Penn State, UCF to meet in 2014 Croke Park Classic in Ireland

By Kevin Kelley -

The Penn State Nittany Lions and the UCF Knights will face off at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland in 2014, both schools officially announced today.

The game will be the season-opener for both schools on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. It will kick off at 1:30 p.m. in Dublin (8:30 a.m. ET) and will be televised by ESPN2.

“We are thrilled to announce that we will play UCF at Croke Park to open the 2014 season, ” said Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. “Our players and coaches are so excited to go to Ireland and play a college football game in such a historic and outstanding venue. I have great respect for Coach O’Leary and his team and playing UCF in Ireland will be a fantastic experience for all the players, coaches and fans.”

“We are very excited about the prospect of playing our 2014 season opener in Dublin,” said UCF head coach Coach O’Leary. “It’s a great opportunity for UCF, and a chance for us to grow the exposure of our football program.”

Travel packages for the game are available through Penn State and UCF.

Croke Park is the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Sports played at the stadium include hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball, and rounders.

The last American football game played at Croke Park was on July 27, 1997 between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears of the NFL. Notre Dame and Navy met at Croke Park in the Shamrock Classic in 1996.

The announcement of the UCF match-up completes Penn State’s 2014 football schedule. To accommodate the game, the previously scheduled contest against Temple on Aug. 30 was moved to Nov. 15.

UCF has now completed the non-conference portion of their 2014 schedule. After facing Penn State, the Knights host Florida International on Sept. 6, travel to Missouri on Sept. 13, and then host BYU on Oct. 11.

Football Schedules

Comments (10)

Looking at Penn St.’s future schedules, the PSU website is showing a home game with Akron in 2017. That is not reflected on

This will clearly be the toughest non-conference game State Penn has in 2014. Their other three games are Akron, UMass, and Temple.

They don’t play a decent non-conf game until 2016. While they still have two openings in 2015, chances are they will be lower tier teams also.

Bill, I agree with you. PSU’s non-conference schedule is pretty weak looking forward and UCF is no power. I don’t mind Pitt and Temple on the schedule and frankly wish all three schools would play one another each year and have a trophy at stake, much like Army, Navy and Air Force do. I think it would have an effect on PA high school players and keep more of them in state with a renewed interest in PA college football. But, I would like PSU’s third non-conference game to be against a major power each year. Eliminate the MAC schools from the schedule

And even that was forced upon them a little by the Big Ten’s desire to get better non conference schedules.

Here on the West Coast the game will start at 530 a.m. There will be a whole array of games at 9 am and 1230 and there will certainly be a prime time game at 8pmEDT/ 5pmPDT. And presumably Washington @ Hawaii will follow.

I am looking forward to the quintuple-header

I just read your post to my wife and she replied, “I’ll be spending that day at my sister’s house.”

Bill, funny how you mentioned about the PSU/UCF game coming on at 5:30 AM. I live in Hawaii and it will be 2:30 AM here. That’s one thing I really love about being in Hawaii during college football season, football from sunup to sundown. However, I am quite certain I will be going to the PSU/UCF game in Dublin.