Florida, UCF football to play 2-for-1 home-and-home series starting in 2024

By Adam Silverstein
July 27, 2021
Florida, UCF football to play 2-for-1 home-and-home series starting in 2024
Football

Image Credit: GatorsFB / Twitter

A long-awaited and much-debated home-and-home series between the Florida Gators and UCF Knights has officially been signed. Florida and UCF have agreed to a three-game series that will see two games played in Gainesville and one in Orlando, according to a release from both programs.

Not only will the Gators play in Orlando, their game against the Knights will take place on UCF’s campus in the Bounce House. That contest will kickoff in 2030 with UCF visiting Gainesville in 2024 and 2033.

Florida had long been open to playing UCF, but the ball never got rolling for a series between the programs due to a nonsensical stance taken by former Knights athletic director Danny White, the brother of current Gators head basketball coach Mike White.

Though Florida AD Scott Stricklin was open to a 2-for-1 deal, which is commonplace between Power Five teams and Group of Five opponents who want to host a game against a marquee opponent such as the Gators, Danny White puffed his chest and took a stance that UCF was above accepting such a deal as it was experiencing a short period of on-field success. He huffed about it publicly to the point that most nationally grew wary of his position and sided with Florida, which quickly agreed to such a series with South Florida.

With White out and Terry Mohajir moving into his chair as UCF AD this offseason, talks appear to have moved quickly. Stricklin is notoriously aggressive in making top-tier scheduling arrangements for the Gators and appears to have delivered exactly what he promised to Florida fans by standing his ground and waiting for UFC to come around.

“We were at the point where we would have played a one-off guarantee game at Florida, but we were fortunate that we were able to add a home-and-home series as well,” said Mohajir in a statement. “It’s a bonus that it happens to be an in-state team that will create a tremendous amount of excitement.”

Florida is 2-0 all-time against UCF with victories in 2006 and 1999 by a combined 73 points.

The Gators have upcoming Power Five nonconference games against Florida State (annually), Utah (2022-23), Miami (2024-25), NC State (2026, 2032), Cal (2026-27), Colorado (2028-29), Arizona State (2028, 2031), Texas (2030-31) and Notre Dame (2031-32). Their aforementioned three-game series against USF will be played in Tampa this season and at The Swamp in 2022 and 2025.

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