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2021 Gasparilla Bowl: Florida Gators vs UCF Knights 12/23/2021 7PM

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
The mighty Gators look to end the disappointing 2021-2022 season on a positive note against the other directional school in the Sunshine State, the Central Florida Knights. Interim head coach Greg Knox (1-0, 0-0 SEC) is 2-0 all-time as a head coach, but the team limps into this match-up at 6-6 (2-6) against Gus Malzahn (8-4, 5-3) and the Knights of the All American Conference. Florida leads the all-time series 2-0 after beating UCF 58-27 in 1999 and 42-0 in 2006. These two teams have a bit of history after the Knights made a habit of ducking out of games against Florida, and famously manufacturing national championship hype. The Gators look to quietly claim a mythical state championship by taking care of the vaunted Knights of the AAC by going 2-0 in Raymond James Stadium in 2021. The flagship school in the state of Florida already took care of the USF Bulls 42-20 in Raymond James back in week 2.

Here is a summary of the Knights' 2021 regular season:
DateOpponentResult
9/2Boise StateW 36-31
9/11Bethune-CookmanW 63-14
9/17@ LouisvilleL 35-42
10/2@ NavyL 34-30
10/9East CarolinaW 20-16
10/16@ #3 CincinnatiL 21-56
10/22MemphisW 24-7
10/30@ TempleW 49-7
11/6TulaneW 14-10
11/20ConnecticutW 49-17
11/26South FloridaW 17-13
12/23 Gasparilla BowlFlorida

Here is a summary of the Gators' 2021 season:
DateOpponentResult
9/4 #13Florida AtlanticW 35-14
9/11 #13South FloridaW 42-20
9/18 #11@ #1 AlabamaL 29-31
9/25 #11TennesseeW 38-14
10/2 #10@ KentuckyL 13-20
10/9 #20VanderbiltW 42-0
10/16 #20@ LSUL 42-49
10/30vs #1 GeorgiaL 7-34
11/6@ South CarolinaL 17-40
11/13SamfordW 70-52
11/20@ MissouriL 23-24 OT
11/27Florida StateW 24-21
12/23 Gasparilla Bowl

The Gators and the Knights match up nearly evenly in statistical rankings. As expected, the Gators are their own worst enemy. Despite having similar statistical rankings in many categories and excelling in key categories, penalties and turnovers have hurt the Gators. Here is how they look head-to-head:
Team StatUCFAdvantageFlorida
PPG32.2 #39UCF +0.4 pts (virtual tie)31.8 #42
PAPG25.2 #55UCF +1.4 pts (virtual tie)26.6 #66
TOTAL YD399.7 #69Florida + 70.5 yds470.2 #10
TOTAL YD PASSING211.0 #89Florida + 50.1 yds261.1 #39
TOTAL YD RUSHING188.7 #37Florida + 20.4 yds209.1 #21
YD ALLOWED368.9 #54UCF + 6.7 yds362.2 #46
YD ALLOWED PASSING213.3 #41Florida + 4.7 yds208.6 #34
YD ALLOWED RUSHING155.6 #71Florida + 2 yds (virtual tie)153.6 #70
PENALTIES76/ 654 PYDS/ 54.5 PYPG #67UCF -15.3 PYPG97/ 838 PYDS/ 69.8 PYPG #118
TO MARGIN+0.50/ 9 INT/ 5 FUM/ 11OPINT/ 9 OPFUM #29UCF -0.67 INTPG/ +0.17 FUMPG/ +0.75 OPINTPG/ +0.5 OPFUMPG-0.75/ 18 INT/ 3 FUM/ 9 OPINT/ 3 OPFUM #121

Emory Jones will be the starter for the Gators one last time before hitting the transfer portal, since Anthony Richardson is out after having knee surgery. On the other sideline, Mikey Keene continues to start in place of the inured Dillon Gabriel and has been serviceable. The Knights can easily defeat an unmotivated team full of lame duck athletes and coaches, but if the Gators choose to get up for this game, with players and coaches alike auditioning for their roles on other teams next year, the Gators could find a way to come out on top. Florida is favored by 7 and the over/under is at 55.5. If you are a betting person I would put money on the Knights to cover the spread, but take the under on points. I think the Gators eke out a win 14-13, but I would not put any money on it.
 
Last edited:

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
The mighty Gators look to end the disappointing 2021-2022 season on a positive note against the other directional school in the Sunshine State, the Central Florida Knights. Interim head coach Greg Knox (1-0, 0-0 SEC) is 2-0 all-time as a head coach, but the team limps into this match-up at 6-6 (2-6) against Gus Malzahn (8-4, 5-3) and the Knights of the All American Conference. Florida leads the all-time series 2-0 after beating UCF 58-27 in 1999 and 42-0 in 2006. These two teams have a bit of history after the Knights made a habit of ducking out of games against Florida, and famously manufacturing national championship hype. The Gators look to quietly claim a mythical state championship by taking care of the vaunted Knights of the AAC by going 2-0 in Raymond James Stadium in 2021. The flagship school in the state of Florida already took care of the USF Bulls 42-20 in Raymond James back in week 2.

Emory Jones will be the starter for the Gators one last time before hitting the transfer portal, since Anthony Richardson is out after having knee surgery. On the other sideline, Mikey Keene continues to start in place of the inured Dillon Gabriel and has been serviceable. The Knights can easily defeat an unmotivated team full of lame duck athletes and coaches, but if the Gators choose to get up for this game, with players and coaches alike auditioning for their roles on other teams next year, the Gators could find a way to come out on top. Florida is favored by 7 and the over/under is at 55.5. If you are a betting person I would put money on the Knights to cover the spread, but take the under on points. I think the Gators eke out a win 14-13, but I would not put any money on it.
Yeah—I “wouldn’t put money on it” EITHER!
That close ”split bet” sounds about right, if one did: Overall a good estimation of one’s chances at wagering on such a meeting.
All in all, hardly a “ringing endorsement” of the “essence” of this “collection of players” (hardly a “TEAM”, now that they have chosen their separate, individual destinies).
It is hard for me to “root” for them as things currently stand; This is hardly “our Gator Team”, —NOT the one whose exploits we have been following, upon whom our hopes, dreams, ups and downs have risen and fallen with successes and failures, victories and defeats over the course of this, their last season while still a “team”.
Let us cheer them now for “one last “coming together”, a last shot at honor and glory TOGETHER, among each other as teammates and together with US—students, alumni and fans!
“Go GATORS!”
“Won’t back down!”
 

Leakfan12

VIP Member
I'm 50-50 with this game, UCF is coming off a five-game winning streak. I think it will be a close game. I believe Jones will be motivated to have a great game because he's going to the Transfer Portal.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
I'm 50-50 with this game, UCF is coming off a five-game winning streak. I think it will be a close game. I believe Jones will be motivated to have a great game because he's going to the Transfer Portal.
That is an important note: UCF is riding a 5-game winning streak after getting thrashed by the #3 team in the nation. Florida tends to slack off after playing the #1 team close in moral victories, or after beating crappy teams. To make matters worse, UCF's cornerbacks are among the best in the nation.

I have no idea what to expect from this team, but I think they can eke out a close win. If this turns into a high-scoring affair then I see UCF coming out ahead.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Gators start the drive with a false start penalty and end the drive with a punt.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
And so begins this Gator-incarnation’s “inevitable meltdown”...
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
...but one of the young defenders steps up and SACKS him.
They settle for 3, to take the lead.
Geez, this Gator team is pretty well looking EXACTLY like the “mediocrity” they seemed to be over the course of the 2021 SEASON!
I mean—they have PIECES of what COULD have been a “team”...but overall—no.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Pierce looks good and tough;
Jones breaks free—finally:
He has looked “hesitant to run” up til now here this eve.
AND another poor throw to the wide open WR by Emory.
Whomever gets this guy:
This is what you’re getting, do get used to it. It didn’t change under “the quarterback whisperer”...OK, he can RUN, when he’s in the mood—but God HELP you if/when you depend on your QB to throw an accurate pass.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Well, somehow managing to stumble, bumble, yet somehow salvage its way downfield.
Typical of this particular Gator squad: Strong drive, but has to settle for 3.
Sorry guys—I KNOW I sound generally down beat, even negative, but that is just another “typical 2021 Gator performance”:
NO FUN TO WATCH.
I swear, if we have ANY chance to maybe pull this one out in the second half from here, it is only because Dan Mullen ISN’T on the sidelines!
Sad to say, but there it is.
(ALMOST gave up the kickoff score there.)
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Cox, Torrance...some of these young Gator defenders having nice moments here, anyway.
There are some good signs among those staying...and a certain amount of the same ol’ “good riddance” among the rest, if you ask me...
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
This is a UCF team that SUCKS, BTW, from what we’ve seen here so far...Never mind their respective records, considering how uneven OUR side has played/is playing, and all the supposed “intangibles” in UCF’s favor, in the final analysis they aren’t making much of an impression. This one’s “close” only because we truly suck right now.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
63326F21-69E4-4BEF-B62F-31D790E9FE8D.jpeg
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Geez—these announcers are babbling fools.
I’ll be around in the 2nd half—but for now, I gotta get AWAY from this drivel!
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Gamble Wilde open for TD;
Jones under throws him AGAIN.
TD run on next play—but damnit, I don’t think I want Emory as even our BACKUP QB—just in case no one WANTS him as THEIR QB after all!
This guy shouldn’t BE a QB!
And wtf was that weird bounce on the kickoff from midfield.
This is a bush league game all around now!
I am close to just turning this off, my friends—only the fact that it is our last look at lot of these guys as Gators, and our last chance to see the orange & blue play...but penalty after penalty now, the stupid post-play kind that hands the game away.
How’d you like to be Greg Knox, having to preside over this collection of selfish, quit-on-ya losers. They are more interested in settling petty little in-game scores than in helping their “team” win.
Let ‘em go: These “rats” can go sink someone ELSE’S ship!
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Sorry. I really do not hardly care whether we win or NOT at this point.
But I WOULD like to see ONE CLEAN DRIVE here, before waving goodbye to this version.
But really, I’m mostly just waiting to see/hear the Gator FANS sing “Won’t Back Down” at the end of the 3rd.
 

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