FAMU adds UCF to 2019 football schedule

FAMU’s football team will face UCF for the first time since 1987, when the two teams open the 2019 season. Photo courtesy FAMU athletics

Special to the Outlook

FAMU will begin and end the 2019 football season in Orlando for the first time in five years. That was confirmed when FAMU announced this past Thursday it will begin the season in a game against the University of Central Florida.

The game will take place at the Spectrum Stadium. FAMU will close the season in its annual rivalry game against Bethune-Cookman University at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

FAMU and UCF recently finalized the terms of the deal which would bring the two Sunshine State powers together for the first time since 1987.

FAMU won that previous encounter, 19-14 in Bragg Stadium in Tallahassee, when the Rattlers were members of NCAA Division I and the Knights were part of NCAA Division II. Both schools have since moved up in division – FAMU to the Football Championship Subdivision and UCF to the Bowl Championship Series.

FAMU Athletics Director John Eason was elated with the agreement to face the Knights.

“We are very pleased to announce this game against UCF for the 2019 season,” Eason said. “It will afford us a chance for our loyal fans in the Central and South Florida areas to see our team play early in the season against a high caliber opponent, as well as appearing twice in one year in the Orlando market, which should greatly benefit our institution in terms of recruiting, and to increase exposure of the FAMU brand in the region.”

The last time FAMU played in Orlando to begin and end the season was 2013. The Rattlers faced the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge presented by Disney in the opening game of the season, ending it with the annual Florida Blue Florida Classic against the Wildcats of B-CU.

FAMU has played its’ intrastate rival, Bethune-Cookman University in Orlando in the Florida Blue Florida Classic each November since 1997 at Camping World Stadium.