The home slate features a visit by Samford (Sept. 5) to open the 2009 campaign, a matchup against defending Mid-American Champion Buffalo (Sept. 26) and a tussle against in-state foe Miami (Oct. 17). The Knights will also travel to Austin, Texas on Sept. 19 to face Texas in non-conference action.
UCF's Conference USA slate will be released by the league office at a later date. The Knights will play host to Houston, Marshall, Memphis and Tulane at Bright House Networks Stadium while travelling to face East Carolina, Rice, Southern Miss and UAB.
UCF will be playing seven regularly scheduled home games at Bright House Networks Stadium for the first time in the facility's three-year existence. Knight fans have not been treated to seven regularly scheduled home games since 1995, UCF's last season of competition at what was then known as Division I-AA. Curiously, that slate also included a home game against Samford, a 41-14 UCF win. The Knights were fortunate to play seven home games in 2007 with the final contest being the Conference USA Championship Game.
For information on 2009 UCF football season tickets call the Athletics Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000.
Samford posted a 6-5 record last fall, competing in the Football Championship Subdivision, with a 4-4 mark in the always-competitive Southern Conference. The Birmingham, Ala. school has played an FBS opponent for each of the past several years, including a 30-14 loss to Ole Miss this past fall at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford. The 2009 contest will mark the 11th meeting all-time between the Knights and Bulldogs with UCF enjoying a 7-3 advantage to date. At 11 games, it will tie Georgia Southern and Liberty for UCF's second-most active football series behind just the 15 contests that the Knights have played against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. The Knights have won three of their last four home openers.
Likely to be ranked No. 2 in the preseason polls, Texas is led by quarterback Colt McCoy who finished third in the 2008 Heisman Trophy balloting. The Longhorns went 12-1 this past fall, including a thrilling win over Ohio State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Knights, for the first time, will travel to Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium where the home team has won its last nine contests and averaged in excess of 98,000 fans per game in 2008. UCF has faced Texas once before, narrowly falling to the sixth-ranked Longhorns, 35-32, on Sept. 15, 2007 in the inaugural game at Bright House Networks Stadium.
Buffalo, led by precocious head coach Turner Gill, is coming off of a banner year in 2008, one which saw the Bulls win their first ever Division I conference championship and make their first bowl appearance. The former came as Buffalo downed No. 12 Ball State 42-24 at Detroit's Ford Field in the MAC Championship Game. The latter saw the Bulls battle Big East member Connecticut tough in the International Bowl before falling 38-20 at Toronto's Rogers Centre. UCF is 5-1 all-time against the Bulls, including a 2-1 mark when both teams competed as members of the MAC from 2002-04.
Miami will make the three-hour drive northward on Oct. 17 to complete a home-and-home series that started this past Oct. 11 with a 20-14 Hurricane win at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens. Miami will return most of its team, including a trio of Freshman All-America picks, from a squad that went 7-6 this past fall, advancing to face California in the Emerald Bowl at San Francisco's AT&T Park. The Hurricanes were 4-4 in ACC play in 2008 including a win over eventual conference champion Virginia Tech.
UCF Football 2009 Non-Conference Schedule
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