Wilson leads No. 13 BYU into Boca Raton Bowl vs Gabriel, UCF
Boca Raton Bowl: No. 13 BYU (10-1) vs. Central Florida (6-3), Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: BYU by 6 1/2.
Series record: Tied at 1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Cougars are playing in their 38th bowl game, including fourth in the state of Florida. The Sunshine State hasn’t been friendly, though, with BYU losing in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl, 1985 Florida Citrus Bowl and 2014 Miami Beach Bowl. Central Florida will be making a school-best fifth straight bowl appearance. In addition, Josh Heupel also becomes only the second Knights coach to go to three straight bowl games. They played in the Fiesta Bowl during the 2018 season and the Gasparilla Bowl after last season. George O’Leary went to three straight from 2012-14.
Central Florida QB Dillon Gabriel vs. BYU QB Zach Wilson. Sure, they play on opposite sides of the ball, but it’s going to be entertaining to watch these two run the offenses. Gabriel has thrown for 3,353 yards and 30 TDs (he also has two rushing scores). Wilson, a Heisman hopeful, has 3,267 yards and 30 TDs (eight rushing TDs).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
BYU: Tight end Isaac Rex is tied for fifth in the nation with 10 receiving TDs. The 6-foot-6, 247-pound redshirt California stepped in when senior All-America candidate Matt Bushman was lost for the season before the opener.
Central Florida: Top wideout Marlon Williams announced on social media he has played his last game and thanked the team for an “amazing four years.” It sets the stage for Jaylon Robinson, who has 51 catches for 935 yards and five TDs.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Cougars beat the Knights 24-17 in Provo, Utah, in 2011. The Knights returned the favor by beating BYU 31-24 in OT in 2014 at Orlando, Florida. ... The Cougars will go with their all-white uniforms with royal blue numbers and trim, along with the white BYU helmet featuring the stretch “Y.” They wore the uniforms against Navy and Boise State this season. ... BYU has 16 10-win seasons. ... The biggest bowl win in BYU history? That would be in 1984 at the Holiday Bowl when the top-ranked Cougars rallied to knock off Bo Schembechler and the Michigan Wolverines. It allowed the Cougars to finish undefeated and be crowned a national champion. ... UCF is 28-7 since Heupel took over in 2018. ... The Knights are averaging 585.6 yards of total offense, which is second in the nation. They go against a BYU defense that’s surrendering just 14.6 points per game. ... The Knights have forced 22 turnovers. They’re 6-0 when winning the turnover margin and 0-3 when having an equal amount of turnovers.
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