UCF Knights Accepts Invitation to Boca Raton Bowl, ACC Opponent to Be Announced
By John Heisler, UCFKnights.com // December 8, 2020
Game will air on ESPN, Tickets for the game are not currently on sale to the public
(UCFKnights.com) – The UCF football team is headed to the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl to meet an opponent yet to be determined—likely an Atlantic Coast Conference team–Dec. 22, in the 30,000-seat at Florida Atlantic University.
The game will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio.
Tickets for the game are not currently on sale to the public. A limited public sale is expected at a later date, with pandemic protocols in place.
The game has been approved for 20% stadium capacity. UCF donors and season-ticket holders will receive information Wednesday morning from the UCF Ticket Office.
“We’re excited to continue our season in the Boca Raton Bowl–a great location for our fans and families to see us play,” says Danny White, UCF vice president and director of athletics.
“Our football team in 2020 has been one of the most exciting to watch in the country, and the fact we will be playing in the postseason for a fifth consecutive year speaks to the consistency of our program.”
Adds UCF head coach Josh Heupel, “Our players and staff are excited to be in this bowl game. It gives our guys one more time to play together and gives us one more chance to go 1-0. We’ve done a lot of good things this year, and we look forward to this next opportunity.”
UCF will bring a team that currently ranks second in the nation in both total offense (585.6 yards per game) and passing (373.0 yards) while scoring at a 44.3-point-per-game pace.
Both the total offense and passing yard figures are on track to be all-time UCF highs. The Knights also are second in the country in forced turnovers (22) and lead the nation with 13 fumbles recovered.
On an individual basis, UCF sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel ranks first nationally in total offense (387.9 yards per game), passing yards (3,353), passing yards per game (372.6) and stands second in touchdown passes (30).
“We are thrilled to extend an invitation to UCF to play in the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl,” says executive director Doug Mosley.
“The Knights are an exciting team, featuring one of the top offenses in the nation. They’ve had a great season, and we’re looking forward to announcing an equally compelling opponent for them soon.”
The program-record fifth consecutive postseason bowl appearance for the Knights is also the eighth in nine seasons and the 12th in 16 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 straight season under Josh Heupel the Knights have played in the postseason—following appearances two years ago in the Fiesta Bowl and last year in the Gasparilla Bowl.
The Knights have played twice each in the Fiesta Bowl (following 2014 and 2018 seasons), Liberty Bowl (2007 and 2010) and St. Petersburg Bowl (2009 and 2014) and once each in the Hawaii Bowl (2005), Beef O’Brady’s Bowl (2012), Cure Bowl (2016), Peach Bowl (2017) and Gasparilla Bowl (2019).
This will be the sixth time UCF has played a bowl game in the state of Florida—after two appearances in the St. Petersburg Bowl and one each in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Cure Bowl in Orlando and Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.
Recent previous UCF postseason appearances have produced record numbers in terms of television ratings.
In 2018 UCF played in the top-rated game (LSU in the Fiesta Bowl) involving at least one AAC institution. In 2017 and 2013 UCF also played in the top rated-game (Auburn in the Peach Bowl and Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl, respectively) among league members.
Here’s a listing of UCF’s top-rated bowl games during its first seven years in the AAC:
1. 2013 (Jan. 1) Baylor (Fiesta Bowl) W 52-42 ESPN 6.61 11,303,941
2. 2018 (Jan. 1) LSU (Fiesta Bowl) L 40-32 ESPN 4.7 8,471,000
3. 2017 (Jan. 1) Auburn (Peach Bowl) W 34-27 ESPN 4.6 8,377,376
4. 2014 (Dec. 26) NC State (St. Pete Bowl) L 34-27 ESPN 2.0 3,268,000
Here are details of UCF’s previous postseason appearances (5-6 in bowl games, 5-9 overall), with wins listed in bold:
— 1987–Troy defeated UCF 31-10 in NCAA Division II Playoffs
— 1990—Georgia Southern defeated UCF 44-7 in NCAA FCS Playoffs
— 1993–Youngstown State defeated UCF 56-30 in NCAA FCS Playoffs
— 2005—Nevada defeated UCF 49-48 in Hawaii Bowl
— 2007—Mississippi State defeated UCF 10-3 in Liberty Bowl
— 2009—Rutgers defeated UCF 45-24 in St. Petersburg Bowl
— 2010—UCF defeated Georgia 10-6 in Liberty Bowl
— 2012—UCF defeated Ball State 38-17 in Beef O’Brady’s Bowl
— 2013—#15 UCF defeated #6 Baylor 52-42 in Fiesta Bowl
— 2014—NC State defeated UCF 34-27 in St. Petersburg Bowl
— 2016—Arkansas State defeated UCF 31-13 in Cure Bowl
— 2017–#12 UCF defeated #7 Auburn 34-27 in Peach Bowl
— 2018–#11 LSU defeated #7 UCF 40-32 in Fiesta Bowl
— 2019—UCF defeated Marshall 48-25 in Gasparilla Bowl
The Boca Raton Bowl debuted in 2014 and twice has matched two conference champions–Marshall vs. Northern Illinois (2014) and UAB vs. Northern Illinois (2018). In all, six conference champions and another three conference division champions have played in the game.
Here are previous results for the Boca Raton Bowl:
— Dec. 23, 2014: Marshall 52, Northern Illinois 23
— Dec. 22, 2015: Toledo, 32, Temple 17
— Dec. 20, 2016: Western Kentucky 51, Memphis 31
— Dec. 19, 2017: Florida Atlantic 50, Akron 3
— Dec. 18, 2018: UAB 37, Northern Illinois 13
— Dec. 21, 2019: Florida Atlantic 52, SMU 28
The bowl game is a production of ESPN Events, a division of ESPN that owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide.
The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which account for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year.