According to sources at UCF, Knights will finish the 2019 season in Tampa playing an old rival foe, Marshall, in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m.
For the first time since 2016, the Knights have not qualified for a New Year’s 6 bowl game.
This is the fourth time UCF is playing in this bowl game, held previously at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. The Knights lost, 45-24 to Rutgers in 2009, beat Ball State, 38-17 in 2012 and lost to North Carolina State, 34-27 in 2014.
The UCF-Marshall rivalry was fierce in the years before South Florida became the Knights’ most hated enemy. The two were members of the Mid-America Conference (2002-04) and Conference USA (2005-12) and UCF got the better of the Thundering Herd, winning their last eight meetings. The Knights lead the all-time series, 8-3.
Marshall was 8-4 this season (6-2 in Conference USA). The Thundering Herd are in the Gasparilla Bowl for the second straight year; they beat South Florida 38-20 last year.
A win in Tampa gives UCF (9-3, 6-2 in the American Athletic Conference) its third straight 10-win season. For perspective and comparison, UCF defeated Florida Atlantic, this year’s C-USA champion, 48-14 back on Sept. 7. UCF is 4-6 all time in bowl games.