One of the worst kept secrets in college football is finally official. Penn State will open the 2014 season in Dublin, Ireland against UCF. The game will take place in Dublin’s historic Croke Park. UCF head coach George O’Leary and Penn State Athletic Director Dave Joyner were on hand for the official announcement, which took place at halftime of the Gaelic Football game between Dublin and Meath. Gaelic football is the primary event held at Croke Park. The Nittany Lions game will kickoff on August 30th and 8:30 AM in the United States on ESPN2. The stadium will also be downsided to a 69,000 for the contest, down from a usual 82,300.
A trip to Ireland has been rumored for nearly a year, as Bill O’Brien and Penn State have looked for ways to reward players, and fans, during the course of the NCAA sanctions banning the Lions from post season play. Central Florida emerged as the likely candidate in early May, helped in part by the Golden Knight’s head coach George O’Leary’s close relationship with O’Brien, as well as his ties to PSU staff members Mac McWhorter and Stan Hixon.
Penn State was originally scheduled to face Temple on August 30th next year, but that game has been pushed back to November 15th to allow the trip overseas.
PSU has set up website with many of the details for the game, including travel packages to Dublin.
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