- Starting with eight matchups in Week 1, here's everything you need to know about college football's Friday games this season.
Ready for the return of Friday night football? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know for the Friday game schedule of every week of the 2019 season, including highlighting the ones you don’t want to miss. From eight games in Week 1 to a packed day during Rivalry Week, there’s a little bit of everything this year for those of you looking to spend a Friday night watching college football, whether from at home or at the bar.
All rankings are from the preseason AP poll
Week 1 (Aug. 30)
Rice at Army, 6 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Tulsa at No. 18 Michigan State, 7 p.m. ET, FS1
No. 19 Wisconsin at South Florida, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
UMass at Rutgers, 7:15 p.m. ET, BTN
Utah State at Wake Forest, 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network
Purdue at Nevada, 9:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Colorado State at Colorado, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
Oklahoma State at Oregon State, 10:30 p.m., FS1
The Friday night schedule opens with a packed eight-game Week 1, starting with Rice–Army at 6 p.m. ET and ending with a 10:30 p.m. Oklahoma State–Oregon State clash out west. In between there’s plenty of intrigue, like Wisconsin making the trip to South Florida, Wake Forest trying to fend off what should be a strong challenge from an underrated Utah State and your first chance to see the dynamic Rondale Moore in action in 2019 when Purdue travels to Nevada.
Week 2 (Sept. 6)
William & Mary at Virginia, 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network
Wake Forest at Rice, 8 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Marshall at Boise State, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Sacramento State at Arizona State, 10:00 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Both Virginia and Boise State open the 2019 season as a pair of fringe top-25 teams, and the Broncos will be coming off a tough-but-winnable opener at Florida State. With eight offensive starters back from a team that went 9–4, Marshall won’t be a pushover, but a trip to Albertsons Stadium is never easy.
Week 3 (Sept. 13)
North Carolina at Wake Forest, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
Kansas at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network
No. 23 Washington State at Houston, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Getting to spend your Friday night watching Mack Brown and Les Miles coaching their new teams (or at least, when it comes to Brown, a new go-around with the Tar Heels) should be reason enough to tune in, and the Kansas-BC matchup will also let you watch Eagles star rusher AJ Dillon. Yeah, it’s Kansas football—but it’s Les Miles coaching Kansas football! And given that the Jayhawks won’t be in the spotlight too often, this may be your best opportunity to tune in. Then, in the nightcap, you can see Mike Leach's Wazzu team travel to Houston to take on a Cougars team led by dynamic quarterback D'Eriq King.
Week 4 (Sept. 20)
No. 14 Utah at USC, 9 p.m. ET, FS1
Air Force at Boise State, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Here’s where things get interesting. Utah traveling to L.A. Coliseum will be a big game for both teams—if the Utes are going to fulfill the idea that they’re the Pac-12 South favorite and a potential playoff darkhorse, it’s the kind of game they can’t slip up in. On the flip side, it’s the type of win that could at least slightly dial down the heat on Clay Helton, though it comes amid a brutal early-season stretch for the Trojans. USC’s new Air Raid offense will get a stiff test from a staunch Utah D; last year, the Utes took this matchup 41–28 at home as the Trojans managed just 205 total yards.
Week 5 (Sept. 27)
Duke at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Penn State at Maryland, 8 p.m. ET, FS1
San Jose State at Air Force, 8 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Arizona State at California, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Last year when Penn State played a middling Big Ten team on the road on a Friday night, it needed a 35-point fourth quarter to avoid what was starting to smell like chaos. The heroes of that game (Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders) are gone, but there’s plenty of talent left for James Franklin—though Maryland will be hungry to make a statement under new coach Mike Locksley. Later, you can watch perhaps the nation’s best secondary take on Herm Edwards’s Arizona State in a game that has extreme #Pac12AfterDark potential.
Week 6 (Oct. 4)
No. 17 UCF at Cincinnati, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
New Mexico at San Jose State, 10 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Remember Brandon Wimbush, the Notre Dame quarterback who lost the job to Ian Book early last season (but did beat Michigan in Week 1)? He’s at UCF now, where injuries to McKenzie Milton (out for season) and Darriel Mack (out indefinitey) currently leave him as The Guy at QB. The Knights should still have the juice to win the AAC, but Cincinnati is likely to be their toughest league test, at least barring a championship meeting with Memphis.
Week 7 (Oct. 11)
Colorado State at New Mexico, 8 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Virginia at Miami, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Colorado at No. 11 Oregon, 10 p.m. ET, FS1
Virginia’s trip to Miami is likely to have major ACC Coastal implications, and the Hurricanes’ performance in a losing effort against Florida in Week 0 could point toward better things ahead, especially if Miami can clean up its offensive line play. Meanwhile, Colorado-Oregon isn’t filled with potential from a drama or upset perspective, but it features two of the Pac-12’s premier talents: Ducks QB Justin Herbert and Buffaloes WR Laviska Shenault Jr.
Week 8 (Oct. 18)
Marshall at Florida Atlantic, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Pittsburgh at No. 22 Syracuse, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
No. 5 Ohio State at Northwestern, 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1
UNLV at Fresno State, 10 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Start your night with either Lane Kiffin’s FAU Owls or a Syracuse-Pitt ACC duel before easing into a Big Ten championship game rematch. That game wasn’t exactly close, but Northwestern will host this one, and some weird stuff happened at Ryan Field last year. By Week 8, we should already know whether Justin Fields is the real deal and whether the Buckeyes have indeed seamlessly transitioned under Ryan Day, and new Wildcats QB Hunter Johnson (who hasn’t officially been named the starter yet), a former Clemson transfer and five-star recruit, will have been tested a few times already.
Week 9 (Oct. 25)
USC at Colorado, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Just one game this week, but it’s Pac-12 football after 9 p.m. on the East Coast…and you know what that means. Bonus: another chance to watch Shenault!
Week 10 (Nov. 1)
Navy at UConn, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2
We won’t blame you if you decide to skip this one, unless you’re psyched to see Navy’s triple option go against a UConn defense that finished—by a whole 53(!) yards—dead last in FBS in rushing yards allowed per game last year.
Week 11 (Nov. 8)
No. 17 UCF at Tulsa, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
No. 13 Washington at Oregon State, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1
This pair of games isn't the sexiest, but you could do worse than watching two preseason top-25 teams on a Friday night. Will they both still be ranked by Nov. 8? Time will tell…
Week 12 (Nov. 15)
Louisiana Tech at Marshall, 7 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Fresno State at San Diego State, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Some solid Group of Five action here, as all four of these teams are coming off bowl appearances. In the Mountain West clash, San Diego State has won at least seven games every year of this decade and switched to a spread offense this offseason, while Fresno State finished last season ranked 18th in the AP Top 25 (the Bulldogs are replacing a lot of production, however, especially on offense).
Week 13 (Nov. 22)
Colorado State at Wyoming, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The lone Friday night game of the week will be held in Laramie, Wyoming, for a Mountain West meeting that doesn’t have quite the pizzazz of the previous week’s. Not to worry, though, because you won’t need much to tide you over before a loaded Thanksgiving week.
Week 14 (Nov. 29)
Texas Tech at No. 10 Texas, Noon ET, FOX/FS1
No. 20 Iowa at No. 24 Nebraska, 2:30 p.m. ET, BTN
Missouri at Arkansas, 2:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Boise State at Colorado State, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN
West Virginia at TCU, 3:30 p.m. ET
No. 23 Washington State at No. 13 Washington, 4 p.m. ET, FOX/FS1
Appalachian State at Troy, 6 p.m. ET
South Florida at No. 17 UCF, TBD
Virginia Tech at Virginia, TBD
Bowling Green at Buffalo, TBD
Kent State at Eastern Michigan, TBD
Miami (OH) at Ball State, TBD
Toledo at Central Michigan, TBD
Arkansas State at South Alabama, TBD
Cincinnati at Memphis, TBD
Ah, Rivalry Week. The day after Thanksgiving is always a busy one in college football, with many more games than usual spread out across the day. This year shouldn't disappoint, with the Apple Cup (Washington vs. Wazzu), Virginia Tech–Virginia, Iowa–Nebraska, Texas–Texas Tech, West Virginia–TCU and Cincinnati–Memphis, among others, all part of the Friday action. With division races and even potential playoff implications on the line, you're going to want to settle in at noon and enjoy what's sure to be a great lead-in to the final Saturday of the regular season.