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Breaking Down UCF’s Football Schedule

Figuring out the tough parts of the Knights’ slate

Photo: Derek Warden

The UCF Knights’ 2021 football schedule is out, including the dates and opponents.

Here’s the table with records from last year and series records:

UCF Football 2021 Schedule

Week Date Day H/A Opponent Conference 2020 Record Conf Record Series Last Meeting Result
Week Date Day H/A Opponent Conference 2020 Record Conf Record Series Last Meeting Result
1 Sept. 2/3/4 TBD Home Boise State MWC 7-6 4-4 -- First Meeting --
2 Sept. 11 Sat Home Bethune-Cookman MEAC (FCS) N/A N/A 11-5 2014 W, 41-7
3 Sept. 17 Fri Away Louisville ACC 4-7 3-7 1-1 2013 W, 38-35
4 Sept. 25 Sat BYE WEEK
5 Oct. 2 Sat Away Navy AAC 3-7 3-4 2-0 2018 W, 35-24
6 Oct. 9 Sat Home East Carolina AAC 3-6 3-5 9-10 2020 W, 51-28
7 Oct. 16 Sat Away Cincinnati AAC 9-1 6-0 3-3 2020 L, 36-33
8 Oct. 22 Fri Home Memphis AAC 8-3 5-3 13-2 2020 L, 50-49
9 Oct. 30 Sat Away Temple AAC 1-6 1-6 6-2 2020 W, 38-13
10 Nov. 6 Sat Home Tulane AAC 6-6 3-5 8-2 2020 W, 51-34
11 Nov. 13 Sat Away SMU AAC 7-3 4-3 7-1 2018 W, 48-20
12 Nov. 20 Sat Home UConn Ind. N/A N/A 5-2 2019 W, 56-21
13 Nov. 26 Fri Home South Fla. AAC 1-8 0-7 6-6 2020 W, 58-46
14 Dec. 4 Sat TBD AAC Championship AAC -- -- 2-0 2018 W, 56-41

It is a challenging schedule from the start. Here are some early impressions:

Tough Start

The Knights will know right where they stand early, with the much-anticipated opener at home against Boise State on Labor Day Weekend. The date is flexible to accommodate a potential national TV slot on ESPN or perhaps ABC.

After that, UCF has an FCS match-up with Bethune-Cookman at home (who will not have played since 2019) before heading on the road to face Louisville on September 17th.

Bad Bye Week Placement

The bye week comes after Louisville and before Navy, which as we learned from Tre Neal, is a bit of a raw deal as often players would rather have the bye week after Navy than before it.

After that, it’s nine weeks in a row, and eight alternating home and away dates.

Tough Back-to-Back

UCF has to face Cincinnati on the road on Saturday, October 16th, followed by a short week before they take on Memphis at home on Friday, October 22nd. Cincy and Memphis finished first and third respectively in The American last year. They are the only two teams that UCF faces in 2021 that UCF has lost to the last time they played them.

In addition, UCF plays four of five games in the middle of the slate against teams that finished .500 or better in 2020 (Cincy, Memphis, Tulane and SMU).

Nice break before South Florida

UCF finishes with back-to-back home games after what should be a difficult last road game against SMU: A non-conference match-up with UConn on November 16th, followed by the War on I-4 game at home against South Florida just six days later. The UConn game comes at a perfect time, and should present a fairly easy challenge before the regular season finale against the Bulls.

We’ll be breaking down the TV network possibilities for UCF next week.