Penn State to Face Central Florida in Ireland to Open 2014 College Football Season

Bill O'BrienThe start of the 2014 college football season will have an Irish feel to it when Penn State and the University of Central Florida begin their seasons in Dublin, Ireland.

There was continued speculation that the Nittany Lions might play a game in Ireland in the near future, but the university didn’t confirm the reports until Sunday morning.

“Our visit this weekend has only reinforced our reasons for wanting to come and play in Dublin,” PSU athletic director Dave Joyner said to ESPN. “We’ve not only grown our appreciation for the games so entrenched in the history and traditions here in Ireland, but have also confirmed that, because of the Irish people and their hospitality, Penn State fans are going to love their time here in late summer of 2014.”

The game will take place on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. or 8:30 a.m. EST at Croke Park in Dublin. This will be Penn State’s first international game in its 127-year history.

“We are thrilled to announce that we will play UCF at Croke Park to open the 2014 season,” PSU coach Bill O’Brien said. “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 [George] O’Leary and his team, and playing UCF in Ireland will be a fantastic experience for all the players, coaches and fans.”

The 2014 opener will serve as the Nittany Lion’s defacto bowl game, as they will be in the third year of a four-year bowl ban stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

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