Penn State, UCF to Open 2014 NCAA Season in Ireland

The Penn State Nittany Lions and the University of Central Florida Golden Knights will kick off the 2014 NCAA football season in Ireland.

Jul 15 2013, 2:13am CDT | by

Penn State, UCF to Open 2014 NCAA Season in Ireland
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Penn State Nittany Lions and the University of Central Florida Golden Knights will kick off the 2014 NCAA football season in Ireland

This marks the first international game for both teams, per a USA Today Sports dated July 14. According to the report, officials from both universities together with the Gaelic Athletic Association declared that the game will take place at Croke Park on August 30, 2014 and will be aired on ESPN 2. A Fox Sports Florida featured article says kick-off will commence at 8:30 a.m. 

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and his team couldn't be more excited

"Our players and coaches are so excited to go to Ireland and play a college football game in such a historic and oustanding venue. I have great respect for coach (George) O'Leary and his team and playing UCF in Ireland will be a fantastic experience for all the players, coaches and fans."

His counterpart, George O'Leary, shares the same sentiment and also emphasizes his and Coach O'Brien's Irish heritage, per Fox Sports Florida. 

"We are very excited about the prospect of playing our 2014 season opener in Dublin. 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."

The Nittany Lions and Golden Knights will also square off in the upcoming 2013 NCAA season on September 14 at Beaver Stadium. Their 2014 game in Ireland will be the first American football game played in Croke Park since 1996 when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish took on the Navy Midshipmen. It will also be the eighth American football game to be played in Ireland.  

Another historical highlight of the August 30, 2014 match is its being the first game featuring a Big Ten team since the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers played in Tokyo in 1993. 

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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