2023 Gasparilla Bowl – Georgia Tech vs UCF

2023 Gaspirilla Bowl – Georgia Tech vs UCF

posted December 15

The Game

ARRRRRRRRRRRR! SHIVER ME TIMBERS! It’s time for the Gasparilla Bowl, a tip of the cap to legendary pirate Jose Gaspar who may or may not have made peeps WALK the PLANK in the Tampa area back in the day. Georgia Tech (6-6) has had their ups and downs this season but they’ve got wins over three bowl teams (Miami, UNC, Syracuse) and recall that they gave Georgia all they could handle in their season finale. UCF would have liked to have won more than six games during their inaugural voyage in the Big 12 but they’ll look to get that 7th victory for a winning season and hope for much better things in 2024. Let’s gooo!

The Details

UCF -4.5 Georgia Tech (64.5)


“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: UCF 34.5 Georgia Tech 30

UCF offense vs Georgia Tech defense

The Knights have one of the most devastating rushing attacks in college football (#4 FBS) and it works in peak condition when QB John Rhys Plumlee is at the controls. Plumlee missed a bit of time during the season but he’s back and he provides a dangerous dual-threat element to the offense (13-8 TD to INT, 9.1 YPA; 473 rush, 5 TD). They got a legit #1 RB in RJ Harvey (1,296, 16 TD) and a pair of elite WRs in Javon Baker and Kobe Hudson that BOTH average over 20 YPC (13 combined TDs). They’ll be able to tear apart a Yellow Jacket run defense that ranks #131 in the nation (226 YPG) and they’ll almost certainly hit a few deep shots along the way.

Georgia Tech offense vs UCF defense

QB Haynes King has made a few too many mistakes (26-15 TD to INT) but he’s done a fine job overall with the offense as the Jackets rank #15 in the nation in rushing and #56 in passing. King is another legit dual-threat specimen (648, 9 TD) and he’ll terrorize the crappy UCF run D (#121) along with RB Jamal Haynes who’s almost certain to break the 1,000-yard barrier in this game (931, 7 TD). Haynes does a good job spreading the ball around via the THROW GAME as four WRs have 300+ receiving yards and 10 players have 100+ in that department. UCF is a bit thin in the secondary so we expect King to move the ball thru the air as well.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

The Knights are 3-2 all-time in GASPARILLA BOWL ACTION and that includes the 2021 victory over the Florida Gators….This will be Georgia Tech’s first bowl appearance since 2018 and they haven’t tasted bowl victory since the 2016 Gator Bowl when they whipped Kentucky…….UCF HC Gus Malzahn is 2-5 ATS as a favorite in bowl games.


This should be one of the most entertaining games of the bowl season. Both teams have relatively complete rosters and BOTH teams can SCORE the FOOTBALL. We’ll look to play something of the “over” variety but will wait a bit until the weather scenario is more locked-in. Florida weather has already caused one bowl total to come crashing down.


Update Dec 21

No leanage

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.