After qualifying for bowl eligibility with a win over rival Florida State in the regular season finale, Florida will face another in-state opponent in the postseason.
The Gators will play UCF in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday, December 23, according to multiple reports. It appears that WUFT’s Nick Marcinko first reported the news Saturday afternoon.
The Gasparilla Bowl is played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, so this event will be a total Sunshine State affair.
Barring any last minute changes, I am being told that UF vs UCF is a go. #Gators will be playing UCF in the Gasparilla bowl Thursday, December 23rd at 7pm.
— Nick Marcinko (@nick_marcinko) December 4, 2021
Obviously, Florida fans entered this season with higher hopes than this. The Gators won the SEC East in 2020 and were ranked 13th in the preseason AP top 25.
However, things fell apart, leading to the dismissal of head coach Dan Mullen in November. UF needed to beat the Seminoles last weekend to even get to 6-6 and become bowl eligible.
Now, they’ll have a chance to start the Billy Napier Era off with a win over an 8-4 UCF team in Tampa. The Knights will be fired up for this game, because a win over the Gators is a huge deal for the non-Power 5 program, no matter how much Florida might have slumped this season.