Tampa, Fla. (December 5, 2021) - The Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl has announced that the UCF Knights (8-4) from the American Athletic Conference and the University of Florida Gators (6-6) representing the Southeastern Conference have accepted invitations to compete in this year’s game. The 14th edition of the bowl game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, December 23 at 7 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN. The game and its surrounding events also kick off Tampa’s famed Gasparilla parade season.
“We are thrilled to welcome two outstanding teams, the UCF Knights and the University of Florida Gators, with the warmth and hospitality that the Tampa Bay community is renowned for,” said Scott Glaser, Executive Director of the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl. “From today’s announcement to the moment we award the treasured Gasparilla Bowl trophy, we aim to make this an unforgettable experience for fans who have the opportunity to remain close-to-home when cheering on their team at Raymond James Stadium.”
UCF finished the season with a 5-3 conference record and is led by Head Coach Gus Malzahn, who is in his first year with the team. 2021 represents the Knights' fourth Gasparilla Bowl appearance. The team holds a 2-2 record in its games, having defeated Marshall 48-25 at Raymond James Stadium in 2019. UCF is now 49-12 in its last 60 games.
Interim Head Coach Greg Knox will lead the University of Florida. This will be the Gator’s first appearance in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl and their 47th bowl appearance holding a bowl record of 24-22.
The Gasparilla Bowl marks only the third time these in-state teams have met. Florida defeated UCF in both previous matchups, having last faced off in 2006.
Tickets for the 2021 Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl start at just $15. College football fans who want to catch all of the action with their favorite Krewe of 10 or more can purchase discounted Group Ticket packages by calling 813.301.6900. Individual and group ticket information is also available at GasparillaBowl.com/tickets.
Gasparilla Bowl is one of 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. For more information on this year's bowl game and the bowl week events taking place, please visit GasparillaBowl.com, or follow along on social media at @GasparillaBowl.