UCF coach George O'Leary likes the challenge of the 2013 schedule, which includes games against Penn State, South Carolina, Louisville and USF. (JOSHUA C. CRUEY/ORLANDO SENTINEL / January 22, 2013)
UCF learned this week it would play at least three nationally televised games this fall -- at Louisville on Oct. 18 and at home against Rutgers on Nov. 21 and rival USF on Nov. 29.
The increase in exposure will be key for the Knights as they make the move out of Conference USA and to a new home, and especially as the university looks to increase its exposure nationwide. The schedule also includes non-conference games at Penn State and against South Carolina, two marquee opponents, which are rumored to be set for ESPN broadcasts, as well.
UCF coach George O’Leary said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday he believes the schedule is a prime opportunity for his program to test itself against some premier opponents.
“I think it’s a great schedule,” O’Leary said. “I think for the number of years I’ve been here it’s probably the most competitive schedule we’ve had. And I think it’s something the team is excited about. … I think the fan base should be excited about it.”
The schedule will be the longest regular season in UCF history, 101 days, and includes three bye weeks. O’Leary said that while bye weeks can sometimes pull a team out of its momentum, it may be beneficial this season. Two of UCF’s bye weeks fall before games against top-rated South Carolina and Louisville,
“It’s nice with some young kids you get a bye week you get a little break without going week after week,” O’Leary said.
UCF will open up spring practice on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Stay tuned to the blog as we preview the UCF spring football season over the next five days with more from our interview with Knights coach George O'Leary.