Virginia had opted out of a 2013 football game at Penn State, but the Nittany Lions expect to have a back-up plan in place soon.
Penn State visited Virginia in week two of the 2012 season and was scheduled to host the Cavaliers for the back-end of a home-and-home series on September 14 in Beaver Stadium. That game, for now, is left vacant with no plans yet to move the game to another date. According to a statement released by acting Penn State athletics director Dave Joyner, Penn State is working with Virginia to reschedule the game for another time to honor the original home-and-home deal.
“The University of Virginia notified Penn State that it would not be playing the Sept. 14, 2013 game scheduled for Beaver Stadium in order to play a home game on that date," Joyner said in his statement. "We are working with Virginia to re-schedule the game for Beaver Stadium in a future season. We have begun discussions to find an opponent for the Sept. 14 date and expect to make that announcement very soon.”
Virginia will be hosting Pac 12 champion Oregon on September 7, a week before they were originally scheduled to visit Penn State. Virginia will make a return trip to Oregon in 2016 at a date to be determined later. For Virginia, the idea of playing BYU, Oregon and Penn State in consecutive weeks may have been considered to tough of a schedule. Virginia opens the season at home against the BYU Cougars.
The Orlando Sentinel recently reported Penn State was working out a home-and-home series with Central Florida, who joins the Big East in 2013. That original report suggested Penn State was the one to call off the series finale with Virginia, but it now appears as though Penn State was left scrambling to fill the unexpected vacancy. There has been no confirmation from Penn State that Central Florida is the new opponent being added to the schedule but it would appear to be the case. The game will complete each school’s non-conference schedule for the upcoming 2013 season and could fill the 2014 non-conference schedules. Penn State currently has three non-conference opponents lined up for 2014 with Temple, Akron and Massachusetts.
Central Florida would replace Rutgers on the non-conference schedule for Penn State in 2014. Penn State and Rutgers had agreed to a 2014 contest at Rutgers and a return game at Beaver Stadium in 2015, but that was before Rutgers being extended and accepting an invitation to join the Big Ten. Rutgers will become a conference opponent in 2014 in all likelihood.
Central Florida is believed to be replacing FCS Bethune-Cookman on their schedule for 2013 with a road game at Penn State. Penn State is expected to visit Central Florida in Orlando in 2014.
Penn State expects to provide updated schedule information this week. Contract details likely need to be finalized between Penn State and the new opponent to be named before anything can become official.
Here is the updated 2013 schedule for Penn State, leaving September 14 open until a confirmed opponent is announced by the school:
- August 31 - Syracuse (MetLife Stadium)
- September 7 - Eastern Michigan
- September 14 - OPEN
- September 21 - Kent State
- September 28 - OPEN
- October 5 - @ Indiana
- October 12 - Michigan
- October 19 - OPEN
- October 26 - @ Ohio State
- November 2 - Illinois
- November 9 - @ Minnesota
- November 16 - Purdue
- November 23 - Nebraska
- November 30 - @ Wisconsin
Virginia's ACC schedule has not been determined by the conference yet. Current non-conference games against BYU (August 31), Oregon (September 7), VMI (September 21) and Ball State (October 5) are all scheduled to be played in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Kevin McGuire is a national college football writer for Examiner.com and the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast. Follow McGuire on Twitter and nominate him for a Shorty Award. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.