UCF football schedule announced, including Knights’ Big 12 debut

The Knights’ 2023 schedule does not include USF because the I-4 rivals no longer share a conference.
UCF will begin playing in the Big 12 this season and learned its full conference schedule Tuesday.
UCF will begin playing in the Big 12 this season and learned its full conference schedule Tuesday. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Jan. 31|Updated Jan. 31

UCF will play its first Big 12 conference game at reigning champion Kansas State in Week 4 before hosting Baylor on Sept. 30 for its first home league game as a Power Five team. Those are among the highlights of the Knights’ 2023 football schedule, which was released Tuesday by the Big 12.

The Knights will travel to Oklahoma on Oct. 21 to face their former quarterback, Dillon Gabriel. They will not, however, play the Big 12′s other biggest brand, Texas.

Related: Why USF fans should monitor San Diego State and the Pac-12

UCF is moving from the American Athletic Conference to the Power Five league this summer. Because of that change, there’s one notable absence on the schedule: the War on I-4 against USF. Non-conference schedules are set years in advance, so a Bulls-Knights matchup became logistically hard, if not impossible, to pull off. Both sides, however, have expressed optimism about resuming the series eventually.

Instead of closing with USF, the Knights’ regular-season finale will be at home against Houston, another team moving from the AAC to the Big 12. UCF also has a notable game at Cincinnati on Nov. 4, sandwiched between home games against West Virginia and Oklahoma State.

The Knights open with a Thursday game against Kent State before an enticing non-conference game at Boise State.

UCF 2023 football schedule

Aug. 31 (Thursday): vs. Kent State

Sept. 9: at Boise State

Sept. 16: vs. Villanova (family weekend)

Sept. 23: at Kansas State

Sept. 30: vs. Baylor

Oct. 7: at Kansas

Oct. 14: off

Oct. 21: at Oklahoma

Oct. 28: vs. West Virginia (homecoming)

Nov. 4: at Cincinnati

Nov. 11: vs. Oklahoma State

Nov. 18: at Texas Tech

Nov. 25: vs. Houston

• • •

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.