BYU COUGARS

BYU/UCF Has Potential To Be Best Bowl Game Outside Of College Football Playoff

Dec 21, 2020, 11:54 PM

BYU - UCF - Kalani Sitake - Josh Heupel...

BYU Kalani Sitake and UCF coach Josh Heupel square off for the first time in the Boca Raton Bowl. (Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

BOCA RATON, Florida – BYU versus UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl (Today, 5 p.m. MT on ESPN), a pre-Christmas bowl game, on the surface, would look to be underwhelming. But this game has the makings to be the best of an underwhelming bowl slate outside of the College Football Playoff.

Yahoo! Sports ranked this Boca Raton Bowl matchup as the fifth-best game in the bowl season. There’s a lot to like about this matchup, and it starts with the star power at quarterback.

BYU and UCF each boast a star quarterback who is up for national recognition this season. Both signal-callers have passed for 30 touchdowns and have only combined for seven interceptions total this season.

Each team is averaging over 40 points this season, with BYU scoring 43.0 per game, while the Knights are slightly better at 44.3 points per game.

Expect an entertaining game between BYU & UCF

The most points ever scored in a BYU bowl game was four years ago in BYU’s last bowl game in the state of Florida against Memphis, when both teams scored 101 points total. This Boca Raton Bowl could pass up that BYU bowl record.

This is is also a matchup that can show great football is played outside of the Power 5 conferences. 2020 has shown more than ever that brands matter more than actual results in this sport we all love. Football outside the power conferences is disrespected, but both BYU and UCF are winning brands of football. BYU is one of the 10 winningest teams in college football in the last 50 years, and UCF has won 41 of their last 48 games.

No Power 5 bias is needed; good football will be played on Tuesday down in Boca.

With many teams opting out of bowl games, it’s been refreshing to see BYU and UCF take on the challenge of playing this game and embracing it. Both teams will have the chance to capture the entire college football audience in primetime.

Best bowl outside of the Playoff?

This game, despite being a glorified made-for-TV event, should be a good football game. Maybe the best bowl game we see until the Playoff. Even then, the Playoff might not produce any classics with a team like Alabama favored by more than three touchdowns against Notre Dame.

NFL Draft prospects will be dotted throughout this game, starting with Wilson, who could be playing in his last game as a BYU Cougar. Wilson is rising NFL Draft boards, to the point where there are pockets of the Draftnik community that would say Wilson should be selected before Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

Along with Wilson, BYU has left tackle Brady Christensen, a First Team All-American by Pro Football Focus. Christensen has graded out as the best tackle in the history of PFF’s ratings, above Oregon’s Penei Sewell last year.

UCF RB Otis Anderson is a player to keep an eye on for the Knights. He has an undisclosed injury and is currently questionable for Tuesday’s game. But if healthy, he could be an NFL Draft pick next April. Had UCF wide receiver Marlon Williams not opted out, he would’ve been another big prospect in this game.

Enjoy this game. It might be one of the only great matchups this Bowl Season produces during the holidays. It has all the makings to be an instant classic.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

Zach-Wilson-Jets-Broncos-NFL...

Kyle Ireland

Social Media Erupts With Takes After Jets Trade Zach Wilson To Broncos

Social media filled up with hot takes after the New York Jets reportedly traded former BYU Cougars QB Zach Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

5 hours ago

Zach-Wilson-New-York-Jets-NFL...

Kyle Ireland

Report: New York Jets Trade QB Zach Wilson To Denver Broncos

Zach Wilson's tenure with the New York Jets is finally over after the team traded the former BYU Cougars quarterback.

6 hours ago

BYU Football, Transfer Portal, Xavier Lozowicki...

Mitch Harper

BYU Football Offers Transfer Portal Lineman From FCS Ranks

BYU football extends an offer to an underclassman from the University of Maine.

7 hours ago

Kai-Nacua-Michigan-Panthers-UFL...

Kyle Ireland

Michigan Panthers DB Kai Nacua Records Interception In Consecutive Games

Former BYU safety Kai Nacua picked off a pass for the second straight week in the Panthers' Week 4 game against the Brahmas.

1 day ago

Mark Pope, BYU Basketball, Kentucky Wildcats...

Mitch Harper

Kentucky’s Mark Pope Expressed Gratitude For Time As BYU Head Coach

Former BYU head coach turned to social media to thank his old stomping grounds.

1 day ago

Aly Khalifa, Louisville Cardinals, BYU Basketball...

Mitch Harper

Aly Khalifa Thanks BYU For Time In Provo, Announces New Destination

Khalifa is on the move to the Commonwealth.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

BYU/UCF Has Potential To Be Best Bowl Game Outside Of College Football Playoff