Battle of Florida: Gators vs. UCF in Tampa's Gasparilla Bowl

Photos by Alex Menendez, James Gilbert / Getty Images

Florida and UCF will get a jump on their recently scheduled football series when the teams play in the Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 23 in Tampa. 

The Gators and Knights announced in July three games, starting in 2024 and continuing in 2030 and 2033. 

UCF has lost both previous games with Florida, the last a 42-0 Gators victory in 2006. These Gators, though, come in losing five of their final eight games.

UCF first-year coach Gus Malzahn has qualified for a bowl game in all 10 seasons he's been a college head coach.


UCF (8-4, American Athletic) vs. Florida (6-6, SEC), Dec. 23, 7 p.m. ET


UCF: DE Big Kat Bryant, all-AAC first-team selection, team leader with six sacks, 14 tackles for loss and eight quarterback hurries.

Florida: QB Emory Jones, led Florida in passing and rushing, 2,563 yards passing, 19 touchdowns; 696 yards rushing, four touchdowns.


UCF: Knights first-year coach Gus Malzahn has qualified for a bowl game all 10 of his seasons as a college head coach.

Florida: The Gators were a top-10 team in early October before losing five of seven that led to the dismissal of coach Dan Mullen. It took a 24-21 rivalry win over Florida State on the season’s final weekend to secure a bowl game.


Florida 42, UCF 0. (Sept. 9, 2006).


UCF: Fifth appearance in the Gasparilla Bowl and ninth postseason trip in the past 10 years.

Florida: First appearance in the Gasparilla Bowl, 48th postseason game in program history.