Penn State Nittany Lions vs. UCF Knights
The UCF Knights and Penn State Nittany Lions get the first Saturday of the college football season underway with a meeting at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland. Last season, UCF finished with a 12-1 record and capped off the year with a 52-42 win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State went 7-5 but wasn't able to play in a bowl due to NCAA sanctions.
Details for Saturday's game are below:
Kickoff: 8:30 a.m. ET
Live stream: The game can be live streamed here.
TV coverage: ESPN2
UCF Knights facts
Despite finishing last season ranked in the top 10, UCF failed to land in the preseason AP Top 25. UCF is expected to take a step back after losing star quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson.
While the Knights have lost two of their key offensive starters, they return 49 letterwinners and 15 starters (nine on defense, six on offense).
UCF has not lost a season opener since 2005, when it fell to the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium 24-15. The Knights have lost just two season openers under head coach George O'Leary.
Under O'Leary, UCF has a 72-56 overall record, including three conference championships.
Last season, UCF was unbeaten away from Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, including a 34-31 win at Penn State.
Penn State Nittany Lions facts
For the first time since the 1991-92 seasons, Penn State will be opening consecutive seasons away from home. In last season's opener, Penn State defeated Syracuse 23-17 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
James Franklin enters his first season at Penn State following a three-year stint in the SEC with the Vanderbilt Commodores. Franklin went 1-2 in season openers at Vanderbilt but did compile a 13-2 non-conference record.
The Penn State coaching staff has a UCF connection, with offensive coordinator/tight ends coach John Donovan having worked under UCF head coach George O'Leary for three years at Georgia Tech. Franklin and Donovan also worked with UCF offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Charlie Taaffe at Maryland from 2001 to 2004.
Penn State sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg, the reigning Big Ten freshman of the year, was named to the Maxwell Award and Davey O'Brien Award watch lists heading into the season. Last year, Hackenberg twice broke the Penn State freshman single game record for passing yards.
The Nittany Lions' meeting with UCF will mark the eighth college football game to be held in Ireland. It is the second game at Croke Park Stadium.
- Josh Sanchez