December 21, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; UCF Knights macot, Knightro, during the second half of the St. Petersburg Beef

Counting Down Penn State Football’s Best 2013 Games-#8 Central Florida


I admit it  This one was not likely to be this high just a few weeks ago.  But then, the Big Ten Network did something interesting, and slotted it for a 6:00 kickoff, essentially under the lights.  Penn State could play anyone under the lights (OK, not Temple) and it would immediately become more interesting.  There’s just something about tailgating all day, watching a bunch of games early, all the while anticipating seeing your team go at it.  However, this one is more than just a kickoff time.

The George O’Leary-Bill O’Brien relationship will likely get a lot of play in the days leading up to this game, and with good reason.  O’Leary is the one guy BOB brings up more than anyone else when talking about mentors and guys he credits for getting him to where he is now.  On top of that, this is very likely going to be the program the Lions face in Ireland to kickoff the 2014 season.

On the field, this should be an intriguing matchup.  UCF won 10 games a year ago, and will be returning rising sophomore QB Blake Bortles, who threw for over 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns a year ago, along with top receivers J.J. Worden, Rannell Hall, and Jeff Godrey.  That passing attack will be a strong test for a rather green PSU secondary.  The Knights defense, which was their strong point in 2012, will be tested after losing 5 starters, including 2 defensive backs, and 2 linebackers.

This could also be a key early season recruiting weekend as well.  I would expect a good crowd, and a great atmosphere with the start time, and that is of course something the staff will want to expose as many recruits to as possible.

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  • Willie Green

    Although there have been a few stumbles along the way, UCF has developed an impressive football program in a relatively short period of time (compared to schools with much longer histories.)

    This will be an interesting game simply because they’re a rising newcomer that I’ve never seen play before, but they’ll obviously become better known in the decades that lie ahead.