Penn State may not get a chance to immediately avenge last season’s loss to Virginia.
The Orlando Sentinel reported Friday that the University of Central Florida and Penn State have agreed to a home-and-home series starting with the Golden Knights visiting Beaver Stadium on Sept. 14, 2013. Penn State will travel to Orlando the following season.
The Nittany Lions were originally scheduled to host Virginia on Sept. 14 this season. The Nittany Lions visited the Cavaliers last season.
Penn State did not confirm the cancellation of the Virginia game or the scheduling of UCF, but a Penn State spokesperson said “anticipate having a scheduling update early next week” in a text message.
A trip to Rutgers originally awaited the Nittany Lions on Sept. 13, 2014, but the Scarlet Knights will be be a Big Ten member then and that game might be pushed back, presumably opening up a slot for a non-conference opponent. The Sentinel report did not specify when Penn State would play at UCF.
UCF is replacing games against Bethune-Cookman and Jacksonville State in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Temple, Akron and Massachusetts are currently Penn State’s 2014 non-conference opponents.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien is friends with UCF coach George O’Leary. The two coached together when O’Brien served on O’Leary’s staff at Georgia Tech.
UCF went 10-4 this past season, defeating Ball State 38-17 in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s bowl. The Golden Knights lost to Tulsa 33-27 in overtime of the Conference USA title game.
O’Brien has repeatedly mention the possibility of the Nittany Lions playing a game in a warm-weather climate since the program received a four-year postseason ban last summer. UCF fits the description. The school’s campus is 30 minutes from Walt Disney World.
Penn State and UCF met in 2002 and ‘04 at Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions won both games.