Florida Atlantic Owls wide receiver Kamrin Solomon (15) signals a first down after catching a long pass against the Akron Zips during the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, Florida on December 19, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
BOCA RATON — When Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic team goes on the road to play Central Florida in September, the up-and-coming powers will square off on a Friday night, UCF and the American Athletic Conference announced Tuesday.
Originally, the second-ever matchup between FAU and UCF was set to take place on Sept. 22, but it has been pushed back a day. Neither the game time nor the broadcast information has yet to be announced.
FAU’s matchup with UCF will be a battle between two of college football’s more surprising teams from 2017, with the Owls winning more games in their first season under Kiffin (11) than they did from 2014-16 (nine). Meanwhile, two years after going 0-12, UCF finished with a perfect 13-0 season and has crowned itself the national champion after a Peach Bowl win over Auburn last month. The Knights have graduated many of their impact players and lost the entire 2017 coaching staff to Nebraska, where former UCF head coach Scott Frost moved following the bowl win.
The two schools will be playing a home-and-home series the next two years, with UCF coming to Boca Raton on Sept. 7, 2019.
FAU has not played UCF since a 33-29 loss in Sept. 2003, the Owls’ third year as a program and their final year before moving to Division I. In that game, current New York Giants star wide receiver Brandon Marshall caught five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Owls.
How long has that been? New FAU offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. was only 10 years old at the time.
FAU played two Friday-night home games last year, losing to Navy 41-19 in the Owls’ first game under Kiffin. Two months later, FAU clinched bowl eligibility for the first time since 2008 in a 30-25 win over Marshall on Nov. 3.