Florida bowl game: Gators earn berth to 2021 Gasparilla Bowl vs. in-state rival UCF

By Adam Silverstein
December 5, 2021
Florida bowl game: Gators earn berth to 2021 Gasparilla Bowl vs. in-state rival UCF
Football

Image Credit: Courtney Culbreath / UAA

After advancing to New Year’s Six bowl games in three straight seasons under head coach Dan Mullen, the Florida Gators were on the brink of even finding a spot in the postseason after the 2021 campaign. However, by virtue of a 24-21 win over Florida State to close the season, Florida improved to 6-6 and became bowl eligible.

It was announced Sunday that the Gators will go bowling against the in-state rival UCF Knights (8-4) in the 2021 Gasparilla Bowl. Hosted at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the game is set for Thursday, Dec. 23 with a 7 p.m. ET kickoff on ABC.

Florida is 2-0 all-time against UCF with wins in 2006 (42-0) and 1999 (58-27). Both games were played in Gainesville.

The Gators and Knights recently agreed to a future two-for-one home-and-home series with games to be played in 2024, 2030 and 2033.

Florida has never played in the Gasparilla Bowl; in fact, it is just the second SEC team to ever earn a bid to the game. 2021 will mark the fourth straight postseason that a Sunshine State program will play in the Gasparilla Bowl, and UCF will be appearing for the second consecutive season. (The Gasparilla Bowl was not hosted in 2020 amid COVID-19 concerns.)

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