2019 Gasparilla Bowl Preview

December 23, 2019

In the event that you missed the Big Saturday slate, don’t worry – Bowl Mania continues on all throughout the holiday week, starting with Monday afternoon.

If you did miss any of the games on Saturday, however, here’s a quick rundown:

-A new dynasty was minted in Atlanta, and its name is North Carolina A&T

-Central Michigan’s performance in the New Mexico Bowl ended the MAC’s brief bowl season high

-ATC shouldn’t have doubted Liberty’s weak regular season schedule

-My goodness, SMU should be ashamed of its performance. But FAU…Lane Kiffin recruited some real talent there. And the Owls are the bright spot in an otherwise gross postseason for C-USA as a whole so far.

-Blake Anderson deserved the Camellia Bowl victory more than anyone

-Chris Petersen is always a class act, and one of college football’s best coaches. It’ll be a shame not seeing him roam the sideline in 2020.

-Appalachian State will go down as one of the most underappreciated Group of Five teams in history

In group Von Hugendong news, the Kyle Becker Fan Club still reigns supreme. Can’t say that ATC is too upset about this…

Despite the bowl season only being two days old, we’re nearly a fourth of the way through the postseason schedule.

Let’s take a look at Monday afternoon’s game, the 10th of Bowl Mania to be played.

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl

Marshall vs. Central Florida (Monday, 2:30 PM ET – game on ESPN)

The Skinny: The Thundering Herd return to the Bay to defend their 2018 Gasparilla Bowl title against another Florida school. This time around, the opponent isn’t playing a home game, but the Knights aren’t riding a five game losing streak heading into this one like South Florida did last season.

Why to Watch: Despite injuries and performance issues that have resulted in the Knights utilizing the services of four different quarterbacks this season, UCF still led the American Conference in yards per game. Freshman Dillon Gabriel is the man to watch for the Knights. On the other side, sophomore Brenden Knox led C-USA in rushing yards for the Thundering Herd and had a high of 220 yards on the ground in win over Florida Atlantic earlier in the year.

What Will Happen: Neither team turns the ball over much, so even though both have a considerable amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball, this game will come down to which offensive strength is able to shine more brightly. Knox is a workhorse for Marshall, but the Knights are more balanced offensively and extremely potent. Expect Gabriel to have a big day in leading UCF to a victory in the Sunshine State.

My Pick: 37-24 Central Florida for 24 points in Bowl Mania

If you have interest in offering your insight for any of the bowl games this season, shoot me an email at kbecks@aroundthecorn.com or reach out on one of ATC’s social media sites (Facebook, Twitter). I’d be happy to accommodate.

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