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Gators, UCF to stay close to home for Gasparilla Bowl

Florida 3-2 all-time in Tampa bowl games
Florida Gators running back Dameon Pierce does Gator chomp after scoring TD vs. Florida State Seminoles in 2021
Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-05 22:30:22-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida won't be traveling far for its bowl game this year.

The Gators will face Central Florida on Dec. 23 at the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.

New head coach Billy Napier, who was introduced Sunday, won't coach the bowl game. Instead, it'll be interim coach Greg Knox who leads the team against UCF.

Knox coached the Gators (6-6) to a 24-21 victory against rival Florida State to become bowl-eligible.

It will be Florida's first-ever appearance in the bowl game, which began in 2008.

The Gators are 2-0 all-time against UCF, winning 42-0 in their last meeting in 2006 and 58-27 in 1999.

Florida Gators receiver Jarred Fayson vs. UCF Knights in 2006
Florida wide receiver Jarred Fayson tries to get away from a Central Florida defender during a game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006, in Gainesville, Fla. The Gators defeated UCF 42-0.

Florida is 3-2 in Tampa bowl games, having won its past three Outback Bowl appearances, including a 30-3 victory against Iowa in 2017.

The Gators and Knights will play a three-game series beginning in 2024. Florida will host UCF in 2024 and 2033 and travel to Orlando in 2030.