Florida favored by a touchdown to beat UCF in bowl game

Gasparilla Bowl is at 7 p.m. on Dec. 23

Florida running back Malik Davis (20) runs past Florida State defensive back Jarvis Brownlee Jr. during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The Florida Gators are Las Vegas favorites in the Gasparilla Bowl against the University of Central Florida Knights.

According to VegasInsider.com, the Gators are favored by 7.5 points in the bowl game in Tampa at 7 p.m. on Dec. 23.

The total is set at 56.5.

UCF finished the season strong after starting out with 3-3 record, the Knights won five of the team’s last six games to finish the regular season at 8-4.

Florida struggled at the end of the year, the Gators lost five of the team’s last eight games. UF finished the season with a 6-6 record.

As of Dec. 8, the Gators have not announced if quarterback Anthony Richardson will play. The Gators are led by Emory Jones and Jacob Copeland.

Jones has thrown for 2,563 yards and 19 touchdowns. The quarterback can also hurt opponents on the ground.

No. 5 is the team’s leading rusher with 697 yards on the ground and four rushing touchdowns.

Johnny Richardson and Ryan O’Keefe have been the best weapons for UCF.

Richards averages 6.9 yards a carry and has reached paydirt three times.

O’Keefe has caught 77 balls for 727 yards and six touchdowns.

Back in July, UCF and Florida agreed to play against each other three times for future regular season games. Here’s the schedule:

  • UCF at Florida Oct. 5, 2024, in Gainesville
  • Florida at UCF Sept. 14, 2030, in Orlando
  • UCF at Florida Sept. 3, 2033, in Gainesville

Florida defeated UCF both times the teams have played, last facing off in 2006 when the Gators defeated the Knights 42-0.