clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UCF’s 2024 Football Schedule Drops

Year Two in the Big 12 has huge differences and fascinating similarities to Year One

Derek Warden

More offseason news has come in after the recent coaching moves as the UCF Knights released their 2024 football schedule on Tuesday.

Let’s do a quick breakdown:

G5 Tune-Ups Before September’s Only Away Game

Taking a page from last year, athletic director Terry Mohajir and head coach Gus Malzahn are opening the year with Group of 5 teams. While it may not be impressive to playoff committee members and college football fans for the strength of schedule, it does allow transfers (like quarterback KJ Jefferson) and other newcomers the opportunity to see game action before opening conference play.

Neither Knight fans nor the TV ratings will appreciate a Thursday kickoff on August 29 vs. FCS New Hampshire. That being said, New Hampshire and Sam Houston State represent only two “tune-up” games (as opposed to last year’s three), before the Knights hit the road for the season’s first Big 12 matchup against the TCU Horned Frogs. Both will be in the comfort of FBC Mortgage Stadium where UCF fans will have ample opportunity to poke, prod, criticize, and cheer about their new man under center.

The (Potentially) Most Popular Games of the Year

After a bye on September 21, the Knights dive into their conference home opener and the two games that may have the most national attention depending on the teams’ records in the opening month of football.

Head coach Deion Sanders will of course be a huge draw with the Colorado Buffalos coming to town on the 28th. Following that, UCF heads up to Gainesville to battle the Florida Gators for the first time since 1999. “Coach Prime” and an SEC out-of-conference opponent could each spell solid TV numbers and national attention.

After UCF’s first non-neutral away game since 2022 in the Sunshine State, the Bounce House hosts the Bearcats of Cincinnati on October 12th. While the fellow Big 12 newcomers from last year have taken a step back as a program lately, Cincy represents a team that many fans and former players see as a candidate for a rivalry.

Frequent Flyer Miles in Effect

The Knights were among the top schools in miles traveled to their road games last year. This seems to have garnered a respite in road travel for 2024. Before October 19th, TCU is the only football game out of the state of Florida for the Knights. This will likely be about the time when fans and analysts will bring up Mahlzan’s road record in his fourth year at UCF.

The next four games represent the universities that are either among the furthest away from the 407 area code on the schedule. First on the list, UCF travels to Ames for the first time to face the Iowa State Cyclones, the alma mater of San Francisco 49er quarterback (and former UCF prospect) Brock Purdy.

After that, the Knights will be hosting teams from afar in a tough pair of games featuring the BYU Cougars for Homecoming and the Arizona Wildcats for the Space Game.

Following these contests, UCF then returns to battle Arizona State for the first time in just over 22 years for the longest road trip of 2024. The team will certainly appreciate the season’s second bye week following that desert endeavor.

Something Old and Something New For the Final Two

The regular season wraps up with UCF heading to West Virginia to play someone other than Marshall. The Mountaineers are the final road game of the season and the Knights will be playing to avenge last year’s home loss.

To close out the season, however, yet another new set of faces roll into the Bounce House. While the Utah Utes will be in Orlando for the first time, UCF will be bringing back the old tradition of playing on Black Friday to close out the regular season. Knight fans are likely hoping they’ll be battling for the right to head to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the Big 12 championship on December 7th.

Here’s the full schedule with some additional details:

2024 UCF Football Schedule

Week Date Day Time H/A Opponent Conf 2023 Record Conf Record Series Last Meeting Result
Week Date Day Time H/A Opponent Conf 2023 Record Conf Record Series Last Meeting Result
1 Aug. 29 Thu TBA H New Hampshire FCS/CAA 6-5 4-4 -- 1st Meeting --
2 Sep. 7 Sat TBA H Sam Houston CUSA 3-9 2-6 -- 1st Meeting --
3 Sep. 14 Sat TBA A TCU Big 12 5-7 3-6 1st Meeting --
4 Sep. 21 -- -- -- BYE WEEK -- -- -- -- -- --
5 Sep. 28 Sat TBA H Colorado Big 12 4-8 *1-8 1st Meeting --
6 Oct. 5 Sat TBA A Florida SEC 5-7 3-5 1-2 2021 W 29-17 (Gasparilla Bowl)
7 Oct. 12 Sat TBA H Cincinnati Big 12 3-9 1-8 5-4 2023 W 28-26
8 Oct. 19 Sat TBA A Iowa State Big 12 7-6 6-3 -- 1st Meeting --
9 Oct. 26 Sat TBA H BYU Big 12 5-7 2-7 1-2 2020 L 49-23 (Boca Raton Bowl)
10 Nov. 2 Sat TBA H Arizona Big 12 10-3 *7-2 -- 1st Meeting --
11 Nov. 9 Sat TBA A Arizona State Big 12 3-9 *2-7 0-1 2002 L 46-13
12 Nov. 16 -- -- -- BYE WEEK -- -- -- -- -- --
13 Nov. 23 Sat TBA A West Virginia Big 12 9-4 6-3 0-3 2023 L 45-20
14 Nov. 29 Sat TBA H Utah Big 12 8-5 *5-4 -- 1st Meeting --
* - Pac-12 schedule in 2023