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Football fans will watch UCF take on its ol' rival USF with tummies full of turkey this year, as the matchup has been moved to Thanksgiving night.

Originally reported by the Orlando Sentinel Wednesday night, the switch was confirmed by UCF Athletics officials Thursday morning.

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The Knights were previously scheduled to take on the Bulls on Black Friday, in line with prior years. However, the War on I-4 was moved to Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. after ESPN reached out to the American Athletic Conference and UCF officials.

“ESPN called regarding a possible change from an early Friday game to a Thursday night game on national TV. All parties concerned agreed to the change,” Interim Director of Athletics and head coach George O’Leary said. “I think it’s great for both teams who are playing as well as the American Athletic Conference for this game to be featured on a huge stage like this.”

Assistant Director of Athletics for Fan Development Jimmy Skiles said they'll be encouraging fans to swap their usual turkey dinners for a memorable beef tailgate. Pregame festivities will be announced as soon as they're finalized.

“We are excited to have the USF at UCF game on Thanksgiving evening to kick off Rivalry Week,” said American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco. “It is fitting that this outstanding rivalry game will be played in prime time on Thanksgiving and available to a national ESPN television audience.”

USF (4)  boasts two wins over UCF (2) in the I-4 Corridor series, with the Knights defeating the Bulls the past two years. Last year at Raymond James Stadium, they shut out the Tampa team 16-0. The game, UCF's first on Thanksgiving in school history, will kick off at Bright House Networks Stadium.

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Caroline Glenn is the Content Manager at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter @bycarolineglenn or email her at caglenn@gannett.com.

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