Officials at Penn State University, University of Central Florida, and the Gaelic Athletic Association announced on Sunday that the two college programs will be opening the 2014 football season with a game at Croke Park on August 30th. It’ll be the first time either school has played overseas.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien spoke about the opportunity (via Yahoo! Sports):
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.
Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner also discussed the decision (via Philly.com):
Our visit this weekend has only reinforced our reasons for wanting to come and play in Dublin. 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 the late summer of 2014.
Ireland has hosted American college football teams seven previous times, with the most recent being a match-up between Notre Dame and Navy in the opening game of the 2012 season.