UCF Knights Accept Invite to Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Will Play Against Georgia Tech on Dec. 22

kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. EST on ESPN

For the third time in history, the UCF football team is headed to the Gasparilla Bowl where the Knights won postseason assignments in both 2019 and 2021.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – For the third time in history, the UCF football team is headed to the Gasparilla Bowl where the Knights won postseason assignments in both 2019 and 2021.

Big 12 Conference representative UCF (6-6) will meet Atlantic Coast Conference member Georgia Tech (6-6) at 6:30 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, in 65,000-seat Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl.

The game will be televised by ESPN.

It’s a program-record eighth consecutive postseason bowl appearance for the Knights, the 11th in 12 seasons and the 15th in 19 years. UCF also previously played in the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1987 and in the NCAA FCS Playoffs in 1990 and 1993.

It’s the third time in five years UCF has played in the Gasparilla Bowl—and the second time in three years that has happened under current UCF coach Gus Malzahn.

The Knights defeated Florida 29-17 in the 2021 Gasparilla Bowl and won 48-25 against Marshall in the 2019 Gasparilla Bowl.

The Knights previously have played twice each in the Fiesta Bowl (following 2014 and 2018 seasons), Liberty Bowl (2007 and 2010), St. Petersburg Bowl (2009 and 2014) and Gasparilla Bowl (2019 and 2021) and once each in the Hawaii Bowl (2005), Beef O’Brady’s Bowl (2012), Cure Bowl (2016), Peach Bowl (2017), Boca Raton Bowl (2020) and Military Bowl (2022).

Malzahn has seen his teams qualify for postseason bowl games in all 12 years he has been a head coach, including seven appearances in New Year’s Day games: 2013 in BCS National Championship Game vs. Florida State, 2014 in Outback Bowl vs. Wisconsin, 2015 in Birmingham Bowl win vs. Memphis, 2016 in Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma, 2017 in Peach Bowl vs. UCF, 2018 in Music City Bowl win vs. Purdue, 2019 Outback Bowl vs. Minnesota, 2021 Gasparilla Bowl vs. Florida, 2022 Military vs. Duke and 2023 Gasparilla Bowl vs. Georgia Tech. Malzahn’s 2012 Arkansas State team qualified for a bowl game—but he already had accepted the head coaching job at Auburn and did not coach the bowl game. He also did not coach the Auburn bowl game after the 2020 season after leading the Tigers to the Citrus Bowl vs. Northwestern.

UCF and Georgia Tech will play for the sixth time and the second consecutive season with UCF winning 27-10 last year in Orlando .

The Knights’ only other postseason matchup against an ACC opponent came in a 34-27 loss to NC State in the 2014 St. Petersburg Bowl.