Who is playing college football tonight, Aug. 31?

Breaking down who's playing college football tonight on Thursday, Aug. 31 with a full TV schedule and all of the matchups to kick off Week 1.

Florida Gators
Florida Gators / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

College football is set to fully begin tonight, Thursday, Aug. 31 with a slate of games that's even bigger -- and perhaps stronger -- than the seven-game Week 0 slate we were handed this past weekend. On Thursday night, though, Week 1 is here and it's going to be absolutely glorious.

Before we get the College GameDay crew involved on the full Saturday slate, though, we still have some great games coming our way. The headliner on Thursday night features 14th-ranked Utah hosting an enigmatic Florida team that could surprise everyone or be an absolute disaster in year two of Billy Napier. Of course, that game has been dinged a bit with the health of Utah QB Cam Rising, but it's still a big one.

Aside from that, Thursday will also be the Nebraska debut of Matt Rhule and he gets thrown right into the Big Ten mix with a season opener against Minnesota, a team that is another question mark entering the 2023 season but has long been solid since P.J. Fleck arrived.

So what other college football games are on tonight for the Thursday slate? Let's take a look at the full schedule and where you can watch each game.

College football schedule for Thursday, Aug. 31

  • Elon vs. Wake Forest - 7:00 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
  • Kent State vs. UCF - 7:00 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Rhode Island vs. Georgia State - 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • St. Francis (PA) vs. Western Michigan - 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • NC State vs. UConn - 7:30 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
  • Florida vs. 14 Utah - 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Nebraska vs. Minnesota - 8:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
  • South Dakota vs. Missouri - 8:00 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Tulsa - 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • NC A&T vs. UAB - 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Southern Utah vs. Arizona State - 10:00 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Networks)

The real college football sickos will definitely have some eyes on NC State taking on UConn, a team that surprised and made a bowl game last year under Jim Mora against a Wolfpack team that has reunited former Virginia QB and offensive coordinator Brennan Armstrong and Robert Anae, respectively.

Also in that vein, seeing what UCF does under Gus Malzahn against a Kent State team that was ravaged by the transfer portal and coaching hires could also be a fascinating watch, though probably not in a good way if you're a fan of the Golden Flashes.

All told, there could be a high number of blowouts on Thursday night. But who cares? College football is back, and that's always a reason to celebrate.

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