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UCF Football Home Opener Brings New Coach & Few COVID Restrictions To Bounce House Stadium

File photo of fans cheering on the Knights in UCF's Bounce House stadium. Photo: UCF / Nick Leyva
File photo of fans cheering on the Knights in UCF's Bounce House stadium. Photo: UCF / Nick Leyva

The UCF Knights kick off their first game Thursday night of the 2021 football season at home against Boise State. The 7:00 p.m. game is bringing a new coach to the field and few COVID precautions to the stands.

ESPN will air the Knight’s first game of the season and first game under the leadership of new coach Gus Malzahn. UCF recruited Malzahn from Auburn. He’s bringing his creative offensive style to the Knights led by junior quarterback Dillon Gabriel who led the nation in passing yards last season.

The Knights said all 26,000 season tickets were sold ahead of the opener and the Boise State game is close to selling out.

As part of the university’s plan to return largely to a pre-COVID environment this semester, UCF anticipates full capacity at its home games this fall. UCF Athletics is encouraging all attendees to get vaccinated and to wear masks when indoors at the stadium.

"As we open our fall seasons, vaccines will be a critical way we can prioritize the health and safety of Knight Nation and help ensure our fans are comfortable attending our games," said UCF athletics director Terry Mohajir.

The Knights will host seven regular-season games at UCF’s home stadium, the Bounce House, with a capacity of around 45,000 seats.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."