Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl Preview

This is a Florida vs Florida bowl game that should be a fun one to watch. We have one Florida team in the American Athletic Conference going up against a Florida team from the SEC. The Gasparilla Bowl matchup will be between UCF (8-4) and Florida (6-6). The battle of Florida bowl game should be a fun one and with that being said here is my preview for the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl.


For starters here UCF coach Gus Malzahn is a former SEC coach, so he knows what is needed to win against SEC teams. However, UCF has some big losses due to injuries. The loss of Dillon Gabriel has been big to their passing offense, but Mikey Keene has been solid in replacing Gabriel. Keene has thrown for 1,586 passing yards to go along with a touchdown to interception ratio of 16/6. Even with all these injuries, UCF has put up a solid season in Malzahn’s first year. I think this is a solid team and I think they can give Florida a run for their money in this one.

UCF averages 32.2 points per game and the next man up mentality has been great for this team. Guys filling in have contributed and they have got the job done time and time again. UCF’s defense in the second half of the season is a big reason why they are where they are right now. Not allowing more than 17 in their last six games, this team has lived up to Malzahn’s standards defensively. This team can compete with Florida, they just have to play a full sixty minutes.



Florida has had one of the most disappointing seasons in a very long time. This team started the season 3-1 and was ranked number ten in the country. They went toe to toe with Alabama and then the wheels fell off after that game. The Gators finished the season winning three out of their last eight and have needed a win over rival Florida State to become bowl eligible. Florida is going through a culture change and this bowl game won’t be the starting point for them. A lot of Florida prospects have opted out and this Florida team is very much in question.

This game doesn’t mean that much to the Gators. Emory Jones is entering the transfer portal after this game. Anthony Richardson showed potential this season and is expected to be the starter next year in the Swamp. Richardson is out in this matchup so Emory Jones will get the start here. If Florida is going to win this matchup, they are going to have to run the ball effectively. If they have to rely on Emory Jones’ passing ability it will be a long day for this Gators offense.



Florida is currently a 7-point favorite with the over/under set at 55.5. My lean here is the under as the Gators in their last six neutral site games have hit the under in five out of those six games. Official play for me is UCF +7 in this bowl matchup. I think UCF has a chance to win this game outright. Florida has too much going on and I think this UCF team is trending in the right direction as of right now. The Gators have a new head coach coming in next year so they could be back, but for now UCF with the points and a real shot at winning the game outright.


-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)

Featured Image (sportstravelmagazine.com)

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