TAMPA, Fla. - Isaiah Bowser ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns, Ryan O’Keefe had 85 yards on seven receptions, and Central Florida earned Sunshine State bragging rights by beating Florida 29-17 in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday night.
UCF (9-4) took a 26-17 lead late in the third when Daniel Obarski made a 21-yard field goal and Mikey Keene threw a 54-yard scoring strike to O’Keefe in the span of about two minutes. Obarski then made it 29-17 on a 33-yarder with 2:41 to play.
Florida quarterback Emory Jones, playing in his final game with the Gators before entering the transfer portal, completed 14 of 36 passes for 171 yards. He also ran for 62 yards on 10 carries.
Florida was led by interim coach Greg Knox, who took over when Dan Mullen was fired before the regular-season finale against Florida State. Former Louisiana coach Billy Napier will take over for the 2022 season. Florida (6-7) finished with its first losing record since 2017.
UCF outgained Florida 436-376. O’Keefe also put up 110 rushing yards, including a 74-yard run in the third quarter after which Bowser put UCF up 16-10 with a TD run 4 yards out.