Sports

Gators playing UCF in Gasparilla Bowl


After a relatively long wait, the Gators finally know their bowl destination.

Florida will be traveling to Tampa to take on the UCF Knights in the Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 23, per Brett McMurphy of the Action Network.

The Gators reached bowl eligibility with a win over Florida State in the final game of the regular season, and the reward is a matchup against a Knights team that Florida is scheduled to play in Gainesville in 2024 and 2033, while it will travel to the Bounce House in Orlando in 2030. There was a bit of controversy in scheduling that series, to say the least, and a neutral site bowl game matchup certainly presents a lot of intrigue.

It’s been a solid if slightly disappointing first year at UCF for coach Gus Malzahn, whose squad went 8-4, and the Knights finished in a three-way tie for third in the American Athletic Conference Standings. Its best win was a comeback 36-31 victory over Boise State in Week 1.

The Gators have only faced Central Florida twice since the program joined the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1996 — a 58-27 win in 1999 and a 42-0 victory in 2006 en route to a national title.

Interim coach Greg Knox will look for one more win at the helm before new coach Billy Napier takes over following the bowl game.

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