Published On: Tue, Dec 22nd, 2020

Taking a look into this year’s Boca Raton Bowl

Today the University of Central Florida will be up against Brigham Young University at 7 p.m. ET as they vie for the Boca Raton Bowl 2020 championship title. 

This will be the Bowl’s sixth consecutive year, hosting the $900,000 rewarding competition, since beginning in 2014.

What’s new this year

This year, it will be a little different as the pandemic and the Center for Disease Control [CDC] has mandated that individuals take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.

Of a stadium which seats 30,000 people, only 7,000 seats were available at the Howard Schnellenberger field in the FAU stadium. announced that tickets for the game have been sold out due to the tight guidelines they have enforced.

If you would like to see the game, it will be available to watch on TV on the ESPN channel.

BYU overview

The two teams have had a pretty good regular season as their records speak for themselves. So far, UCF has played in a total of nine games, this season, making the Boca Bowl their 10th. The Knights have maintained a 6-3 record while BYU has played in 11 regular season games making the bowl their 12th with a record of 10-1.

Though it is Brigham Young’s first time competing in the Boca Bowl, it is not their first go-around in the state of Florida. Over the course of 43 years, the Cougars have played in the state of Florida eight different times and in three other bowls including Miami Beach Bowl (2014), Tangerine Bowl (1976), and the Citrus Bowl (1985). 

Unfortunately, BYU has yet to take home a win on Florida turf, but winning on Tuesday night would mean that they get to scratch that off their list of accomplishments.

With players like pro-style quarterback Zach Wilson who had 21/27 passes for 359 yards and had four touchdowns during the Cougars rivalry game against Boise State, their offense is one to keep an eye out for. Running back Tyler Allgeier went for 123 yards off of 14 carries and teammate Lopini Katoa went for 66 off of eight carries. These two are some to also be aware of as they both averaged beyond eight carries during that game.

Though more attention is on BYU’s offense, the defense also holds its own.

The Cougars defense is tight as they have been able to keep their opponents at less than 100 rushing yards and in their game against Troy University they gave just 19 yards. BYU has been able to maintain a 362-11 record. 

UCF overview

For the Knights, this will also be their first time competing in the Boca Raton Bowl, but of course not in other bowls within the state of Florida. Competing in the home state can bring this NCAA American Athletic conference team a confident edge.

Despite the challenges that a pandemic brings to just about everything, the UCF Knights were able to maintain their offensive repertoire as they are ranked at No. 1 in the nation for total offense and passing offense, as well as No. 11 in scoring and No. 20 in rushing. 

For the 2020 season, the rankings for the most high octane offense in college football comes from the Knights.

The team averages about 44.0 points per game and 222.3 yards per game. 

Among 77 different Bowl division teams, UCF has dropped down in ranking to No. 74 as they have struggled, this season, to keep up on the defensive end. The lack of successful executions, penalties, volatile plays have all factored in to the trouble that the Knights defense has faced this season.

2020 Boca Raton Bowl Prediction:

By the look of things, the bulk of the competition between these highly qualified teams will be on the offensive side. Keeping an eye out for BYU’s rocket launcher, Wilson, and their running backs Allegeir and Katoa. 

                         Left: Dillon Gabriel, Right: Zach Wilson

This is also true to UCF’s offensive team as they will bring their A-game with star quarterback Dillon Gabriel and his 3,353 total passing yards this season, running back Greg McCrae with 681 rushing yards, and wide receiver Marlon Williams with 1,039 receiving yards.

The game will be won, however, based on whose defense is the most compact, collaborative, and hungry and how determined they are to make sure they are completing their plays and locking up on the defensive end. If UCF doesn’t tighten up on this spectrum, Brigham Young could have their first win in Florida, tonight.

About the Author

- Brianna is a senior Multimedia Journalism major at Florida Atlantic University where she is also a Staff Writer for the University Press. She is working hard to learn and grow as a journalist, here at the Boca Raton Tribune--as Sports Editor-- with a goal of becoming a Sports Reporter for ESPN.

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