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Gators, Knights agree to 3-game football series starting in 2024

Florida to host UCF in 2024, 2033, play Knights in Orlando for first time in 2030
Florida Gators QB Chris Leak runs from UCF Knights defense in 2006
Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 27, 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Florida and Florida have agreed to a three-game football series beginning in 2024.

The two schools announced Tuesday that the Gators will host the Knights in Gainesville in 2024 and 2033 and travel to Orlando in 2030.

Florida will face UCF at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Oct. 5, 2024, and Sept. 3, 2033. The Gators will play at UCF for the first time on Sept. 14, 2030.

"As I've said since arriving, we were in desperate need for games on our upcoming schedule," UCF athletic director Terry Mohajir said. "For the 2024 season specifically, we had three options. Play just 11 games instead of 12, play two FCS opponents or play at Florida. We obviously made the best choice for our program and recruiting."

It is a philosophical difference from predecessor Danny White, who refused to take the Knights to Gainesville twice in exchange for a single game in Orlando.

"Our growing fan base and our student-athletes deserve better than that," White said in 2018.

But Mohajir said the players wanted the game to happen, and Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin was agreeable.

"Once we were able to secure this game in 2024, we then proceeded to add the home-and-home series at their earliest availability," Mohajir went on to say. "I appreciate Scott for returning my call and helping us fill one of our two holes on the 2024 schedule. 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, starting here at the Bounce House. It's a bonus that it happens to be an in-state team that will create a tremendous amount of excitement for both fan bases."

Florida Gators receiver Jarred Fayson vs. UCF Knights in 2006
Florida wide receiver Jarred Fayson tries to get away from a Central Florida defender during a game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006, in Gainesville, Fla. The Gators defeated UCF 42-0.

The Gators are 2-0 all-time against UCF, winning 42-0 in their last meeting in 2006 and 58-27 in 1999.