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UCF Heading to Gasparilla Bowl to Play Marshall

9-3 Knights face a familiar foe from Conference USA

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 04: UCF (QB) Dillon Gabriel (11) throwing a pass during a college football game between the University of Central Florida Knights (UCF) and Cincinnati Bearcats on October 4, 2019 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH
Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The UCF Knights are heading to the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl to face the Marshall Thundering Herd from Conference USA on Monday, December 23rd.

The match-up was first reported by Brett McMurphy of Stadium:

Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. ET at Raymond James Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN.

UCF in the Gasparilla Bowl

This will be UCF’s 11th bowl game in school history, and the seventh appearance in 8 years. The Knights are 4-6 all-time in bowl games.

It’s also the fourth time the Knights have headed to the Gasparilla Bowl, which was formerly known as the St. Petersburg Bowl and the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, and used to be played at Tropicana Field. It was moved to Tampa prior to last year’s game.

UCF is 1-2 all-time in the game:

  • 2009 - Rutgers 45, UCF 24
  • 2012 - UCF 38, Ball State 17
  • 2014 - NC State 34, UCF 27

About Marshall

Marshall went 8-4 in 2019 (6-2 in C-USA), finishing second in C-USA East behinf eventual conference champion FAU. Their notable losses were to Boise State (14-7) and Cincinnati (52-14). Marshall actually beat FAU but lost to Middle Tennessee and Charlotte to fall behind the Owls.

On offense, the Herd were 7th in C-USA in total offense (396.5 yards/game) and 8th in scoring (25.8 points/game). They’re led by RB Brenden Knox, who ran for 1,284 yards and 11 TDs this season.

Defensively, Marshall was 3rd in C-USA in scoring allowed (23.1 points allowed/game) and 3rd in total defense (362 yards allowed/game). LB Tavante Beckett led C-USA in tackles this year with 114.


The Herd and the Knights have a long history. UCF leads the all-time series 8-3 and is on an eight-game winning streak. The two teams faced each other every year as conference foes from 2002-2012 across both the MAC and Conference USA. Only three of the 11 games have been decided by one possession.

The last meeting was in 2012, a 54-17 win for the Knights in Huntington, West Virginia. UCF joined The American the following season.

This will mark the first time UCF has faced a former conference opponent in a bowl game.