The game, which takes place on 30th August next year, will see the University of Central Florida take on Penn State in their first game of the 2014 American college football season. It is set to be an amazing event spectacle in one of Europe’s greatest sporting arenas.
Heading into the final weekend of games state side, the University of Central Florida (UCF) needed just need one win to clinch share of The American Conference title. The Knights have had just one loss this season and continue to rise in the ratings poll ranking #17 going into their final games. This is the highest ranking ever for the UCF Knights at this stage of the season.
The share of the Conference title for the Black and Gold, would qualify the Knights to compete in their first-ever BCS Bowl Game in January. Central Florida continues to do what is needed to win each week, defeating Temple University in Philadelphia on 16 November with a dramatic 4th quarter comeback and near-magical winning touchdown pass and catch from juniors Blake Bortles to J.J. Worton. The acrobatic one-handed grab in the end zone is one of the most amazing ever seen in college football!
Coach O’Leary has his squad playing at its highest level ever. He took over the program ten years ago and has rebuilt it from the ground up. The Knights’ two signature victories of the season were against previously undefeated and #8 ranked Louisville, which followed on the heels of their win in Beaver Stadium in September over the Penn State Nittany Lions. Coach O’Leary has his team headed toward their most outstanding season in history.
UCF and Penn State will open their 2014 campaigns August 30 when they meet in the inaugural Croke Park Classic in Dublin, led by two of the most highly regarded college coaches. George O’Leary and Bill O’Brien have previously worked on the same staff at Georgia Tech.
Coach Bill O’Brien got his Penn State team back on track earlier this month by dominating the Purdue University Boilermakers in front of over 96,000 fans at home in Happy Valley. PSU, playing in the Big 10 Conference currently has a record of 6-5, including their four-overtime cliff hanger win over Michigan in mid-October. Their final game is against Wisconsin on 30 November, as the young squad focuses on finishing strong.
So not only will the 2014 Croke Park Classic feature the O’Leary-O’Brien matchup, but also the on-field passing combinations of Hackenberg to Robinson for Penn State vs Bortles to Worton for Central Florida. It’s shaping up to be a great battle of these two giants of American College Football in Dublin next year. This big season opener will also be the first time that UCF and Penn State have played outside the United States guaranteed to bring huge fanfare and significant travelling support.
For a unique Christmas gift, sports fans can pick up tickets from tickets.ie and ticketmaster.ie. Check out crokeparkclassic.ie and follow the event on twitter.com/CrokePkClassic and facebook.com/CrokeParkClassic for news and updates.
The Croke Park Classic - Saturday 30th August 2014 - Where Passion and Power Collide