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Report: Florida Set To Face Notable Opponent In Bowl Game

A closeup of a University of Florida football helmet.

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01: A detailed picture of a Florida Gators helmet before the Gators take on the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

After qualifying for bowl eligibility with a win over rival Florida State in the regular season finale, Florida will face another in-state opponent in the postseason.

The Gators will play UCF in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday, December 23, according to multiple reports. It appears that WUFT's Nick Marcinko first reported the news Saturday afternoon.

The Gasparilla Bowl is played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, so this event will be a total Sunshine State affair.

Obviously, Florida fans entered this season with higher hopes than this. The Gators won the SEC East in 2020 and were ranked 13th in the preseason AP top 25.

However, things fell apart, leading to the dismissal of head coach Dan Mullen in November. UF needed to beat the Seminoles last weekend to even get to 6-6 and become bowl eligible.

Now, they'll have a chance to start the Billy Napier Era off with a win over an 8-4 UCF team in Tampa. The Knights will be fired up for this game, because a win over the Gators is a huge deal for the non-Power 5 program, no matter how much Florida might have slumped this season.