Thousands of University of Central Florida grads reside in the Tampa Bay area and on Dec. 21, those alumni can watch their alma mater play in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field against Ball State.
The bowl matchup, which will be televised live on ESPN at 7:30 p.m., was announced Sunday. The UCF Knights are from Conference USA and the Ball State Cardinals are from the Mid-American Conference.
"We’re looking forward to having UCF back in our bowl this year,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg in a news release. “We had a terrific experience with them in 2009 and because of our location many of their alumni and fans were able to easily come over and enjoy a great bowl week experience and support their team.”
Beef 'O' Brady's bowl games usually feature a matchup between the Big East and Conference USA, but this year the Big East did not have enough teams that qualified for bowls to fill that slot.
“Ball State is a hot team right now, winning six straight, including a road win over conference foe Toledo, which was ranked in the Top 25 at the time,” Dulaney said in a news release. “We look forward to providing a great bowl week experience for the team and their fans.”
Ball State was 9-3 and 6-2 in the MAC this year while UCF was 9-4 and 7-1 in Conference USA.
"Any time you get a chance to go to a bowl game, it's a great opportunity for your football team and your fan base to enjoy the excitement of bowl festivities,” said UCF coach George O’Leary in a news release. “The last time we were in St. Pete, it was a great experience for us. The players and fans thoroughly enjoyed it, and we are looking forward to going back and playing in the bowl this season."
Tickets for the 2012 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg are on sale now and start at $35. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.