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UCF faces Florida in 2021 Gasparilla Bowl

The UCF Knights and Florida Gators will meet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay for the 2021 Gasparilla Bowl.

UCF Knights quarterback Mikey Keene (16) scrambles during the game between SMU and UCF on November 13, 2021 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, TX. Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Central Florida Knights and Florida Gators will face off in the 2021 Gasparilla Bowl. The game will take place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Kickoff is currently scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 23rd. The game will air on ESPN and will be available via live stream at WatchESPN.

Central Florida (8-4, 5-3 AAC)

UCF’s season took a major hit early on when Dillon Gabriel broke his clavicle late in the third game of the season. He never returned to the field and since entered the transfer portal after an extremely productive career with the Knights. The strength of UCF has actually come on the defensive side of the ball in Year 1 under Gus Malzahn. The Knights allowed 4.9 yards per play to FBS opponents, which ranks No. 3 among AAC teams.

Florida (6-6, 2-6 SEC)

The Gators have a new head coach in Billy Napier, but he won’t be around until after this season is over. Dan Mullen has fallen significantly behind Georgia in the SEC East, which is something Florida wants to avoid at all costs. Anthony Richardson and Emory Jones will be the players to keep eyes on in the bowl game. The former has hinted at leaving the program. This may be one of the few teams where a bowl appearance doesn’t mean much. The Gators expect to be competing for championships, and this season was a massive disappointment.