The Knights hope they have escaped the cloud of controversy that followed them most of 2008 after the death of Ereck Plancher, which was followed by a 4-8 finish. Ten offensive starters return, including QB Rob Calabrese and former Largo RB Brynn Harvey. The Knights defense will have its hands full with Samford RB Chris Evans, who needs 805 yards this season to break the school's career mark (3,122) held by Jerome Russell. This marks the 11th meeting between the schools, the last in 1997. UCF leads the series 7-3.
FAU at No. 24 Nebraska, 7 p.m.
Second-year Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini is on the cusp of returning the program to national prominence after a 9-4 season and finishing as co-Big 12 North champion in 2008. One question is if junior QB Zac Lee is up to the challenge. He has thrown just two passes in his career. The Owls have veteran QB Rusty Smith, who is the Sun Belt Conference's all-time leading passer (8,198 yards). And coach Howard Schnellenberger is no stranger to the Cornhuskers: His Miami Hurricanes defeated Nebraska 31-30 in the 1984 Orange Bowl for the national title.
Bethune-Cookman vs. Shaw, 4 p.m.
Shaw already has a game under its belt, a 54-30 victory on Aug. 29 against visiting Elizabeth City State. Shaw QB Brandon Landers completed 5-of-11 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. But it was DB Quintez Smith who shined, with interception returns of 90, 70 and 34 yards that keyed the victory in Raleigh N.C. The Wildcats, meanwhile, return after an 8-3 season. They are led by Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference defensive player of the year, lineman Dexter Jackson.
FAMU vs. Delaware State, 6 p.m.
The Rattlers begin Year 2 under coach Joe Taylor after a 9-3 finish in 2008. They will be looking for payback from last season's 35-28 loss to the Hornets. Delaware State went 5-6 last season, led by starting QB Anthony Glaud, who completed 47-of-75 passes last season for 523 yards and two touchdowns. The Rattlers go with QB Curtis Pulley, who made his debut against Delaware State last season in a failed bid to lead an overtime comeback.