TAMPA, Fla. — Gasparilla Bowl: Central Florida (9-3, 6-2 American) vs. Marshall (8-4, 6-2 Conference USA), Monday at 2:30 p.m. (ESPN).
Line: UCF by 16.
Series record: UCF 8-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Concerns about a letdown may be tempered with UCF playing about 100 miles from its Orlando campus in nearby Tampa, Florida. The Knights played in New Year’s Day bowl games the previous two seasons, beating Auburn two years ago in the Peach Bowl and losing to LSU in the last season’s Fiesta Bowl. Marshall has a knack for bowl success under coach Doc Holliday; the Thundering Herd is 6-0.
The quick-strike, high-scoring Central Florida offense against the Marshall defense. The Knights average 43 points and 536.6 yards but have the ball just 26:22 per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCF: True freshman quarterback Gabriel Dillon has thrown for 3,393 yards and 27 touchdowns.
MARSHALL: Sophomore running back Brenden Knox may play a major role in helping the Thundering Herd’s defense by keeping UCF’s offense off the field if he has success in the ground game. The Conference USA MVP leads the league with 1,284 rushing yards.
FACTS & FIGURES
The game is being played at Raymond James Stadium, home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and UCF’s in-state and conference rival South Florida. … UCF is 34-4 since the start of the 2017 season. … Marshall is allowing 23.1 points a game.
UCF: A short but interesting bowl history. UCF is 4-6 in bowl games but played in high-profile New Year’s Day games the past two seasons. In 2018 the Knights beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl before falling to LSU 40-32 in last year’s Fiesta Bowl.
Marshall: The Herd are 12-3 in bowl games and have won in their last seven appearances. They are playing in the Gasparilla Bowl for the second straight year after beating South Florida 38-20 last Dec. 20.