Penn State and UCF Discussing 2014 Season Opener in Ireland
The often-discussed Penn State voyage to Ireland is a bit closer to reaching fruition.
Penn State is reportedly in talks with UCF to open the 2014 season in Dublin, Ireland, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“We have talked to them about being a potential opponent, but we are far from an agreement,” David Hansen, UCF senior associate athletics director for internal operations, told the Sentinel. “Logistically, it’s not easy.”
Back in February, Penn State and the University of Central Florida agreed to a home-and-home series with the 2013 game being played at Beaver Stadium and the 2014 matchup to be played in Orlando, but the report implies the potential game in Dublin would take the place of Penn State’s trip to the Sunshine State. No date has been set for the 2014 game yet, opening the door for a matchup overseas.
The report notes that while a concrete agreement hasn’t been reached, the two programs have been engaged in talks for months. Bill O’Brien and UCF head coach George O’Leary, both of Irish descent, worked on the Georgia Tech staff from 1995 through 2001.
Penn State is currently scheduled to play Temple on opening day and UCF is slated to play FIU, so there’d need to be some schedule maneuvering for this game to be possible.
A few months back, O’Brien told Bob Flounders, “We are definitely looking into playing in Ireland, no question about it,” O’Brien said. “We’re working on an opponent and we’re working with the Big Ten on that. So that’s something that’s definitely in the works.”
It looks like O’Brien’s found his opponent: The UCF Knights.
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Penn State earned a ranking in the preseason AP Top 25 poll for the third consecutive season.
The past five No. 15s in the preseason AP Top 25 poll have been a mixed bag of seven-loss mediocrity and 9-4 records, but the 2017 Georgia Bulldogs proved that starting at No. 15 isn’t all bad.
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