and 2013 schedules.
-With South Carolina (SEC) and Penn State (Big 10) featured on this year's schedule, the Knights will play at least two non-conference schools from automatic-qualifying BCS conferences in 17 of 18 seasons since moving up to the FBS in 1996.
-By entertaining South Carolina at Bright House Networks Stadium, UCF will have hosted at least one non-conference school from an AQ league every year since 2006, and nine of the 10 seasons under head coachGeorge O'Leary.
-This year marks the second-straight season UCF hosts an SEC school on campus (Missouri in 2012).
-The 2013 campaign also will be the second-straight year the Knights travel to a Big Ten opponent (Ohio State in 2012). The only other time it visited a current Big Ten school in back-to-back years was at Nebraska in 1997 and at Purdue in 1998.
-UCF is opening the season on a Thursday against Akron. The Knights kicked off last year on a Thursday on the Zips' home field. The last time the Black and Gold started a season at home on a non-Saturday was in 1996 against William & Mary (also a Thursday). This will be the ninth time since the program's inception in 1979 that UCF will open a new campaign on a day other than Saturday.
Schedule Notes - Conference Games
-UCF is the only school in the league which will not play an FCS opponent in 2013.
-This will be UCF's third conference since joining the MAC in 2002. That year, the Knights went 7-5 overall and 6-2 in league play. They joined C-USA in 2005 and were 8-5 with a 7-1 conference record that year, including winning the East Division title.
-UCF has won four-straight Homecoming games, and holds a 23-10 overall record on Homecoming. This year's Homecoming contest will be Nov. 9 vs. Houston.
-The Knights have never faced UConn or Temple.
-By traveling to Temple, UCF will visit the state of Pennsylvania twice this year. Its last trip to the Keystone State was in 2004 vs. Penn State.
-Temple shares Lincoln Financial Field with the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be the fourth active NFL stadium UCF will invade (Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Sun Life Stadium in Miami and Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans). The Knights also played at Sun Devil Stadium in 2002 when the facility was the home of the Arizona Cardinals.
-UCF also visits Louisville, marking its first trip to Kentucky since 1992 (Western Kentucky).
-The Knights head to Memphis for the second-straight season. The last time they had a road game against the same opponent in back-to-back years was at Georgia Tech from 1999-00.
-The only conference school the Black and Gold will not play is Cincinnati.
Schedule Notes - Overall/TV Schedule
-UCF has four non-Saturday games in 2013. It also had four non-Saturday regular-season contests in 2011.
-Aug. 29 ties the earliest start date to a campaign (1996), while the Knights have never played a regular-season game in December until this year.
-The regular season stretches from Aug. 29 to Dec. 7 for a total of 101 days - the longest regular season in school history.
-While the complete broadcast schedule has not been set yet, UCF already has three games on either ESPN or ESPN2 this year. It also had three regular-season contests on ESPN or ESPN2 in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
-If the contest against USF is picked up by ABC, it will mark the Knights' first game in program history that they appear on network television.
-UCF's last home game to air on ESPN or ESPN2 was the 2010 C-USA Championship Game against SMU (ESPN2). Its last regular season home game on ESPN was against UAB Oct. 6, 2010.
-The clash with Rutgers will be UCF's first Thursday-night contest on ESPN since playing at South Carolina Sept. 1, 2005.
UCF is coming off its fourth division title in eight seasons in Conference USA, as it boasted a 10-4 overall record and its second-straight bowl victory in 2012. Last year was just the second time in school history the Knights had a 3,000-yard passer (Blake Bortles) and a 1,000-yard rusher (Latavius Murray). Bortles returns for his junior campaign, and will have the luxury of UCF returning five of its top six wide receivers from a year ago.
A quick look at the Black and Gold's 2013 opponents:
Akron Zips - HOME - Thursday, Aug. 29
Head Coach: Terry Bowden
2012 Record: 1-11, 0-8 MAC
Series: Akron leads, 5-3
Note: UCF is 22-12 in season-openers, and defeated the Zips in last year's opener, 56-14
FIU Panthers - AWAY - Saturday, Sept. 7
Head Coach: Ron Turner
2012 Record: 3-9, 2-6 Sun Belt
Series: Tied, 1-1
Note: The 2011 meeting set a then-FIU Stadium attendance record with 20,205 fans (now ranks second)
Penn State Nittany Lions - AWAY - Saturday, Sept. 14
Head Coach: Bill O'Brien
2012 Record: 8-4, 6-2 Big 10
Series: PSU leads, 2-0
Note: Coach O'Brien worked under Coach O'Leary at Georgia Tech from 1995-01, and it will be the first time the two veteran coaches will be on opposite sidelines
South Carolina Gamecocks - HOME - Saturday, Sept. 28
Head Coach: Steve Spurrier
2012 Record: 11-2, 6-2 SEC
Series: USC leads, 3-0
Note: Finished last year ranked in the top 10, and was led by consensus All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney
Memphis Tigers - AWAY - Saturday, Oct. 5
Head Coach: Justin Fuente
2012 Record: 4-8, 4-4 C-USA
Series: UCF leads, 8-1
Note: The Knights have won eight-straight meetings with the Tigers, who wrapped up 2012 by winning their final three games of the season
Louisville Cardinals - AWAY - Friday, Oct. 18
Head Coach: Charlie Strong
2012 Record: 11-2, 5-2 BIG EAST
Series: UofL leads, 1-0
Note: Coming off a 33-23 win over Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and is led by reigning BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater
Connecticut Huskies - HOME - Saturday, Oct. 26
Head Coach: Paul Pasqualoni
2012 Record: 5-7, 2-5 BIG EAST
Series: First Meeting
Note: Finished 2012 by winning two of its last three games (Pittsburgh and Louisville), and ranked seventh in the nation in rushing defense and was first in the BIG EAST in sacks
Houston Cougars - HOME - Saturday, Nov. 9
Head Coach: Tony Levine
2012 Record: 5-7, 4-4 C-USA
Series: UCF leads, 3-1
Note: Placed 10th in the nation in sacks and was 11th in passing offense, while it had three members on the 2012 C-USA All-Freshman Team
Temple Owls - AWAY - Saturday, Nov. 16
Head Coach: Matt Rhule
2012 Record: 4-7, 2-5 BIG EAST
Series: First Meeting
Note: Temple rejoined the BIG EAST last season, and produced BIG EAST Rookie of the Year linebacker Tyler Matakevich
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - HOME - Thursday, Nov. 21
Head Coach: Kyle Flood
2012 Record: 9-4, 5-2 BIG EAST
Series: Rutgers leads, 1-0
Note: Advanced to the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl, and completed the year fourth in the country and first in the BIG EAST in scoring defense, as well as first in the league in rushing defense
USF Bulls - HOME - Friday, Nov. 29
Head Coach: Willie Taggart
2012 Record: 3-9, 1-6 BIG EAST
Series: USF leads, 4-0
Note: The two schools played every year from 2005-08, and both games in Orlando featured crowds of more than 46,000
SMU Mustangs - AWAY - Saturday, Dec. 7
Head Coach: June Jones
2012 Record: 7-6, 5-3 C-USA
Series: UCF leads, 4-1
Note: The Knights defeated the Mustangs in Orlando last year, 42-17, and SMU went on to win three of its final four games including the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl