Boise State Football

Boise State, UCF schedule two-game football series between Group of Five powers

The Boise State and UCF football programs have been competing for national attention for years — and now they’ll get to compete on an actual football field.

The Broncos and Knights announced Tuesday a two-game, home-and-home series in 2021 and 2023.

Boise State will play at UCF in the 2021 season opener at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, date to be determined. UCF will play on The Blue on Sept. 9, 2023.

No. 16 Boise State (4-0) and No. 22 UCF (3-1) are again competing for the Group of Five’s spot in a New Year’s Six bowl this season. The Broncos passed the Knights in the most recent Top 25 polls after UCF’s 35-34 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Boise State has played in major bowls in the 2006, 2009 and 2014 seasons. UCF has played in major bowls in the 2013, 2017 and 2018 seasons.

“We are excited to have this series on the schedule, and thrilled to be able to bring our fans another marquee game on The Blue,” Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey said in a press release. “I believe this is a matchup that college football fans throughout the country want to see, and one that our student-athletes will be excited to play.”

Boise State moved future games against Houston and Rice to accommodate the series.

UCF and Boise State have not previously met in football. The Broncos have played just two games against the American Athletic Conference, going 2-0 against Connecticut. Against schools that currently make up the AAC, Boise State has gone 10-1. The Broncos are 6-0 against Tulsa and 2-0 against both SMU and UConn. Their only loss came against East Carolina in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl.

UCF also announced a home-and-home series with BYU on Tuesday. The Knights will host BYU in 2023 and travel to Provo in 2024.

“BYU and Boise State represent big-time strength-of-schedule games for our program based on their records and Top 25 rankings in recent years,” UCF Athletic Director Danny White said in a press release. “We are committed to continue to schedule attractive, meaningful football games both for our fans and student-athletes. BYU and Boise State are both power programs, and we’re proud to play them.”

Apsey said Tuesday afternoon that the Broncos’ series with UCF had been in the works for several months, but did not disclose which school initiated the discussion.

“I think the timing of what’s going on in both programs is ideal,” Apsey said. “Obviously, two teams in the Top 25 right now, and hopefully that’s the case in 2021.”

Boise State and UCF are each starting true freshman quarterbacks this season in Hank Bachmeier (BSU) and Dillon Gabriel (UCF). Both QBs would be juniors for the first meeting in 2021.

“You have a great matchup against two really, really good football programs that are going in the right direction right now,” Apsey said. “Who wouldn’t be excited about that?”


2020: Georgia Southern (Sept. 5), Florida State (Sept. 19), at Marshall (Oct. 3), BYU (Nov. 7)

2021: at UCF (TBA, season opener), UTEP (Sept. 11), Oklahoma State (Sept. 18), at BYU (Oct. 9)

2022: at Oregon State (Sept. 3), Michigan State (Sept. 17), at UTEP (Sept. 24), BYU (Nov. 5)

2023: Oregon State (Sept. 2), UCF (Sept. 9), at Michigan State (Sept. 16), at BYU (Oct. 21)

2024: at Georgia Southern (Aug. 31), Houston (Sept. 7), at Oregon (Sept. 14)

2025: at USF (Aug. 30), Oregon (Sept. 13), at Houston (Sept. 20), BYU (Oct. 25)

2026: at Oregon (Sept. 5), East Carolina (Sept. 12), at Washington State (Sept. 19), at BYU (Nov. 7)

2027: at Rice (Sept. 4), USF (Sept. 11), Washington State (Sept. 18), BYU (Sept. 25)

2028: Cincinnati (Sept. 2), at East Carolina (Sept. 9), at BYU (Sept. 23)

2029: at Cincinnati (Sept. 1), Rice (Sept. 15), BYU (Sept. 22)

2030-34: Annual games vs. BYU, in Boise in odd-numbered years.

Note: All dates are subject to change for television.

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