Central Florida announced today that its game against FAU, originally scheduled for Sept. 22, will be moved up one day to Friday night.
Such moves usually occur to accommodate television broadcasts. Though UCF did not announce a television partner for that game, schedule changes like this are usually made to allow games to be televised nationally. UCF is expected to announce kickoff time along with the television network in June.
UCF ended the 2017 season as the only undefeated FBS tea. Playing in the AAC and not a Power 5 conference kept the Knights from receiving one of the four berths in the NCAA playoffs. After defeating Auburn in the Peach Bowl, UCF proclaimed itself the national champion.
The Knights are the lone team to enter the offseason with a longer winning streak than FAU.
In coach Lane Kiffin’s first season the Owls won their final 10 games, sweeping through Conference USA undefeated before blowing out Akron 50-3 in the Boca Raton Bowl.
September’s game, played in Orlando, will mark the final non-conference game for the Owls. After opening the season on Sept. 1 at Oklahoma, the Owls play consecutive home games against Air Force and Bethune-Cookman. Following the UCF game, FAU travels to Murfreesboro, Tenn., opening C-USA play against Middle Tennessee for the second consecutive year.
After three consecutive 3-9 seasons under Charlie Partridge, who was subsequently fired following the 2016 season, FAU went 11-3 under Kiffin, gaining national notoriety along the way.
The UCF game may not be the only one on FAU’s 2018 football schedule that moves to accommodate television. Networks try to get the highest profile non-Power 5 game as possible on weeknights. Kiffin has certainly raised FAU’s profile during his 14 months in Boca Raton.
FAU is scheduled to begin spring practice on March 20, with the annual spring game taking place on April 21.