2023 Gasparilla Bowl Preview

December 22, 2023

The weekend is quickly approaching, and now is the time to prepare yourself.

Friday is the last day of the bowl season until the national title game where only a single game will be played (there are some gap days where no bowl games occur).

Buckle up and prepare for the incoming onslaught of college football.

Let’s take a quick look at the game taking place on Friday evening.

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl

Georgia Tech vs. Central Florida (Friday, 6:30 PM ET – ESPN)

Admittedly, you’ve got to be kind of a Sicko to be getting super amped about this game, given the optics of it combined with the fact that it’s the Friday evening before Christmas. But if you’re like us at Around The Corn, maybe these type of games are what make the holidays so magical. Neither Georgia Tech nor UCF does much to stop the opposing run game (No. 131 and 121 nationally), so this might simply come down to time of possession and which team has the ball last. On that note, despite the fact that this one will be run dominant, expect a bunch of points on the board.

Statistics aside, while it is a bit of a cop out, this game will come down to who wants it more. The Knights will presumably be led by their do-it-all quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, who is without a doubt the type of player that will run through a wall for you to win a pre-Christmas bowl game, just because that’s the way he’s wired. He’s also a capable dual threat and should give the Georgia Tech defense fits. Add in leading rusher RJ Harvey, who will eclipse 1,300 rushing yards for the season on his first carry or two, and you’ve got two stars ready to finish off the season the right way for UCF. The Yellow Jackets are set up eerily similar with Haynes King and Jamal Haynes, so this one could be quite entertaining as long as you’re not a defensive coordinator.

Around The Corn’s Pick: 37-34 Central Florida

Bowl Mania Confidence: 14 points

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