The UCF Golden Knights and Penn State Nittany Lions will kick off the 2014 season in Dublin, Ireland, the schools announced Sunday.
The Croke Park Classic will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, 2014.
“We are very excited about the prospect of playing our 2014 season opener in Dublin,” UCF coach George O’Leary said. “It’s a great opportunity for UCF, and a chance for us to grow the exposure of our football program.
“On a personal level, obviously (Penn State) coach (Bill) O’Brien and myself are both of Irish heritage, so obviously it means a great deal to both of us to be in a position to bring our teams here. We are confident that Croke Park will be an excellent venue for us to play in, we have been hugely impressed to date with the facilities and we are looking forward to a huge crowd to get our 2014 season off to a flying start. We are confident that Croke Park will generate an unforgettable atmosphere for this game.”
In addition to O’Leary and O’Brien having Irish backgrounds, Knights kicker Sean Galvin is a native of Cork, Ireland. Galvin will be a senior when the game is contested.
NCAA records note seven other college football games have taken place in Ireland since 1988, the most recent being Notre Dame-Navy in 2012. The Fighting Irish won the contest 50-10 before a crowd of 48,820.