BYU to face UCF in Boca Raton Bowl

Graphic Courtesy: BYU

PROVO, Utah, Dec. 14, 2020 (Gepahrdt Daily) — Brigham Young University will play the University of Central Florida in the Boca Raton Bowl next Tuesday.

“No. 14 BYU (10-1) has accepted the invitation to play UCF (6-3) in the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. EST at FAU Stadium, on the campus of Florida Atlantic University,” said a news release from BYU. “The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.”

UCF enters the game with a 6-3 record that includes a three-point loss to No. 6 Cincinnati, an eight-point loss to No. 20 Tulsa and a one-point loss to Memphis. The Knights currently rank 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’ most recent game was a 58-46 win over USF on Nov. 27.

BYU is coming off of a 28-14 victory over San Diego State Saturday night, getting the program its first 10-win season since 2011. The Cougars are the only FBS team ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense (No. 9; 43.0 ppg), scoring defense (No. 3; 14.6 ppg), total offense (No. 10; 510.1 ypg) and total defense (No. 10; 309.5 ypg). Heisman Trophy hopeful Zach Wilson leads a BYU offense that ranks near the top of college football for explosive plays. The Cougars rank No. 2 nationally for the most plays of both 10 or more yards and 30 or more yards from scrimmage.

“Our team is excited for the challenge and opportunity to face UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “UCF is a well-coached team and top-tier football program that’s had a lot of success. In a season where we’ve learned that we can’t take playing this game for granted, we’re really thankful for the chance to go to Florida and play one more time with our group. We are looking forward to the bowl matchup with UCF and also really like the timing of this game, which will allow our players to spend the holidays with their families, after a great season together.”

BYU and UCF have faced each other twice previously, with each team registering a victory. The Cougars won the first matchup in 2011, 24-17 in Provo, featuring a 93-yard Cody Hoffman kick return for a touchdown. The Knights won the more recent matchup in 2014, 31-24 in Orlando.

The Boca Raton Bowl will be BYU’s 38th bowl game dating back to the 1974 Fiesta Bowl. The 37 previous games consist of 19 different bowls in 11 states, including three in the state of Florida, the news release said. The three previous bowl games in Florida were the 1976 Tangerine Bowl, 1985 Florida Citrus Bowl and 2014 Miami Beach Bowl, making this the first BYU appearance in the Boca Raton Bowl. BYU’s 38 bowl appearances rank No. 21 among college programs — more than storied programs such as UCLA, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Stanford. The Cougars have gone bowling in 15 of the past 16 seasons.

For the Knights, this year’s bowl appearance will be a program-record fifth consecutive postseason bowl appearance and is also the eighth in nine seasons. The string includes New Year’s Day appearances in the Fiesta Bowl in 2018 and Peach Bowl in 2017.

This is the seventh edition of the Boca Raton Bowl.

Tickets for the game are expected to be available soon. With COVID-19 protocols in place in the 30,000-seat stadium, the game has been approved for 6,000 fans at 20 percent stadium capacity.


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