Florida Gators, UCF to play in Tampa’s Gasparilla Bowl

Luis Santana/Times
·1 min read

Florida and UCF are both coming to Tampa for bowl season. The Gators and Knights will meet in the Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 23.

The game will kick off at 7 p.m. and be shown on ESPN.

It will be the third meeting between the schools. UF won the first two (1999, 2006) by a combined score of 100-27, but the programs have changed drastically since then.

There was buzz about the two playing each other in a previous New Year’s Six bowl game under Dan Mullen, but that did not materialize. The schools have traded barbs in the past about scheduling each other. They have a two-for-one series coming up with UF hosting the Knights in 2024 and 2033 and UCF hosting Florida in 2030.

The Gators (6-6) will enter at an interesting time, in the early days of the Billy Napier era. Interim coach Greg Knox is expected to coach UF in the game. UCF finished 8-4 in coach Gus Malzahn’s first season in Orlando.

It will be the second time the Gators have played in Tampa this year; they beat USF 42-20 in Week 2 at Raymond James Stadium. UCF last played in the event in 2019 and beat Marshall. The Gators have won three of their last four bowl games, including a 30-3 Outback Bowl win over Iowa in January 2017.

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