April 21, 2010
By Christian Edwards and Leigh Torbin
The NFL released the 2010 schedule on Tuesday night and, with a Conference USA-high 16 active roster alumni in the league last year, former Knights will be crossing paths on a regular basis and also making homecoming trips to face one or more of the Sunshine State's three NFL teams. Here are some of the highlights of the 2010 NFL schedule from a UCF fan's perspective.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles (8/13 at 7:30 p.m.)
This opening-week preseason game provides an interesting matchup between Eagles' All-Pro cornerback Asante Samuel and Jaguars' wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker.
Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars (8/21 at 7:30 p.m.)
Best friends Mike Sims-Walker and Brandon Marshall face off in preseason game as the top two NFL wide receivers in Florida are both former Knight teammates.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (9/9 at 8:30 p.m.)
Patrick Brown spent last year on the Vikings' practice squad. If he makes the active roster this year, his NFL debut would be at the Louisiana Superdome in a Thursday night rematch of last year's thrilling overtime NFC Championship Game.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (9/12 at 1 p.m.)
Brandon Marshall will make his Dolphin debut on the road against Buffalo while second roud draft pick Torell Troup will make his NFL debut for the Bills. It will also be a debut in a Buffalo uniform for offensive tackle Cornell Green who recently signed there as a free agent after starting at right tackle for the Oakland Raiders last year.
Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9/12 at 1 p.m.)
In an odd scheduling quirk, former UCF tight end Michael Gaines will return to Florida three times to play each of the state's teams. The first of these three homecomings is set for opening day Tampa. Gaines and the Browns will later play at Jacksonville (Nov. 21) and Miami (Dec. 5).
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (9/12 at 1 p.m.)
Jaguars and wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker host the Broncos and kicker Matt Prater for their season opener.
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (9/12 at 4 p.m.)
There should be three Knights in the starting lineup as Eagles' Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel hosts Packers Atari Bigby and Josh Sitton in Philadelphia.
Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers (9/19 at 1 p.m.)
Offensive linemen Cornell Green and Josh Sitton both take to the field, along with Atari Bigby, as the Packers host the Bills in their home opener.
San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs (9/26 at 1 p.m.)
There's no direct UCF tie here but the Knights play at Kansas State on Saturday and this game can be a part of a nice weekend for road warriors at one of the NFL's top venues in Arrowhead Stadium.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9/26 at 1 p.m.)
The first of two Florida homecoming games for Joe Burnett. The Steelers also play the Dolphins on Oct. 24 at Sun Life Stadium.
Philadelphia Eagles at Jacksonville Jaguars (9/26 at 4 p.m.)
Eagles' top cornerback Asante Samuel makes his return to Florida to face off against the Jaguars and their top wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (10/3 at 1 p.m.)
These ancient division rivals meet for the first of two times in 2010 with Packers' defensive back Atari Bigby and offensive tackle Josh Sitton going up against Lions' running back Kevin Smith.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (10/3 at 1 p.m.)
The first of two games between the NFL's two Buckeye State teams matches Cincinnati linebacker Rashad Jeanty directly against Cleveland tight end Michael Gaines.
Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers (10/17 at 1 p.m.)
Pro-bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall plays his first game at Lambeau Field and will be covered on occasion by Atari Bigby as the Dolphins visit the Packers.
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (10/17 at 1 p.m.)
The passionate Pennsylvania/Ohio border war ensues as these AFC North rivals face each other for the first of two times in 2010, with Steelers' cornerback Joe Burnett and Browns' tight end Michael Gaines facing off.
St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10/24 at 1 p.m.)
Rams' Leger Douzable and Darcy Johnson make their return to the Sunshine State against the Buccaneers.
Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers (10/31 at 1 p.m.)
In the NFL's now annual trip to one of the world's true soccer palaces, London's Wembley Stadium, one of the guys doing the kicking will be a Knight in Denver's Matt Prater.
San Diego Chargers at Houston Texans (11/7 at 1 p.m.)
Like the 49ers-Chiefs game, there's no direct UCF tie here but the Knights play at Houston on Friday night and it this game at the impressive Reliant Stadium can be a part of a nice weekend for UCF football fans. Plus, who knows, maybe Jermaine Taylor's Houston Rockets will be at home too when the 2010-11 NBA schedule comes out?
Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills (11/7 at 1 p.m.)
Matt Prater goes to the U.K. and Cornell Green and Torell Troup go to Canada for the Bills' now annual game at Toronto's Rogers Centre.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (11/8 at 8:30 p.m.)
These AFC North opponents face each other twice in 2010 with the first of them scheduled for Monday Night Football as Bengals linebacker Rashad Jeanty faces off against Steelers' defensive back Joe Burnett.
Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints (11/21 at 4 p.m.)
Like the 49ers-Chiefs and Chargers-Texans games, there's no direct UCF tie here but the Knights play at Tulane on Saturday and it this game can be a part of a nice weekend for UCF football fans.
New England Patriots at Detroit Lions (11/25 at 12:30 p.m.)
The NFL and Thanksgiving are nearly synonymous. This year, Kevin Smith's Lions play host to arguably the NFL's team of the decade in the New England Patriots. Later on that night, Rashad Jeanty's Bengals travel to the Meadowlands to face the Jets at 8:30 p.m.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants (11/28 at 1 p.m.)
Jaguars and wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker makes his first trip to New Meadowlands Stadium and faces Jacksonville native cornerback Sha'reff Rashad's Giants.
Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12/19 at 1 p.m.)
The Lions' Kevin Smith makes his return to Florida against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the former NFC Central rivals face off. It will be Smith's first NFL game in the state of Florida.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (12/19 at 1 p.m.)
On the same day that Smith plays his first NFL game in Florida, so too will 2010 second round draftee Torell Troup of the Buffalo Bills. Brandon Marshall (Miami) and Cornell Green (Buffalo) will make this AFC East tussle a three-Knight affair.
Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins (12/26 at 1 p.m.)
Lions' running back Kevin Smith makes a homecoming visit to his native Miami (Southridge HS) against the Dolphins and UCF teammate Brandon Marshall.
To see the next generation of NFL Knights in action in 2010, get your season tickets today. Packages for all six UCF home games next fall start at just $99 and can be purchased over the phone at (407) 823-1000 or online at UCFAthletics.com.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.